At a wedding, have you ever cared more about the vehicles that came to the ceremony than the dress or the flowers? Do you love the excitement of helping people make their dreams come true? And do you encourage the desire to start your own company? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, a wedding car rental company might be perfect for you.
In the UK, experts appreciate this The average bride and groom spend roughly £ 30,000 on their wedding – an astonishing amount, higher than ever. And that means there are plenty of people out there who want to spend serious money on the right vehicle for their special day. Do you think you have what it takes to start a company supplying wedding cars to happy couples near you? Then check out our handy guide that has everything you need to know.
Laying of the foundation stone
Of course, not everyone can set up and offer a service as a wedding car rental company. As with anything, there is a certain amount of red tape to navigate first – not to mention a portfolio of devices that need to be built from scratch. Here are some things to think about before you can start.
- insurance – What kind do you need for your business?
- driver – Who is responsible for chauffeuring your customers from A to B?
- cars – Which vehicles should you offer?
Wedding car insurance
If you are serious about starting a wedding car rental company, you need to make sure that you have the right insurance to cover yourself in the event of an accident or other mishap. In contrast to companies that offer rental cars over long distances, for example, wedding cars often have a comparatively low mileage and are rarely used. So make sure you choose the right cover that suits your needs.
Check your chauffeurs and drivers
While there are some wedding car rental companies that operate on a self-drive basis, most of these companies aim to establish themselves as chauffeur-driven services. Take some time to consider which route is right for you. The former requires less time and effort on your behalf, while the latter is more of a complete package. Whichever choice you make, you need to make sure that all the correct documents are signed and approved.
The number of wedding cars available on the market varies astonishingly. So take some time to think and do market research to find out which are the most popular in your area. For weddings, vintage cars are always a popular choice – but make sure you do your research before buying used vehicles. Likewise, a brand new limousine will never be short of people to rent – but be aware that purchasing one can be a huge expense for your business.
Vehicle finance (also known as asset finance)
Financing your vehicles is a very important part of building your business. If you are fortunate enough to be able to purchase the vehicles without having to arrange financing, this is your best bet. Keep in mind, however, that you may need some cash flow for marketing and various other costs.
Asset finance is usually a great way to buy the vehicles, which gives the lender good security against the asset. If your credit rating is good, there may be a lot of bargaining available to you which will allow you to make a low deposit and spread the funding out over 3 to 5 years. In some cases, lenders will accept a 10% deposit. This can vary depending on your credit rating and the risk of the business.
Figure out what to charge
One of the hardest parts of starting a new business is figuring out where to set your costs. And with a service like wedding car rental, things can get even more complicated. How do you know how much to charge?
As with any large financial company, you should have a business plan that tells you how much you need to make over a period of time in order to recoup your startup costs. And while there are many variables, the following is a rough guide on how much you can expect to calculate.
For day packages, consider a price on the order of £ 200 to £ 500 per vehicle for a wedding car rental. However, this cost can vary based on a number of factors including:
- Weekday – Many vendors offer discounts for weekday weddings to fill empty schedules
- Time of year – Expect a premium for summer weddings, while customers typically pay less for rental cars during the winter months
- Rental Lengths – While day rentals are the most popular choice, some customers want a shorter package if available
Also, remember that you are not just charging customers for renting your vehicle. Unless you offer self-drive service, you will also have to bill for the time the chauffeur will spend on the work. To come up with a fair deal, consider how much of your day is devoted to providing wedding services – and make sure they are compensated accordingly.
Finally, many wedding car rental companies offer optional extras like flower arrangements, champagne, etc. for an additional fee. If you do decide to want to offer these services, make sure you fully research the cost and include it in your pricing structure.
Once you have determined how you will be billing for your services, it is time to consider how you will collect the balance. Nowadays most services take a non-refundable deposit from customers which they can withhold in case of last minute cancellations. Similarly, some brides and grooms offer the option of sharing costs using a payment plan. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to do this – but make sure you research each option thoroughly to see which one works best for you.
Bring out the word
So you’ve started your business, worked out your pricing structure, and maybe even bagged a couple of wedding gigs. What happens next? To be really successful, you need a good marketing campaign. Fortunately, thanks to the internet, it’s a lot easier in the 21st century than in the past to let people know about your new business – although offline methods shouldn’t be completely overlooked. Here is our pick of the best places to advertise your services.
A well-optimized website (SEO)
A good website should be your first port of call. After all, it’s the first impression the vast majority of people get of your business. So make sure you bring in a professional designer to make sure everything looks sleek and professional, and hire writing and SEO services to bring all of the content up to date. In addition, an SEO specialist can help improve your website in search engine rankings – important to stand out from the crowd.
Joining a booking agency / broker
First of all, everyone thinks joining a broker or booking agency is a bad idea. Nowadays it is far better and cheaper than spending all that money on pay per click (Google Ads etc). If an agency charges a subscription fee or cost per lead, we wouldn’t recommend doing so, as it’s no different from pay-per-click marketing. Register with an agency that guarantees bookings or has nothing to pay for (a bit like no-win-no-fee).
Social media marketing
Another great place to advertise your business is on social media. Create a Facebook page for your business and fill it with high quality, shareable content to build your online presence. Competitions work well in this medium too, and you can win lots of likes and shares by offering a chance to win something for them. Rental cars for weddings are also the perfect fodder for Instagram. So, create an account and share beautiful pictures of your vehicles starring in a big day.
Local wedding shows
According to market research, millions of people attend wedding shows across the UK every year. And while online advertising has its place, there’s nothing like meeting in person to secure a future booking. The National Wedding Show takes place in London, Birmingham and Manchester and draws the most visitors. However, if you are not based in these areas, you need to consider that new jobs may require a significant drive. Alternatively, you can go to smaller shows that are closer to hand. And if you can’t afford the fee to bring your vehicle with you, a display stand with photos and business cards can work surprisingly well too.
Word of mouth
One of the best ways to let people know about your business is to encourage customers to recommend you to their family and friends. And while you can’t get someone to leave a positive review, there are ways to encourage positive comments on sites like Trustpilot. For example, if you focus on the small details and provide plenty of thoughtful extras, you can get customers raving about your services. Plus, you can even offer a discounted referral system to people who have previously booked with you, which in turn increases the likelihood that they will recommend your business to people they know.
In this article, we’ve covered all of the basics of building and promoting your wedding car rental business. By now you should have everything you need to get started – so good luck in your endeavor!
Useful links for customers booking a wedding car
Top 5 modern wedding cars on a reasonable budget
Best wedding cars of 2020