When the economy stumbles the problem with owning classic cars is that they're a bit of a luxury. Unlike, say, an expensive sofa or jewellery, they don't just sit their meekly looking nice. They always need money spent on them.
There are really just two solutions here - leave your car in the garage and forget about it. Or sell it. Neither seems like much of an option to me because there's no point owning a classic and ignoring it and selling in this market means you're unlikely to recoup the value you've got invested in it.
There may be another way. I have had the good fortune to grow my classic car hire business not just with cars I own but by offering cars for hire on behalf of their owners. This came about by chance really but works well. The owner gets an income from the car to pay for maintenance and improvements and I am able to extend my fleet for a relatively low investment and risk.
One of the main questions that people have before they provide their car for hire is about risk and damage. Of course, hiring a classic car is going to put it at more risk of damage than if you keep it in your garage and only drive it yourself. But in practice, my customers treat the cars they drive with real care. I hold hefty deposits against them doing otherwise and I know immediately when I car has been mistreated - there are plenty of little tell-tale signs. I also have technology that helps me monitor the cars when they are out and about.
The rate of people trying to offload classic cars is definitely increasing and I am getting calls and emails daily on the topic. Classic car hire may be one way out - it funds the car and prevents you having to sell in a flat market.
Hiring your classic out isn't for everyone. And equally, not every classic car is ideal to hire out. I now have a well-developed process for hiring out cars for owners and I've put together an information pack about it. If you're interested in considering this option have a look at the website at http://www.greatescapecars.co.uk/ to see what it's all about and then either drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on 01527 893733 for an informal chat. I'm happy to provide an idea of income and costs and tell you about the risks and rewards so that you can work out whether hiring your classic car to Great Escape is right for you.