Trying to determine the reliability of classic cars is the sixty five million dollar question. For a classic car hire company like us, keeping our cars reliable and on the road ready for hire is a constant challenge, one that is not dissimilar to painting the Forth Road Bridge.
The problem with classic cars is that, like people, they get old. No matter how much exercise you get or how well you eat, illness can strike at any time. It's the same with cars. Old cars need to be used and exercised and they need to be maintained properly using quality parts and fluids. But as they get older the risk of breakdown inevitably increases.
At Great Escape Classic Car Hire we work hard to minimise the risk of breakdowns because they cost us money and they disappoint our customers. Our cars cover over 10 times the typical annual mileage of a classic car but our breakdown rate is less than 2% - significantly better than the average classic car.
We achieve this by operating a strict preventative and scheduled maintenance programme. Every car is subjected to a mechanical and safety inspection at the start of the season, fully serviced and then inspected and serviced every 3000 miles, 20 hires days or every 3 months, whichever is sooner. We check typical wear and tear parts like fuel pumps, starter motors, distributors, points and plugs.
At Great Escape Classic Car Hire we use our own workshop to carry out routine maintenance, backed by a group of specialist garages that are familiar with classics and in particular know our fleet.
This procedure keeps breakdown rates on our cars to a minimum. But when the worst happens we ensure we have proper and professional back up. So every car is covered by the highest level of AA breakdown cover. If our cars break down anywhere in the UK, the AA will attend to diagnose or repair the car - or recover the car to a location of the customer's choosing.
Despite all that, we also ask that our customers are sensible. We can never factor out the risk of breakdown but where the car goes and how it is driven can significantly affect the outcome. Customers are free to go wherever they like but we recommend that 100-150 miles per day is a good and comfortable distance to travel in a classic car. And means they will never be too far from our base to benefit from the best help we can provide.
Running our fleet of 50 classic cars has taught us the benefits of preventative maintenance. By anticipating typical faults - which are well documented for most classic cars - most classic car owners can significantly improve the enjoyment of their cars and also reduce the cost of owning them.
For more information on Great Escape Classic Car Hire visit http://www.greatescapecars.co.uk/ or call 01527 893733.