Currently there are no restrictions or special regulations controlling chauffeur driven wedding cars. Unlike chauffeur driven cars for proms or taxis, wedding cars don't need a council licence (with associated checks on driver and car) and aren't subject to any checks other than the normal mot.
This has always struck me as a bit odd really. Sure, I'm pleased for the people who rent their classics for weddings and earn some useful cash. But it doesn't seem quite logical that you need a council licence to chauffeur a prom but you don't need one for a wedding. If nothing else, it's confusing for classic car owners, many of whom do offer chauffeur drive for proms without realising they're breaking the law (just google prom car hire to see what I mean).
Conversely it isn't clear how the government will regulate wedding cars, particularly since it has just exempted pre 1960 cars in order to avoid overhauling the mot test.
We don't do many chauffeur weddings but I would welcome clarity and coherence in the law. Personally, I do think if you're hiring a chauffeur hire car you should be given some guarantees, backed by law, that the car and driver have been recently vetted for that purpose. You wouldn't get in an unlicensed taxi, why get in an unlicensed wedding car?
I realise that view could hurt lots of classic car owners. But regulation will enable reputable wedding car providers to demonstrate the quality and safety of their vehicles. This isn't about benefiting Great Escape - we've already decided not to offer chauffeur hire on our cars. Frankly, it is incredibly stressful and a hard way to earn a buck. We care a lot about getting it right and take it personally when, on the odd occasion, our cars let us down.
All of this comes against a government backdrop, apparently, of cutting red tape. The Government has only just announced that pre 1960 cars will be exempt from the mot. Since wedding cars are by generally old and typically pre 1960, this decision seems particularly silly. The government is now saying that such old cars need MORE regulation and checks.
Am I the only one left confused?
At Great Escape Classic Car Hire we are still offering self drive wedding car hire, which is not subject to the proposed legislation.
Tell us what you think. We don't want to disadvantage classic car owners - but the current system is illogical.
www.greatescapecars.co.uk 01527 8937333