If you are a groom then you will be treading a well worn path known as Finding The Cars. You have plenty of time to spend on this because besides traipsing around venues, meeting vicars, lunching in-laws and generally advising on but not actually making any other decisions, you have nothing else to do except turn up and make a humorous but tear-jerking speech.
Like many grooms before you you will marvel at the sheer lack of interesting wedding car choices at your disposal. Unless you live in London, where of course everything is possible, you are largely stuck with white Rolls Royces and Beaufort retro kit cars. The limited range of interesting stuff is either miles away, gets booked up years in advance or is stupidly expensive.
The other frustrating thing about wedding cars are that there is usually some bloke in a suit and peaked cap in exactly the seat you want to be in. So you're stuffed in the back trying to persuade yourself that a 20 minute spin in a Rolls for £400 is 'a great value experience.'
Perhaps, you think, there is a gap in the market for someone who likes, indeed needs, a fleet of interesting cars to hire for weddings.
When I got married I also faced this dilemma and had the same thought. We used a recalcitrant Oldsmobile Toronado as groom car - it broke down three times on the way to the church- and a vast 50s Cadillac saloon for the bride. Naturally, it was my job to find the cars and it took months of research in the days of the dawn of the internet (yes, that long ago).
Afterwards, as I surveyed the destroyed remains of my bank account, I wondered whether someone ought to offer something more interesting for wedding couples. Cars, perhaps, that I might like to drive. Cars, in fact, that would need regular exercise when not doing weddings. And so, six years later, began Great Escape.
We don't only do wedding cars but it is a big part of what we do. We no longer offer chauffeur drive, preferring instead on a package that we think is more appealing to brides and grooms. And cheaper. Self drive wedding car hire means that the couple get a flexible, good-value experience that is more fun than chauffeur hire. For the less than the price of a budget chauffeur car couples can have one of our cars for 2 days to enjoy. Less stressful and more relaxing. We do have a roster of freelance chauffeurs that we can put couples in touch with if they need a driver for one or both of the cars. By dealing direct for chauffeur the price is always lower than for a chauffeur driven car package.
Our fleet of 60 cars gives wedding couples access to a wide range of unusual, stylish or quirky cars to suit most weddings. They range from Morris Minors and classic Minis to Jaguar E Types and Jensen Interceptors. Although we had the range of cars in place we quickly realised that couples also need help with the logistics of fitting the car into their day. This has historically been the bugbear of grooms across the land - find a car you love, lose it because it's miles away.
In 2013 we introduced a new range of wedding services to make using one of our cars simpler and better value. The main problem couples experience is collecting and returning the car in as little time as possible to keep their costs down. So we now offer a 1.5 day package, where couples can collect the day before and return the day after without incurring the full 2 day hire price. Extra drivers can also be added for a fixed cost of just £25 each, meaning someone else can collect and return the car for the groom and bride without incurring significant extra costs. Finally we have also invested in a new fleet of transport vehicles so that we can offer a nationwide delivery and collection service at a competitive cost.
Self drive hire is growing rapidly in popularity because of the choice, simplicity and, crucially, the cost. Typical chauffeur hire costs at least £200. Self drive hire for 1.5 days starts at only £160 including insurance and usually unlimited mileage.
Great Escape tends to book up early for weddings and some key cars and dates have already been filled for 2014. To find out more and arrange an informal viewing of our fleet call 0152789373 or contact us via the website www.greatescapecars.co.uk.