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Your Complete Guide to Vintage Wedding Cars

Looking to hire a vintage wedding car? Check out our comprehensive guide to vintage wedding cars with advice from the experts

Green vintage wedding car with white bow parked on driveway of a red brick country house wedding venue

When the day of your wedding finally arrives, it’s important to arrive at your wedding venue in style. What better way to do this than in a vintage wedding car?

Using a vintage wedding car is an easy way to achieve a sense of timelessness and elegance on your wedding day. Not only that, it can also serve as a seriously cool photo prop and give you a once-in-a-lifetime experience perfect for treating yourself on your wedding day. 

Whether it’s an elegant Rolls Royce or a quirky VW camper van, there’s a vintage wedding car out there to suit all styles, tastes and wedding themes

When Does a Car Become a Vintage Car?

A cream VW camper van with pink and white roses parked on a driveway with lots of greenery

Not all cars are equal, and certainly not all cars are vintage. Just like a fine wine or a gorgeous designer piece, a car becoming vintage is all about how old it is. But how many years does it take for a wedding car to become a vintage wedding car? And is there a difference between a classic wedding car and a vintage wedding car?

Graeme Fillmore from Morse Wedding Cars provides some expert insight: “Classic cars are generally 20 - 60 years old. Vintage might well be 60 - 80 years old.”

Fellow expert Clive Dawkes from Leicester Wedding Cars adds: “Vintage is 1919 - 1930, post-vintage is 1931 - 1949, classic is 1950 - 1969 & modern classic is 1970 - 1989.”

How Much is it to Hire a Vintage Wedding Car?

A family sit on a blue vintage wedding car parked in the courtyard of a red brick building

As with most wedding costs, the cost of vintage wedding car hire can vary greatly depending on a number of factors. Clive says, “Whilst I have a standard price, this may vary according to exactly what couples require and I try to accommodate all their requirements for their big day.”

Niall from Garden of England Classics provides some more insight: "The cost of hiring a vintage car can vary a lot and it will depend on the size and age of the vehicle. Something say like a cute little Austin 7 Tourer would cost approximately £200, with larger saloons like an Austin Big Six, Vauxhall BXL or say an Armstrong Siddeley 17HP costing between £300-£400.

"Choose a larger luxury saloon like a Rolls-Royce 20/25 limo or a Bentley S1 and you’d be looking at anything from £500 and upwards. And a lot can depend on the options couples choose."

What Factors Affect the Price of Hiring a Vintage Wedding Car?

Bride and groom stand in cream vintage fiat 500 with bow parked on a country lane

1. Location

Where your ceremony is taking place and the distance of your wedding venue from your car supplier can have a huge impact on the price of your vintage wedding car hire. 

Clive says, “Some areas are more expensive and differ from county to county. To hire any car, I factor in the time and distance to travel on the day to take account of the chauffeur's wages and the cost of fuel for the journeys.”

It’s also important to remember that the older a vintage wedding car is, the less likely it is for owners to be happy with them traveling longer distances. This may result in them charging a higher hire fee. 

Clive says, “Vintage denotes age. Usually people who own these types of cars are enthusiasts and their cars are their babies, so well they're looked after. They may not want to travel longer distances because of the age and type of vehicle.”

2. Time of Ceremony

If you’re looking to save money on your wedding, one popular piece of advice is to book a weekday wedding. Monday - Thursday are less popular days for holding a wedding ceremony, and therefore your venues and suppliers are likely to charge much less for their services. 

The same principle applies to vintage cars for weddings. Clive says, “I offer different prices for weekdays and weekends. 

“You will find that there could be a price for a Friday, Saturday & Sunday and offer cheaper prices for the not so popular days (weekdays Monday - Thursday)."

You can also consider having a wedding during an off-peak month to cut costs on your vintage car hire and other suppliers! A Wednesday wedding in October can end up costing a fraction of the price of a Saturday wedding in July. 

3. Number of Journeys

The number of journeys you’ll be making in your vintage wedding car will also be a huge influence on the price. 

Some couples may only use their car to travel to and from their wedding venue. However, others may want to take multiple trips to transport members of the wedding party, or to travel to a select location for extra photographs. 

All of these extra trips will result in a higher vintage wedding car hire price, due to more fuel consumption and longer hours for your chauffeur. 

Clive says, “Couples ask for specific journeys on the day, maybe two or three journeys to the ceremony. After the ceremony they may want to go to a local park or beauty spot to take further photographs. All these things are taken into consideration when I get an enquiry and will at this point give them a firm price based on their exact requirements.”

4. Type of Ceremony

Believe it or not, the type of wedding ceremony you’re holding can also have an impact on the price of your vintage wedding car hire. Why? Clive answers: “I offer different prices for civil ceremonies or church ceremonies. Why? Because a civil ceremony is usually less time than a church service."

Why Should Couples Hire a Vintage Wedding Car for Their Wedding Day?

Groom helps a bride step out of a pink 1950s cadillac with flowers and ribbons

There are many different reasons why couples might want to choose a vintage wedding car for their wedding ceremony. 

1. Timeless Elegance

Hiring a vintage wedding car is a quick and easy way to introduce a splash of classic and timeless elegance to your big day. 

The unique and intricate details of classic and vintage cars is what makes them really stand out from more modern vehicles. 

Any couples holding a vintage-inspired wedding or wearing a vintage wedding dress *has* to check out vintage wedding car suppliers - they’ll be the perfect complement to your era-defying wedding celebration.

2. Unique and Memorable

Your arrival to your wedding venue has the potential to set the tone for your entire wedding event - so it’s important to get it right. 

Arriving in a vintage wedding car is a sure-fire way of creating a memorable entrance and wedding moment. After all, your once-in-a-lifetime day deserves a once-in-a-lifetime experience! 

Niall agrees: "There is an element of fun and treating yourself to something really special and unique. If couples are looking for a bespoke wedding, it is really worth adding that vintage car to the wedding budget."

3. Photo Ops

There’s nothing wedding guests love more than a fun wedding photo prop, whether that’s cool décor and some quirky wedding photo booth features. 

It’s not every day that you see a gorgeous vintage car, so your guests will be sure to make the most of this opportunity. Car enthusiasts and everyday appreciators will be thrilled with the opportunity! 

Niall says, "A trip in a vintage car is always an occasion and photos with the car on the wedding day are something that the couple, plus their family and friends, can look back on with a smile."

What Should Couples Keep in Mind When Hiring a Vintage Wedding Car?

Vintage sand-coloured camper van with white ribbon parked in front of greenery

1. Insurance

Insurance is an important consideration, whether that’s wedding insurance, public liability insurance or anything other type. 

When it comes to operating vintage vehicles, it’s important to make sure all boxes are ticked re insurance. You can never be too prepared, especially when it comes to transport!

Clive adds, “Couples also need to enquire with the hirer that they have the relevant insurance to cover private hire use for the carriage of passengers for hire or reward and that there is public liability insurance in place.”

2. Travel Distance 

Okay, maybe you’re not an expert in vintage cars, but everyone knows that older cars often don’t function as well as newer models and are less likely to be able to travel longer distances. For example, if you’re saying your vows at a London wedding venue, it might not be the best idea to hire a vintage car based in the Midlands. 

Graeme puts it simply: "Be understanding of the distances that can be reasonably driven by a 60+ year old car."

Niall offers some more travel advice: "One thing couples need to remember is that vintage cars can be a lot slower than modern day cars and as a result can take a bit longer travelling from A-B. So always allow extra time when planning for the journey to the ceremony and the reception."

3. Consider the Weather

We all know the importance of trying to avoid rain on your wedding day, especially if you’re holding an outdoor wedding ceremony, but when it comes to a vintage car wedding, there are other things to take into consideration. 

With global temperatures heating up, heat is definitely something to be mindful of on your wedding day - especially if you happen to be getting married during a heatwave. Graeme says “Ventilation and heating were never great in cars of that era, so allow for the weather.”

So, if you’re planning a summer wedding, be sure to come prepared - sun cream, a bottle of water and maybe a fan too!

4. Pay Attention to the Rear Seats

Safety first! If you’re planning on having children at your wedding and letting them ride in your vintage wedding car, Graeme has some advice for you: “Cars prior to 1980s weren’t built with rear seatbelts so often haven’t been added by the current owners - this means that children can’t travel if they’re under six unless belts are fitted to allow a booster cushion or child seat.”

When it comes to vintage wedding cars, there’s also the issue of leg room. Whether you’ve got long legs or you’re planning to wear a huge princess wedding dress, it’s important to make sure that everything will fit in. 

Graeme says, “Rear seat leg room is not as plentiful in many classic and vintage cars (unless they are limousines) as more modern cars, but often enough to accommodate even a large wedding dress.”

5. Switch It Up

There are countless options available for any type of vintage car wedding. Whether you want a quirky camper van for your boho festival wedding or a classy Rolls Royce for a splash of some Hollywood glamour , you’re sure to find something perfect for your wedding.

There’s no need to play it safe or stick to the classics when it comes to your vintage car wedding. After all, it’s your day and you can have it your way. 

Graeme agrees: “There are many and better colours for vintage and classic cars than white. Darker and brighter colours contrast a wedding dress and can be very reflective giving a lovely view of the dress and a 360 degree picture.”

If you’re thinking of hiring a vintage wedding car for your big day, check out our roundup of award-winning car hire companies.