When arranging transport for your wedding day, there's lots to think about. As well as finding a wedding car hire company that fits your style and theme, you'll want to ensure you're booking a reliable company so you can be confident you'll get to the wedding in plenty on time.
If you’re in the process of hiring your wedding car and you're feeling a bit confused, don’t panic - we've got it covered. We've spoken to some wedding car hire experts and answered some of the most common questions couples have, so you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect ride.
Image: Ricky Baillie Photography
How many cars should we hire for our wedding day?
The number of cars you’ll need obviously depends on how big your wedding party is. The minimum you'll need is one, which carries the bride and father of the bride to the ceremony. If you're trying to stick to a budget then the rest of the party could travel in taxis, but you could need up to three cars depending on the size of your party and whether the groom gets a car too.
After the ceremony, one car will be needed to transport the bride and groom to the reception venue (if you don't have a separate reception venue, then see below!) so you'll need to think about how the bridal party, parents and groomsmen will get to the reception.
Who travels with who?
Traditionally the bridesmaids and mother of the bride travel together, with the bride and father of the bride travelling in a separate car. You may also want to arrange a car for the groom and the groom’s party to the ceremony too. Of course, as with all wedding formalities, there are no rules and you should always do what works best for your day!
Image: VW Weddings
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How long do we have use of the car for?
Most good suppliers will let you have the car for as long as you need it. Always look for companies that hire out their cars for only one wedding a day so you can relax without having to worry about any time restrictions. Make this one of the top questions to ask when make enquiries with wedding car hire companies.
Can we hire a car if our ceremony and reception are in the same place?
If you’ve got your heart set on a gorgeous car but don’t have a journey between your ceremony and reception, don’t worry. Melissa Davidson from Ultimate Private Hire told us that you can still make the most of your wedding car, “For those weddings in which the ceremony and reception are held in the same venue, we offer a special 'Champagne Run' which allows the newly married couple a chance to slip away after the ceremony and spend some time alone together before rejoining their wedding party.”
A car is the perfect backdrop to take some beautiful wedding photography as well. A classic car, VW campervan or a black cab, like in the photo below, will really stand-out among your wedding photos, even if you're not using it to drive between venues.
Image: Slepokur Photography
Do all cars come with a driver?
This totally depends on the company you use. Most car companies will provide a chauffeur but it is possible to hire a vehicle without, leaving you to drive yourselves!
What happens if the driver's unwell?
When using a reputable company, they will have contingency plans in place for situations like this. Melissa explained, “We have over 30 drivers and we would have a replacement in no time (without you knowing a thing.) As a family-run business, quality of service is at the forefront of our ethos.”
Is vintage wedding car hire risky?
Again, using a reputable company will ensure that all vehicles are properly maintained and serviced. Even with brand new cars there is always a small chance that the car could breakdown but the risk is very minimal. Check reviews from other couples to see how their experience went.
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What is the average cost of wedding car hire?
Again, this is dependent on the company you use. Always make sure you do your research, getting a range of quotes to make sure you are being charged a fair price. Prices start from around £200 and increase depending on the model of car and how long your journey is.
Will the distance of the journey effect the cost?
The way you are charged will vary from supplier to supplier but Ultimate Private Hire, like many companies, will give you a cost depending on the mileage.
How can we save money on wedding car hire?
If you're on a tight budget, you could just hire one wedding car to take the bride and father of the bride to the ceremony and arrange for taxis to collect the rest of the bridal party.
Melissa says that if your ceremony and reception locations are close by, Ultimate Private Hire can do multiple journeys to keep costs down, “If your pick up and drop off location is within ten miles of each other we can provide a double run in each vehicle meaning instead of booking four vehicles only two would be required.”
Image: The Flower House Studio - Dominique Bader Photography
When will we need to pay the final balance?
Each company will have their own policy, so make sure you are clear when the final payment is due before signing on the dotted line! To make it easier for you, find a company that allows you to spread out the payments, Melissa explains how this works with Ultimate Private Hire:
“We make payments as manageable as possible for each couple with a £100.00 deposit for each vehicle, the half balance payable six months prior and the final balance due on the first of the month prior.”
Who decorates the car?
This is something to ask when contacting wedding car supplier. Lots of companies will decorate the car for you so make sure you let them know if you have specific decorations or flowers you’d like to use.
How long should we allow to get to our wedding venue?
Make sure you leave plenty of time so even if you encounter traffic and any other delays, you'll still arrive on time. Remember, that last 30 minutes before the bride and her party leave the house will rush by so make sure you have all your timings for the morning clearly worked out. Getting in and out of a car in your wedding dress can also take more time than you expect so think about that too!
Melissa explains that like a lot of established companies, Ultimate Private Hire take any of the worry out of this for you. “We would take care of all of this for you and confirm these details two weeks before, with our drivers completing a practice run prior to the wedding to ensure the smoothest route is taken.”
Image: Diana V Photography
READ MORE: 43 Wedding Photos You'll Want To Recreate
When does each car need to arrive at the ceremony and the venue?
The groom’s party should arrive at least 45 minutes before the ceremony so they are there in time to guide guests to their seats.
The bridesmaids and mother of the bride should get to the wedding venue around 10-15 minutes before the ceremony, with the bride and father of the bride arriving around five minutes before the service is due to start.
It is always better to arrive slightly early, than late – you can always kill some time by taking a short drive around the venue. Your car provider will be able to offer advice on this.
You may want to factor in time for your photographer to capture shots of the cars arriving and the bride and bridal party getting out too. It's not polite to leave your guests waiting too long while you get your shots so take direction from your photographer but think about adding an extra five minutes if you want these.
Roughly how long before the big day should we book our car?
Make sure you book your car as early as possible. Like with many wedding suppliers, car companies will be taking bookings up to a couple of years in advance so make arrangements nice and early to avoid any disappointment!
Image: Photography by Adelphos
Can we cancel our wedding car booking?
Most companies will require you to pay a deposit and this will often be non-refundable. If you do need to cancel for any reason make sure you put it in writing and remember to always take out wedding insurance to cover you in the unlikey event that you have to cancel the wedding.
Should we get guest transport?
This is completely up to you and depends on the facilities - such as car parking spaces - at your venues. Some couples opt to hire a bus or minivan to take their guests between the ceremony and reception if they're far apart or lots of guests are taking public transport to your venue. Hiring a classic double-decker bus looks gorgeous in photos and is a fun way for all your guests to travel together. However, most guests are happy to drive themselves and it means they can leave at a time suitable for them.
Now you know everything there is to know about booking your wedding car, make sure you check out all the fabulous car companies in our wedding suppliers directory.