(Hi, this arrticle was written back in 2017 but it is an articel that we feel that brides should read. This is why we have brought it with us when getting our website rebuilt.)
Hiring an Unlicensed Wedding Car
This may seem like a good idea to some couples trying to save a few euro. Unfortunately, you are as likely to be left out of pocket and let down on the day. Most people know somebody who will do a wedding for cash in hand with an old vintage car. A lot of wedding companies have vintage cars so it is basically the same thing, isn’t it?
The answer is NO!! For anyone who goes to vintage rally’s, you will be familiar with the sight of someone under the bonnet. These vintage cars are kept running by enthusiasts! People who are happy to spend hours or days fixing their car themselves. The fan belt breaks and the next thing you know you are loaning your expensive tights to the driver! Don’t laugh, I have heard of this happening. A properly licensed wedding car is NCT’d EVERY 6 MONTHS! I am not saying a licensed wedding can’t break down but due to the regular testing and being serviced by proper mechanics, this is a VERY rare occurrence.
Another thing a licensed wedding car is tested for is suitability. The car has to be properly maintained and look as close to perfect as possible! Often an unlicensed wedding car is mostly rust and has bits falling off it as you travel ( if you travel!).
Most people wouldn’t believe the number of hours that go into keeping a wedding car to the level of cleanliness necessary to carry a bride. From years of experience, I can tell you that when you return from a wedding the first thing you do is get the vacuum out and then give it a wash before putting it away. Before it goes out again it gets another vacuum, a wash, and a polish. There will also be a cleaning kit in every car so that when you arrive to pick up the bride if the road has been dirty you can clean the car again. Sound a bit much? If you were hiring a wedding car wouldn’t YOU want this level of care?
A couple of little stories on this about unlicensed cars?
1 -There was the farmer with a lovely vintage car that used to store it beside his cowshed and when the car arrived it always smelt and was covered in cow s***e. This guy was based in Mayo but he was so bad the story made it down to us!
2- Everybody must know this story about the guy with a vintage car and the colour was mostly faded from the seats. He decided that it would be a good idea to brighten them up so applied a large amount of shoe polish to them. Have you guessed yet? Yes, the polish came off on the bride’s wedding dress! BTW, the reason that everybody has heard this story is because it has happened several times over the years!
All of our chauffeurs get a certain level of training in how to hold the doors, hold an umbrella and generally to handle all the little bits that come with the car. These would include how to pop a bottle and where to stand while photos are been taken. Let us not forget that they are also dressed for the part.
A funny story? I remember doing a wedding in Ballygarret a few years back where I had been hired to drive the bride. An unlicensed wedding car ( an old Austin) had been hired to carry the bridesmaids. It was a pouring wet day and while I was following the bride with a large umbrella over her head (and getting soaked myself) the other driver got out with his little umbrella, opened the back door and hopped back into his car leaving the bridesmaids to get soaked. After the ceremony, I walked them back to the car as well. This is the level you should expect from who you are hiring!
Being unfair to unlicensed wedding cars?
Am I being unfair to unlicensed wedding cars? We get about 20 last minute weddings every year where the bride has been let down! Some we can do, some we can’t, due to the short notice. Good luck getting any deposit you paid back as that money is long gone! Also, normally these people only have the one car so when it breaks down they can’t send another. We can and do on the very rare occasion when something like this happens!
What happens when you are stopped by the Police?
When you have the licensed wedding car and the police stop the car to check it is quickly waved on. When you are traveling in an unlicensed one it can get a bit more complicated and you may be walking the rest of the way. Years ago the guards would probably just wave these guys on ( nobody wants something bad for a bride on her big day!) but the way things have gone, they can no longer do so. If you hire an unlicensed wedding car you could easily be like the bride above, crying her eyes out. Remember the car is not licensed, not taxed as a limo, and not insured as one!
Why I wrote this article?
Anyone who follows our page knows that we mostly stick to light topics. This is a serious area but I felt the need to warn brides-to-be. Over the last couple of weeks, I have started seeing advertisements on Facebook and pinned up in Tesco, for unlicensed wedding cars. I have seen and heard of so many of these jokers ruining a wedding day! That is why I had to write this article. If you know someone getting married please show it to her. It might save her from disaster on her big day! I have deliberately not mentioned our company name so there will be nobody accusing us of advertising our own company if you want to share this.