According to a report by UK wedding accessories retailer Confetti, the average cost of a UK wedding is £15,000 or 25 percent of a couples’ annual household income. With £300 to £500 of that being spent on the wedding car, chauffeuring for this special day can be an attractive proposition.
If you are thinking of going into the wedding car hire business, it’s essential that you choose adequate chauffeur insurance coverage to prevent the perfect day ending up as a nuptial nightmare.
Taxi or Chauffeur Service?
Chauffeurs and taxi drivers do offer a similar service with both requiring specialist cover for hire and reward, but there are some differences that are worth bearing in mind when doing your research.
Chauffeur insurance forms a subset of private hire insurance. A private hire taxi is a passenger vehicle that can carry up to four passengers in a saloon car or between five and eight passengers in an MPV. It must be pre-booked and cannot be hailed on the street or have a ‘for hire’ sign.
Chauffeur vehicles are essentially private hire with some added bells, whistles… and ribbons. Generally, the vehicles are executive or classic cars with a significantly higher value, such as a Bentley, Jaguar or Mercedes. This will mean a higher premium but can be offset by passengers paying a higher payment for added luxury and comfort, and a chauffeur in uniform.
Your insurance provider will offer private hire insurance for either single vehicles or fleets and it is worthwhile checking on whether it also allows an extension for hire and reward that allows chauffeurs to drive their customers’ vehicles to special events.
Some issue to consider:
· Do you wedding chauffeur all the time as your main business?
· Do you only chauffeur as a part-time side-line?
· Do you own your vehicle and is it a classic or customised limousine?
· Is your vehicle part of a fleet of wedding and occasional cars?
You’ll need to look at these options when speaking with your insurance broker. Your insurers should cover self-employed drivers or those who drive as part of a contract, as well as fleet risks and businesses of mixed use, which can include public hire, private hire and chauffeuring work.
Special Insurance and Licencing Factors
As you are renting out a car for hire or reward, you’ll need to take out specialist wedding car insurance which offers protection for both you as the driver and your passengers. This means taking out comprehensive chauffeur insurance that also covers any accidental damage to your taxi.
Other considerations that may affect your premium include your catchment area, especially if you intend to drive in larger towns or cities, and mileage, which could be low or high depending on whether you offer a full-time or part-time service. You will also want to have roadside assistance coverage and windscreen cover too.
All chauffeurs driving for hire and reward will need a full UK driving licence and a reasonable amount of previous driving experience. Additional rules may also apply if you drive long stretch limousines.
Currently, classic cars used for weddings are not subject to the same local council rules that apply to taxis and prom vehicles. Chauffeur driven wedding cars (and funeral vehicles) do not have to register with their local council for a private hire vehicle licence and are not subject to the addition car checks that apply to taxis.
The government is currently looking at closing this loophole, which would make the costs considerably higher especially for classic car enthusiasts that do occasional work or for those hiring out cars on a part-time basis.
For those operating a fleet of chauffeur driven limos other options to consider are valeting insurance as well as car jockey insurance to ensure that you have total protection and that tears on the day are kept strictly to the brides’ mother only.