Mary shares experiences from 20 years in the auto industry selling classic cars internationally with her husband.
Do you own a classic car? Your first reaction may be a proud yes. Classic car owners love to talk about their cars and the history surrounding them. They can tell you what they are currently being sold for and how lucky they are to have them. However, do you enjoy it as much as you thought you would? Perhaps you find the car is just sitting in your garage doing nothing but costing you money.
6 Ways to Earn Money With Your Classic Car
If this is the case, let's look at some of the ways you can make it work for you and regain a pride of place in your heart and at the same time put some money in your wallet to offset the cost of owning one.
Before beginning, always check with your insurance company to see if you need to change your policy.
1. Rent Out to Film Production Companies
Contact film companies; if your classic is original looking, they may be interested in using it. They may opt to rent it by the day, week, or month, depending on their schedule.
If you are observant when watching films, often you'll see the same car used time and time again—the company like owners who are accommodating.
You may find that working through an agency will ensure your car will get you more clients. If you are in a location such as Southern California, this is one to consider.
2. Wedding or Prom Hire
Have you considered renting your car out as a wedding vehicle? Many people opt not to have a limousine but want something a bit different. You could include picking up the bridal party with or rent your car out to them. There is good money to be made from this type of venture. There are always people getting married.
The same is true for proms. Many schools have formal dances at different times of the year, usually in spring and Christmas.
3. Weekend Hire—Classic Car Rentals
Is yours a vehicle that you could rent out for a week or a weekend? Perhaps you have a VW camper van. Many families or couples want something different, or even retro to get away in. This makes an ideal vacation for a small family. There are also people who want to try this way of camping before purchasing one themselves.
I know of a woman who has done just this. Although her VW bus wasn't original, it was brightly painted and had a pleasant mixture of both mod cons, and traditional décor in a 'hippy van'. Perfect for a beach/surf vacation but with a bit more comfort than it would originally had.
4. Marketing with Custom Vinyl Graphics
What line of work are you in? If you are in sales, a car makes an ideal mobile billboard. Using removable transfers on your vehicle will get people's attention.
People often see ads on taxis, buses, and other standard vehicles but less on classic cars. If you drive your car and park in public places, you are a good candidate to offer advertising space. For example, a VW van would be ideal for placing advertisements for a surf shop on the side.
You can either make the custom vinyl graphics yourself or let someone else pay you a monthly fee to advertise on your car.
5. School Events
Many people will never have the opportunity to ride in a classic car. You could offer rides at school and community events. You would have to either split what you make with the promoters or pay them a flat fee to be there.
Many community groups are always looking for something different to include in their annual events. Contact the schools early to secure a spot. Most will hold outside events in April or May.
6. Photo Shoots
Promote your car to photographers for them to use in their photoshoots. These could be with people in them or only as a prop in the background.
Also, some people want to enhance their photographic skills. Contact professional photographers and let them know what you have available.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: I have a classic car and I wish to use it for wedding events. What do I need to do first? Do I need a different driving license? I know I will have to change the insurance policy as well.
What should I do step by step?
Answer: First, go to your local department of motor vehicles. They will tell you what is required for licensing. Also, go to your Chamber of Commerce, they will tell you of any other necessary licenses with regards to beginning your business. See an accountant. You will be self-employed and will need to pay taxes on your income.
When the necessary permits and licenses are in place, have business cards printed and begin to network with people.
Question: Are there any specialized companies in the UK that would manage and let out your classic car on behalf of the owners and if so can you recommend any?
Answer: I would suggest you look in the back of magazines such as Classic and Sportscar or Hemmings Classic Car. In their classified ads, you will likely find them. Check with your insurance company before allowing them to hire out your car.
© 2013 Mary Wickison
Sstideber on August 10, 2020:
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on November 27, 2018:
Check out what others are already charging and set your prices in line with those. Remember to check with your insurance company and also contact your Department of Motor Vehicles to see if you need to change your license.
Lorna Knitter on November 27, 2018:
I appreciate the ideas. How do you know what to charge? I could see driving a bridal couple from their wedding to the reception, using the car as a photo prop. But I don't know how to charge for it. Thoughts?
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on October 21, 2018:
That sounds like a great idea. The first thing you should do is contact your insurance company and explain what you want to do, and how much the insurance will cost.
That should be done before you advertise it for hire.
Graham long on October 21, 2018:
I own a classic 1971 Vw bus and would like to hire it out I live in ft lauderdale
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on April 24, 2018:
You will have to become an entrepreneur and begin advertising what you can do. Approach wedding planners and place ads where they will be seen by couples planning to get married.
For the decals, approach local businesses and see if they see the appeal of putting their marketing on your car. You will need to have your car out and about, as I said in the article, no one will pay to have decals on a car that sits in a garage.
If you're interested in it being used in films, tv etc, take a look at Auto Trader in the classified section. This is very dependent on where you live as you need to be near a place where filming is going on such as Southern California.
Like any self-employed person, making a business out of something means you have to hustle.
Austin Waters on April 20, 2018:
A great topic. I do own a classic car. What some companies that do these type business
Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on March 12, 2014:
What a fun and inventive hub! So many people keep possessions and don't engage them - delightful way to share the joy!
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on November 20, 2013:
Many owners are very protective of their babies.
At least in the Florida sunshine I am sure your get ample opportunity to enjoy it.
Wonderful to hear from you.
Dianna Mendez on November 19, 2013:
My hubby owns a classic car but I don't see him lending it out or even for hire. Even so, this is a great idea and I'm sure many readers will profit from the suggestions.
Mary Wickison (author) from Brazil on November 12, 2013:
Thank you for your kind wishes. My ex and I used to buy and sell classic cars so there was always something unusual up the drive.
Some can turn into a money pit if you aren't careful.
Wonderful to hear from you.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 12, 2013:
What an interesting topic; a first on HP for me. :) I don't have one; I just stopped by to wish you well and say hello.