Mary shares experiences from 20 years in the auto industry selling classic cars internationally with her husband.
Classic Cars Can Cost an Arm and a Leg
Do you own a classic car? 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—companies like to work with 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, or you could just rent the 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 have 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 make the custom vinyl graphics yourself, or you can let someone 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