Hiring your car for TV and film

Old cars are great. We love them. But they don’t make a huge amount of rational sense.  And, of course, most classic car enthusiasts have someone in their life who takes a more pragmatic approach to the costs, practicalities and inconveniences of sharing their life with a classic car. If that sounds remotely familiar then you may have considered how to make money from your car, at least as a preferable alternative to divorce. Making it available for TV, film and advertising use is a common route and one that can helpful offset the cost of owning a classic – as well as being enjoyable. At Great Escape Cars we source and supply upwards of 100 classic cars every year for TV, film and advertising work – known in the trade as action and static prop vehicles. One of our contracts is for the BBC’s popular Antiques Road Trip and Celebrity Antiques Road Trip programmes.

Filming is about to commence for 2017 and we’re looking for cars – unusual, stylish or just ordinary, we need them all.

But should you hire your car out for filming? After sourcing classic cars for filming for many years I’ve learnt a few lessons – here’s my advice before you commit.

1. Be Realistic Production companies and advertisers are working to a budget.  It may be a big budget but they know what they need to spend on hiring in a classic car.

2. Accept the Risk At Great Escape Cars we love classic cars.  We’ve got 20 of our own on daily hire.  We are the guardians of your car while it’s with us.  But we don’t have a magic wand – there is always a risk of damage or problems.  A very small risk, but it’s there.  If you make your car available for filming, accept this downside.  If cars are damaged in our care, we’ll fix them. 3. Establish the requirements and your ‘lines in the sand’ at the outset Check how the car is going to be used, how many miles it is likely to cover, who will be driving it, how it will be transported and how it will be insured.  Make clear to whoever you hire to what your rules are – that way, they can follow them. Your car should ideally be transported to/from locations (to keep the mileage down), it should be returned with a full tank and valeted.

4. Check the payment terms Most production companies pay on completion – and often not very quickly.  Clarify when you expect to be paid.

5. Check who will be looking after the car If you are not attending the shoot with your car, find out who is.  Your car should be accompanied at all times by someone who is protecting your interests.

Great Escape Cars has been hiring in hundreds of cars from owners successfully for several years. For the most part owners accept and understand the issues and risks.  Occasionally, where a car is damaged (it’s happened 5 times in 5 years, a ‘hit’ rate of less than 1%), we’ll fix it quickly, without query.  Usually to a better standard than before.  And also very occasionally, things get a little heated. Perhaps that’s inevitable.  From our perspective, Great Escape Cars is not responsible for pre-existing faults or weaknesses, particularly where they cause us problems on location.  We’re also not in the business of funding the improvement of your car through our insurance.  Where we’re both approaching this as an honest, mutually beneficial arrangement, we’ll get on.

For an informal chat about earning money from your classic please call Graham on 01527 893733 or email graham@greatescapecars.co.uk.


Graham Eason www.greatescapecars.co.uk 01527 893733

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