When things go wrong we try to get it right

Sometimes, but not often, our classic cars misbehave. Whatever amounts of love and pound notes you expend on them, old cars can be relied upon to occasionally let you down. So there are two lessons I’ve learned in classic car hire – it’s not if it happens but when. And not what happens but how you sort it out. And so it was this weekend for one customer. After attending one of our driving day rallies he decided to have a weekend in our red E Type 4.2 coupe. All went well until the alternator gave up in Wales. Fortunately we have nationwide breakdown cover on all of our cars – not just within a limited radius of our sites, like some classic car hire companies – so we were able to get a mechanic on scene as quickly as possible. We then authorised a replacement battery so that our customer could get back to our site, an extra cost to us – our priority was to minimise inconvenience to our customer. Back at the unit we had a replacement E Type convertible – also red – prepared and ready for the customer. This is one advantage of having a large hire fleet as we can generally provide another similar car in the event of problems. The following morning the car proved a little sluggish to start – it is easy to flood a v12 Jaguar and harder to restart it once it happens – so we headed out early to assist, getting it going quickly. In 6 years of classic car hire I can’t remember a customer ever having two successive failures in one hire but that is exactly what happened next. In the picturesque Cotswolds village of Bourton on the Water the E Type’s clutch slave cylinder gave up. This, along with the earlier alternator failure, is the sort of thing that you just can’t predict. Such parts don’t wear out, they stop working without warning. Very bad luck. Fortunately we had another E Type immediately available – new to the fleet and just back from hire. We also have a full truck and trailer rig, which means we can help customers quickly – if we can attend faster than the breakdown service we will, usually with a spare car. Most days our qualified mechanic is also available to attend and fix the car. We loaded the new E Type and reached Bourton just 75 minutes after the customer called. Bourton was a useful place to break down as there is plenty to see. He was quickly on his way with the new car and was able to finish his hire. I hate it when cars go wrong and customers are inconvenienced. But it is always a risk with old cars. Fortunately in this severe instance our systems, experience and resources came good. But this isn’t really about that. I am most grateful to the customer who was patient, reasonable and understanding. All of which makes it far easier to help. For more details on our fleet call 01527 893733 or visit http://www.greatescapecars.co.uk

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