Why buy when you can hire?

Buying a classic car can be the fulfillment of a dream, the chance to at last drive and own a car that you may have lusted after for many years. For many classic car enthusiasts there is no alternative to owning a classic. But for others the reality of owning and running a classic is not quite the dream they expected. Classic cars are inherently unreliable and expensive to maintain. They also tend to cover very few miles every year; we all lead busy lives and sometimes the run of perfect summer’s days to enjoy a classic don’t quite materialise as often as we’d like. If you’re considering buying a classic or already own one and worry about how much use it gets and the cost involved, there may be another way to live your dream. There are now an increasing number of classic car hire companiesaround the world and in the UK particularly that offer a wide range of classic and vintage sports cars for self drive rental. These companies provide high quality classic rental cars on a daily, weekly or weekend basis. There are hundreds of cars available to hire from companies that provide very good coverage across the UK. The choice of cars includes MGs, Triumphs, Jaguars, Jensens, Alfa Romeos – in fact everything from Morris Minors to Aston Martins. Some cars are available to hire from small businesse with three or four cars, other cars are available from much larger fleets. For example, companies like Great Escape Classic Car Hire have large fleets of over 50 cars available to hire from multiple locations. Hiring rather than buying a classic car means that someone else has the hassle of servicing and maintaining the car. They also have the responsibility for storing the car, insuring it and taxing it. The typical cost to maintain a classic car over 12 months is around £250/month, equivalent to at least £3,000 per year. Although hire costs vary by car – from as little as £100 – you will undoubtedly find that even if you hire a classic car for as many days as you need during the year, the price will be significantly less than the storage, maintenance and purchase cost of a classic car. The investment of £3,000 – which excludes the cost of financing the car purchase – would buy, for example, 15 days in a Jensen Interceptor or 20 days in a MGB. Many owners of such cars do not use their cars that often. Based on typical annual mileages of 1,500-2,000 miles a classic car is used around 10-15 days per year. Hiring a classic car from any one of the many classic car hire companies in the UK can be like having your own virtual garage – on demand whenever you want it. If you like lots of different cars and don’t want to be stuck with one, then hiring is a great alternative to buying – you have a massive choice of cars from the 1950s to 1990s available at the click of a mouse. Hiring a classic car also enables you and your partner to explore different parts of the country – without the hassle and uncertainty of having to drive all the way there in a classic car. You can simply choose the location you want to explore, find a local classic car hire provider and collect the keys. And if something goes wrong, you are unlikely to end up with a long journey on the back of a low loader and a ruined break – the classic car hire company will usually repair the car or provide an immediate replacement so that you can continue your journey. Classic cars are an ideal hobby or add an extra dimension to a weekend away. But if you don’t fancy the uncertainty and financial risk involved in buying a classic car, hiring may be a safe and low cost alternative.

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