How the wedding car industry reacts to declining demand

How the wedding car industry reacts to declining demand

Has your wedding car business noticed a decrease in demand this year? We can all fly the Brexit flag here, however, are there other factors that could explain why the market feels a little quieter in 2019?

I spoke to Paul Scott, managing director of The Wedding Car Hire People, an agency representing over 120 wedding car businesses across the UK. Many have Wedding Car Insurance with us. Here’s what Paul learnt after speaking to many of his clients about how they are adapting their wedding car businesses to meet the changing requirements of couples and secure more bookings.

Ceremony and reception at one venue

There are more dedicated wedding venues than ever and this is set to increase if the law in England and Wales is changed to allow civil weddings and partnerships outdoors and at home. More couples are choosing to have their ceremony and reception at the same venue. This reflects changing societal attitudes and because it’s a cheaper option. So where does this leave wedding car operators?

Morris Minor Open Top Wedding Car

The couple still requires transport to the venue (unless they are staying the night before) so there is only a requirement for one trip instead of two. Chances are, you will still have to charge the same minimum amount especially if you have an older vehicle. The couple may opt for a friend or relative with a nice luxury car to provide wedding transport. This is where things can get tricky, however, there may be a solution.

Changing the way people think about wedding cars

Did you know before the 1930s, diamonds were rarely used in engagement rings? After discovering mines in the late 19th century, the owners realised the best way to protect their investments was to create an image that depicted diamonds as scarce, valuable and desirable.

They hired an American advert agency to create the now familiar tradition of giving a diamond engagement ring. The campaign gave celebrities of the day diamonds to give to their loved ones. This created a strong link between diamonds and romance and thus the phrase ‘A Diamond Is Forever’ was born.

The success of the diamond engagement ring campaign has endured to this day and is now part of popular culture. As wedding car providers, you also can create demand by shaping the preferences of your customers.

Vanden Plas Wedding Car with Bride

If the couple only requires one journey to the venue, offer them a second trip after the ceremony. This will be one of the most important parts of their partnership, however, the couple rarely gets a chance to enjoy the day because of the typical duties of hosting guests. So a 30-minute ride after the ceremony gives the couple a brief moment to cherish their union in relative privacy before returning to their guests.

Creating demand for the private drive after the ceremony gives couples an incentive to hire and minimises the likelihood of wedding car businesses compromising their minimum fees. Some of our clients already do this and it works, however, we understand it’s not always black and white for all.

It's best to check with your local authority if you require a hire and reward license to deliver these type of journeys.

Expanding covered areas

Some clients of The Wedding Car Hire People have expanded the areas they cover. Owners of classic and older vehicles have to be careful here. Straying too far from base increases the risk. That’s why some clients have swapped their older vehicles for modern kit or replicas.

One client has two Austin Princesses. He replaced the original engines with more reliable modern taxi engines before expanding his reach. Don’t forget to tell your insurer about any new modifications so you remain fully covered.

Austin Princess Wedding Car

Diversify your products and services

Some clients of The Wedding Car Hire People are now offering illuminated love letters and photo booths for hire on top of wedding cars. If you are considering this, ensure you get the right insurance. We offer dedicated photo booth insurance and cover wedding professionals who supply niche props.

Choose venue partnerships wisely

Are you thinking about partnering with a venue or reviewing your existing partnerships? It’s always best to ask venues how much traffic their supplier pages receive each month and what filters they are using (if any) to remove spam or bots from their traffic reports. Setting up Google Analytics alone does not give clean dependable data hence why you have to filter out traffic that does not come from humans.

You may also wish to see where each venue ranks on Google. Use a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tool like SEMrush. It allows you to find out the ranking of any URL quickly and easily. Ask SEMrush for a free trial and use it to gather as much information before it expires.

Or you can open an incognito tab in your browser (also known as private browsing), search for keywords related to your area such as ‘wedding venue Winchester’ and look at what venues rank on page one. Bear in mind this method does not give you an estimation of how times people are typing each query into Google per month.

Most venues charge for promotional partnerships so looking at their Google rankings will greatly help you decide if the cost is worth it.

Measure your traffic from preferred supplier links

It’s quite common for wedding venues to have a preferred suppliers list. Getting onto a list usually requires payment. If you are currently on such a list(s) or are considering this method of marketing, track your traffic using campaign URLs (this the technical name for web links or addresses).

This nifty link helps you accurately track traffic and conversions from different sources. You create them using Google’s Campaign URL Builder. Here’s tutorial on how to build these URLs, it’s easier than it looks. Here’s an example I created earlier.



  • Source: Use the venue’s name
  • Medium: You can use the word ‘venues’ like you would use ‘email’ or ‘social’ for other marketing mediums
  • Campaign: This is whatever you want to call the campaign, it’s best to use underscores to separate words in all fields

Send it to the venue and ask them to use friendly anchor text, this is what website visitors see on the front end of a link. Here’s an example using the above campaign URL.

Traffic from campaign URLs appears in the ‘Campaigns’ report in Google Analytics.

Google Campaign URL Builder

By using campaign URLs, you can easily see how much value each venue linking to your website is bringing to your business. Are you paying a venue that is not delivering? Use the report detailed above as a bargaining chip to negotiate a better deal if required.

Join an agency if you are struggling to rank on search engines

Digital marketing is now a pivotal factor for any business to become successful. Business owners should have a sufficient understanding of how digital marketing works much like other aspects of running a business such as accounting and tax.

It makes sense to seek help with marketing just like you would employ an accountant if required. This is why registering with an agency such as The Wedding Car Hire People (TWCHP) can bring additional benefits.

If you are struggling to rank in the top 5 positions on Google for relevant high demand keywords such as ‘wedding cars Nottingham’, this is where TWCHP can help. They rank in the top 3 on Google for a wide range of wedding car-related searches because of their SEO expertise. Here is a list of their rankings if you would like to know more (correct on the date this article was published).

If you really don’t understand SEO or can’t afford to hire a specialist, register your vehicle(s) with an agency like TWCHP and use their traffic to secure bookings.

Paul Scott and his wife Charlotte from The Wedding Car Hire People

Paul Scott, managing director of The Wedding Car Hire People with his wife Charlotte

With TWCHP, you pay 12.5% commission only on confirmed bookings (minimum £30) and there is no signup or recurring fees. Vehicles are displayed on the site according to customer requirements such as type of vehicle, distance from the pickup address and if they are available on the date selected. There are no premium or enhanced listings so the system gives businesses a level playing field to compete for bookings fairly.

If you are ranking on page one already and so is TWCHP, it still may be worth registering with the agency to increase the visibility of your vehicle(s). Try it out, you can always cancel at any time. You may wish to consider other agencies and compare them with our example above.

Use a dedicated booking system

Everyone expects convenience today. Traditional booking systems such as phone calls and diary checks may no longer meet the expectations of the modern couple who require instant answers. It may be worth using a dedicated booking system.

Instant Quote Booking List

We reviewed a system called Instant Quote. It synchronises with Google Calendar and automatically removes your vehicles from website listings if they are unavailable. Read more about the features of Instant Quote. Get a free trial and try it out. Instant Quote also covers businesses with other products such as props for hire.

Couples are opting to get married in 2020

It’s interesting to hear that many couples are opting to get married in 2020 because it’s an even, round number. I asked different Facebook Groups and many wedding professionals have been told by couples they preferred to postpone their wedding another year for this reason.

Others reported the uncertainty of Brexit as another cause to postpone. Naturally we can’t do anything about this, however, it’s handy to know.

Need insurance for your wedding business? Get a quote online or call 0121 550 2380 - 9 am to 5 pm, Mon to Fri.