Get your classic (or modern) topping up your wallet rather than draining it!
We all like to think our classic cars are appreciating into a nice little nest egg and indeed some are. In reality though for most of us when we add up all their costs, we may be doing well to get our money back come sale time. Putting an underused classic to work, getting it to cover its bills and maybe even making a bit of money on top might not be so far-fetched. RentAClassic has been hiring out self drive classic sports and convertible cars since 2012 from bases in Nelson and Christchurch. Growing demand from domestic and international clients after something different, means we are looking to grow our bases and fleet, with the majority of our vehicles provided by private owners.
How does it work?
You keep ownership of your classic and maintenance costs, making it available for hire through us. RentAClassic takes all the advertising and customer liaison costs, and we share hire income and insurance costs. Your car would need to be re-registered as a rental car, pass 6 monthly Certificate of Fitness tests and be subject to a leasing agreement in order to meet NZTA requirements.
What cars are we looking for?
Our niche is classic and modern sports and/or convertibles, including sporting luxury saloons, ranging from the 1960s right through to present day. If you’ve got any of those below, we reckon someone will want to hire them, as classics to us need to have both character and a wide appeal to domestic and tourist markets. Bias is to European models, but all must be right hand drive. We have high standards for our cars and our customers. Key requirements are cars are in very good condition cosmetically and mechanically, are very well maintained, reliable, (they might go long distances), and readily available in a New Zealand city, (we’re always considering new bases). Premium brands like Porsche, Jaguar, Mercedes and BMW and/or model with wide appeal and a strong ‘something special’ iconic or fun image. Too quirky, (sorry Citroen fans), too ordinary, (family saloons), or too old (older than mid 1960s), probably won’t have demand.
What are the risks?
It’s not for you if you have a strong emotional attachment to your car, you’re uncomfortable about how strangers might use it, you want to impose lots of conditions e.g. restrict mileage, times of year, or you couldn’t afford to lose it if the worst happened i.e. a major accident, (although we insure for market value on a specialist rental policy, with no under 25s). Paying for a premium experience, our customers tend to treat the cars very well, many of them being car enthusiasts themselves. In over 600 hire days to date we have only made one claim on insurance excess, though unseen mechanical wear and third party damage is of course possible.
What could I earn?
The more reliable and popular your vehicle is, the better you’ll do. As a guideline, all owners to date are seeing an annual income averaging between 5% – 25% of the value of their car. And our customers love us – so far, we’re 5 star on TripAdvisor for both our bases.
Will my car be looked after / how do you limit the risks?
We can make no guarantees on accidental damage or hirers driving standard, however they must be between 25 & 80, with no smoking, animals, time trials or unsealed roads. We personally familiarise customers and provide documentation on your cars operation, e.g. fuel grade. Cars are inspected before and after with up to $5K insurance excess bonds, and a minimum of $500. As of May 2019, in 6 years of operation, 650+ days hired, 60,000+ km driven, and 150+ customers, we’ve only had to ask 1 to pay on any excess, so yes they do look after them, with premium pricing encouraging that.
Financially will it be worth it?
That depends – the best combination is a car that’s both reliable and popular! Some hires may cover long distances which may increase wear and tear, and if your car ‘fails to proceed’ you may be liable for recovery costs. In terms of demand, some cars e.g. Alfa 156 & Jaguar XK8 convertible, interestingly our cheapest and most expensive respectively, average nearly 30 days pa. Those under 10 days pa tend to drop off. Those remaining earn for their owners between 5% and 25% of their insured value per year.
What am I responsible for?
Ensuring the car is regularly maintained and presented to a high, safe standard in all respects, and 100% of the costs of doing so. The car should always have a valid CoF, Rego and be available for hire unless you specifically advise dates otherwise. We share responsibility getting it to/from our bases.
What say do I have in things?
You can set the Day 1 starting price and availability, which will obviously affect uptake. You can’t choose who hires out or limit their mileage, or alter our sliding discount pricing for days after Day 1.
What about the legalities?
You have to convert your car to rental car status with NZTA (@$60), sign a 6 monthly leasing agreement, (you keep the car but this allows us to hire your car out under our rental licence), pass a CoF instead of a WoF, (not really very different), and pay a percentage of our specialist business insurance cover, currently 75%, meaning you don’t need your own insurance. We pay 50% of your CoF & Rego, and you get 50% of the hire income your car earns.
In Summary Multiple private owners currently hire out nearly $100,000 worth of cars, and all have been with us over 4 years. Check yourself against the table below, and if interested in finding out more, email me Stephen Tanner, Owner at [email protected] We’d love to have you on board!
|Hire out your car if you...||Don't hire out your car if...|
| want the potential to cover the cost of owning, running and improving your classic|| You’re worried about stone chips, marks etc|
| own a classic you don’t use very much but don’t want to sell|| You don’t want ‘rental car’ on NZTA history|
| want a small annual income from your car|| You do not like the idea of other people driving it|
| do not use your car very much and will not miss your car while it is available for and out on hire|| You will worry about it while it is on hire|
| your car is not a prized, highly valued, or concours car|| You don’t like the possibility that others may not treat it as you would.|
| are willing to let others that you do not know drive your car|| You want to limit potential mileage driven well below insurance level of 10,000km annually|
| like the idea of others enjoying your car|| It is in generally poor condition, unreliable or needs mechanical work|
| don’t mind it being used in all weathers or long trips|| You’re still very emotionally attached!|