THE prospect of running a limo hire firm probably makes you picture chaperoning Hollywood celebrities and wealthy businesspeople to glitzy parties.
However, there’s really much more than that to this line of work, which is likelier to see you hiring out limos for weddings, proms, graduations and similar events for members of the ‘hoi polloi’.
A career running a limo hire firm still promises to be a lot of fun, though – especially as there tends to be a steady stream of demand for limo hire services. Nonetheless, you should ask yourself various crucial questions before you squeeze yourself or anyone else onto that squeaky leather seating.
You could start with these questions…
Can I afford the best limos?
We need to be careful how exactly we define “best” here. You should, where your budget allows, shell out for limos that are the most immaculate and genuine article, rather than those that simply give the impression of being so due to shiny bodywork, mirrored ceilings and the like.
No matter how good a second-hand limo looks, if it has already covered 250,000 miles, it could be nearing a breakdown – and you won’t ideally want that to happen while your customers are using it.
Should I disregard the second-hand limo market altogether?
Not necessarily. Although purchasing a limo new will probably be preferable in most circumstances, the particular market that you are looking to serve – like, say, airport runs or stag parties – might not warrant going that far.
Besides, it’s no secret that the value of the UK currency has taken a battering in recent years. That’s only added even more pounds to the already hefty expense of buying limousines manufactured abroad.
What insurance will I need for my limos?
Like other cars, limos are legally required to be insured if they are to be taken onto UK roads. Nonetheless, the limo insurance market can occasionally feel like something of a minefield.
Limos are high-end, high-spec vehicles practically by definition, and can therefore be relatively costly to insure. Moreover, the policy that you do choose needs to cover the right bases.
Fortunately, it’s not necessarily hard to find a wealth of online advice about limo insurance and the insurance implications if your limo is to be your business rather than simply for personal use.
How much will I need to pay in running costs?
It’s hard to discern a definite answer to this question, as your workload will be a major factor. However, in a piece by thechauffeur.com, 10% is cited as a baseline figure for how much of your firm’s revenue you can realistically anticipate spending on fuel and maintenance.
Will I be able to handle the workload?
Remember that somewhat mythical high-profile clientele mentioned earlier? You probably won’t spend much time hobnobbing with them – even if, as is likely, you do most of your business’s limo driving yourself initially.
After all, as demand for your limo hire services grows, you could find yourself offloading much of that driving work to employees while you turn your attention to expansion. As this LinkedIn article warns, you could find yourself frequently working late and on weekends, and taking bookings during your grocery shopping.
Running a limo hire business, then, can be immensely rewarding, but it’s also crucial to be mindful of the potential pitfalls. Provide satisfactory answers to all of the above questions, and it’s likelier that your own decision to move into this intriguing and in-demand sector will prove to be the right one.