Five years ago I moved house. It was a busy and chaotic time as we got used to our new environment, sorted out our furniture and settled into a new neighbourhood. My classic car was put in the garage ‘for the time being’ while we sorted everything else out.
Unfortunately ‘for the time being’ turned into five long years. As other priorities came and went I found myself thinking: “next week I’ll get my car out”, but weeks flew by and still I didn’t go into the garage. The inevitable happened: one day I tried to start the car and the engine wouldn’t turn over. It had seized. Several months and many hundreds of pounds later my car came back with a rebuilt engine and I vowed never to let this happen again.
THE BIRTH OF OLDENCARS
I began to wonder how many others find themselves in a similar predicament where their cars fall into various states of disrepair purely through lack of use? I hadn’t intentionally not used my car; life had just got in the way.
In the meantime Airbnb had been launched. This is where people post their houses on a website and allow other people to pay to stay there. This got me thinking: what if we could do the same for classic cars?
Thus was OldenCars born. We connect classic car enthusiasts offering owners a secure way to keep their cars on the road (earning money in the process), while giving drivers a commitment-free way to experience them.
HOW DOES OLDENCARS WORK?
We provide insurance, payment processing and all advertising. Here’s how it works:
|POST YOUR CLASSIC||RENT A CLASSIC|
|Post your car||Become an approved driver|
|It’s quick and easy to create a free posting. Describe your classic, upload a selection of photos and provide your contact details.||Sign up for OldenCars and tell us about yourself. We need to confirm identify and eligibility for you to become an approved driver.|
|Respond to booking requests||Book your classic|
|We’ll notify you when someone submits a booking request for your car. Accept or reject each request as soon as possible.||Search for your dream classic and make a request to book. You should hear back from the owner within few hours.|
|Meet the enthusiast||Pick up the classic|
|Arrange a convenient time and place to meet the enthusiast. Check their licence and booking details. Tell them anything they need to know about driving the car.||Meet the owner and collect the classic. Say hello and ask questions about the classic. Walk around the car to confirm its condition, fuel and mileage. Collect the keys and head out.|
|Earn money from your classic with absolute peace of mind that it’s fully insured. Be happy it’s getting used on the road, not gathering dust in a garage.||Head out on your trip and congratulate yourself on your fantastic decision to pick such an interesting car.|
|Collect your car||Hand back the car|
|Collect your car at the agreed place and time, check its condition and fuel and learn how much the enthusiast loved your car. Submit a review to OldenCars so others can learn about the experience.||Replace the used fuel, meet the owner and hand back the keys. Submit a review to OldenCars so others can learn about the experience.|
OldenCars is more than just person to person classic car hire. We are building a community of enthusiasts and want to get more people into classics.
That said, security is extremely important to us. We check that drivers are who they say they are (checking their driving record with DVLA and ensuring they live at the address on their driving licence). Like Airbnb we operate a peer review system so both owners and drivers can review each other for the benefit of all. If you don’t feel happy with a driver’s previous reviews (or they have none), for instance, you can simply decline their rental request. Owners retain full control over who hires their car.
We also organise insurance for the duration of the rental (so the owner’s policy isn’t affected).
I appreciate this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If you have a highly treasured classic, whatever its book value, I doubt you’d ever want to let anyone else drive it.
But if, like me, you don’t have the time to drive your car enough to keep it in good running order, this could be for you. Or perhaps you have a number of classics in your garage that aren’t so precious to you: this could be a good opportunity to earn money towards their upkeep. Many other classic owners have told me they will use this service to justify keeping their car(s) instead of making the painful decision to sell them.
If you’re interested in OldenCars, it’s easy to join us. Go to www.oldencars.com and sign up. We’ll keep you updated of progress as we help to get classics back on the road.
For more information contact: Anna Mannion at [email protected] or on 07873 124107.