500s ARE THE BEST IN THE BUSI­NESS

Big day, small car: Fiat 500s prove a hit with wed­dings

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Tom Sey­mour ❚ www.fi­at500hire.com

AWorces­ter-based Fiat 500 hire spe­cial­ist has been named the best in the wed­ding hire busi­ness just two years af­ter launch­ing.

Fiat 500 Hire, which was set up in 2015, beat 540 other UK wed­ding ve­hi­cle hire com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing both clas­sic and mod­ern ve­hi­cles, to be named Best Wed­ding Trans­port Sup­plier at the Bride­book.co.uk Wed­ding Awards 2017.

Bride­book, a UK wed­ding plan­ning web­site, at­tracted more than 180,000 votes to de­ter­mine a short­list and the win­ners were then de­cided by the web­site’s panel of judges.

Fiat 500 Hire is owned and run by free­lance mo­tor­ing jour­nal­ist Olivia Gauch, who started her own col­lec­tion two years ago af­ter she found one of the diminu­tive Ital­ian cars for sale just ten miles away from her home.

She now owns two 500s and was in­spired to cre­ate her own hire com­pany af­ter re­spond­ing to an ap­peal by Adrian Flux to pro­vide a ve­hi­cle for James May’s BBC2 pro­gramme Cars of the Peo­ple. This prompted Gauch to build up a net­work of other clas­sic Fiat own­ers in the UK who were pre­pared to of­fer their cars for wed­ding hire.

In the com­pany’s first year, Fiat 500 Hire was booked for three wed­dings, ris­ing to 13 in 2016. Gauch al­ready has 14 wed­dings booked for 2017. Prices start at £240.

Gauch said that part of the rea­son her com­pany was picked as the win­ner was due to her ‘plain and sim­ple’ ap­proach to her busi­ness. She says: ‘The costs can build up quite quickly de­pend­ing on mileage and time lim­its for other com­pa­nies.’

Gauch han­dles the ad­min­is­tra­tion for book­ing hires and then asks her net­work of seven (soon to be eight) 500 own­ers if they can at­tend the wed­ding to act as chauf­feur for the bride and groom. The fleet in­cludes ex­am­ples from the 1960s and 1970s.

Clas­sic cars have long been a pop­u­lar choice for cou­ples look­ing for some­thing dif­fer­ent in a wed­ding car from the usual swathe of mod­ern iden­tikit Ger­man sa­loons. Gauch be­lieves the Ital­ian city car is so pop­u­lar for such events be­cause it brings a smile to your face as soon as you see it.

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