Having a wedding transport breakdown? Let us give you a jump start – back-seat driver Zoë Boothby has asked Scottish wedding car and bus suppliers all the right questions
Q: How flexible can you be if a couple finds that they need to change their transportation plans?
A: “Our prices are affected by distance, so as long as the journeys don’t increase dramatically in mileage then we can be totally adaptable re: route changes and stops,” says Samantha Lockhart-Fleming of the Angus-based View from the Slow Lane.
Q: What should a couple expect from a reputable transport company?
A: “It’s important to provide clarity with car options, availability, information and quotation agreed in advance,” says Inverness-based D&E Prestige’s Amy Nicholson. “When a booking is made, we always ensure the couple have a confirmed receipt. Liaising closely with the client in the run-up to the event is paramount to give them confidence. For example, changes to any plans should be picked up on and actioned promptly. Lastly, the company should ensure the wedding car arrival and departure is punctual and pleasant.”
Q: How far in advance should a couple book their wedding transport?
A: “The obvious answer is the sooner, the better,” shares Sam Phipps of Edinburgh’s The Red Bus. “Our fleet is beautiful but small – three double deckers to be exact – so some dates fill up fast. On the other hand, though, some clients have managed to book less than a week ahead, so it’s always worth asking.”
Q: What guidance can you offer to couples in terms of timetabling the day?
“If your vehicle is doing more than one run, don’t forget to account for the time it takes for a return journey,” advises Samantha at View from the Slow Lane. “Plus, always allow extra time when requesting a pick-up as more often than not things take longer than expected with extra photos being taken and getting dresses, flowers and children into vehicles.”
Q: Can couples arrange to have use of the vehicle for the whole day?
A: “Generally, a wedding from the time of collection to the drop-off at reception tends to be about four to five hours of hire, which is usually more than sufficient to get the job done,” says Mike at Star Car Hire. “However, if couples have specific requirements then that can be discussed at the time of booking.”
Q: What contingencies do you have in place should a breakdown occur or you run into bad traffic?
A: “We are proud of our reliability but never complacent,” stresses Sam at The Red Bus. “Maintenance of our vehicles is as thorough as it can be, and goes beyond legal requirements. If the worst did happen, we would provide either another bus or taxis. As for traffic, there is not much we can do about that but we do keep an eye on scheduled roadworks.”
Q: Do you test-run the route prior to the big day?
A: “Yes we do,” reveals Amy Nicholson at Inverness’s D&E Prestige. “Days before the wedding, we drive the route to assess roadworks, diversions and other potential traffic issues to ensure the chauffeur knows the best route to take. After all, we have to get the bride to the venue on time!”
Q: Do you currently require couples to socially distance and/or wear masks?
A: “Currently, our chauffeurs wear masks and gloves and socially distance themselves, so subsequently we don’t allow passengers in the front seat,” Samantha at View from the Slow lane says. “We don’t, however, impose these restrictions on the passengers in the back at the moment.”