Are all wedding cars equal?
No! Some are legal operators, others are backyard operators! To guarantee your safety, the quality of service and a trouble-free wedding only use legal operators.
The lowdown is that if you’re paying for wedding transport then the vehicle is deemed to be a Private Hire vehicle and the driver/operator must adhere to all NZTA laws and regulations applying to Private Hire vehicles. To be legal your driver, vehicle and operator must meet the following NZTA regulations:
The Driver:The NZTA sets high standards for drivers of passenger vehicles. They must hold a current P endorsement, indicating that they have passed a professional driver’s course and driving test, passed a police check and an extensive medical examination. They must display an NZTA driver photo ID card on the front dashboard area where it can be easily seen.
The Vehicle.The vehicle(s) must have a current Certificate of Fitness (not a Warrant of Fitness) which ensures that it meets a higher standard of safety.
The Company.The Company operating the vehicle(s) must have a Passenger Service Licence, displayed on the left side of the vehicle’s windscreen. A PSL ensures the company has passed an examination on the applicable laws and regulations, along with a Police check. If you’re paying for a wedding car that doesn’t meet NZTA’s legal requirements, your driver is breaking a number of laws and is liable for substantial fines.
While there’s no requirement for companies to display their Transport Services Licence either on their premises or on their website, a good operator will indeed have these on display. It’s advisable that couples ask for proof of the TSL, COF and the driver’s P endorsement.
Remember: a company or driver not operating within the above boundaries is not going to have any public liability insurance – in the event of an accident, you’d have to rely purely on ACC. And a police roadside check would spell disaster –the car could immediately be impounded, leaving you minus wheels on the most important day of your life!
Many couples borrow a trendy Kombi or flash Maserati from a mate for free or a tank of petrol, but the mate often insists on driving. If there’s payment involved (reward or gain – whether it’s a free meal or hard cold cash) and he’s not fully legal, he will be fined AND have the vehicle confiscated for a very lengthy period of time! So, you can use a mate’s tractor or Uncle Peter’s prized Ferrari … but there must be no “reward or gain” involved whatsoever! Something as simple as filling the car with petrol is a “gain” when it comes to the letter of the law!
Seek out fully qualified operators and fully qualified drivers to ensure you are hiring safe vehicles with safe and professional drivers. The real pros are not only fully legal, but will take care of those little things – a brolly on a wet day, bubbly and water in the car, a towel to wipe sweaty palms, a cloth to clean muddy shoes … the little things that add quality to your day.
By supporting those who go to the lengths required to operate legally, you’ll be gaining a more valuable service … and no doubt you’ll be and feel much safer! ♥
Written with assistance from Roger at Pallas Cars.