Despite rising fuel costs, wedding car rental companies have cut their prices following a 40 percent drop in demand for hire vehicles.
According to a survey by the Committee of Wedding Service Industries of China Association of Social Workers, the price of hiring a wedding car dropped by 15 percent this year, even as oil increased to 480 yuan per ton last month.
The survey shows demand for wedding cars has slumped by 40 per cent this year.
He Jing, manager of Xijiaxi Wedding Company, said she has been forced to drop his prices.
A new Lincoln town car, once rented out for 7,000 yuan per day, can now be hired for a maximum 4,000 yuan, she said.
"We used to rent out more than 100 cars in one day last year, but there have been no more than 30 cars requested at a time even during the wedding season this year," she said.
Other cars in the wedding motorcade such as Mazda 6 and Audi A6 are rented out for 50 yuan less than during the first half of this year.
"The market demand for rental cars has been shrinking a lot this year, so we put our business focus on other wedding services such as performance and wedding photography. If customers ask for cars, sometimes we rent them out lower than they really cost," she said.
Shi Yu, deputy general director of the wedding services industry committee, said the market was shrinking because there were more car rental firms and some couples were taking their business to car clubs, which could provide many cars in same model.
"New couples also prefer to have more interesting activities in the wedding ceremony, rather than the pre-wedding motorcade," Shi said.
Li Xiaobei, a 27-year-old HR officer, said that at a recent wedding she attended the couple did not splash out on a motorcade.
"The couple didn't hire any wedding car but their wedding was like a movie in a fancy western restaurant," she said.
"I think it is a great idea to save money on the wedding ceremony. Usually I can remember what they bride and groom did in the wedding rather than what car they drove."
Li said she is unlikely to hire wedding cars when she gets married next year.