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Milk Float Hire Pros and Cons

By Gary Parker on Oct 10, 2022 4:30:21 PM


12 min read
White Milk Float Pandora giveaway pink jumpsuits

 

 

 

Once a classic British staple, the electric Milk Float was introduced as a means of quietly transporting milk to people’s homes, in the early hours of the morning.

After the deregulation of the Dairy industry, processes were developed to extend milk’s shelf life and it became easier to buy at the supermarket. As a result the milkman and our beloved Milk Floats began to disappear.

But they weren’t forgotten, many of us remember these iconic vehicles and seeing one is quite the nostalgia trip.

This nostalgia is something that many companies are beginning to capitalise on, using the Milk Float as a handy platform to display products and as an icebreaker to help engage with customers.

The Milk Float is very British, fondly remembered and likely to draw a crowd, but does that make it the right vehicle for you?

In this article, we break down the pros and cons of milk float hire, enabling you to find a best fit vehicle.

 

Legacy

This vehicle is a pioneer; electric before Tesla made it cool. Carried in the hearts and minds of British citizens, the Milk Float remains an iconic symbol of innovation and forward thinking.

Pros

It’s very hard to combine the words ‘electric’ and ‘vintage’ and find a vehicle that is not only widely known, but also widely loved. This vehicle then, is exactly that, innovation from the past, experimentation ahead of its time, a classic British symbol that everyone remembers.

As a result the Milk Float is a great companion for campaigns themed around innovation and British culture. It’s also a great partner for brands looking to remind customers of who they are and how they changed the game in their own industries.

Black Milk FLoat Kraken Rum Dude

If your campaign is in anyway associated with dairy or other milk like substances, this vehicle is an obvious choice, as you can play into the vehicles history, but make it your own for your campaign purposes.

Functionally, the Milk Float works well for drinks in general, and we've re-appropriated it many times for drink and beverage companies.

As an electric vehicle, the Milk Float is of course ideal for greener or sustainability based campaigns.

Cons

The Dairy industry was deregulated in the UK in 1994, encouraging supermarkets to start stocking milk in-house. Consequently by the early 2000s it became rarer and rarer to see milk floats on the street or have milk delivered to your door.

This means that people born closer to 2010 are less likely to have seen Milk Floats before than people born closer to 1990, so you should think about your target audience carefully.

That being said, as a vintage vehicle, Milk Floats do stand out on styling alone and are likely to draw a crowd.

 

Size

Milk Floats aren’t large vehicles, but they are very well designed for product storage and distribution, ideal for a busy event.

Pros

Black Budweiser Milk FloatThis vehicle is very good at doing what it was made for: loading and unloading product.

You can store a large amount of product efficiently in a relatively small space, reducing your dependency on support vehicles and boosting your capacity to hand out samples or vend on extended activation days.

The height of the truck bed or ‘float’ on this vehicle is ideally positioned for easy vending or sampling.

Blue Milk Float Zapp

It also sits at an optimal viewing angle for customers, with it being quite easy for us to tier your display further, so it can be seen from greater distances.

Cons

While it certainly is one of the most efficient sampling vehicles we offer, it does have limitations.

You can’t stand in the back and the only seats are in the cab, making customer engagement inside the vehicle somewhat limited in it's standard form. 

A good alternative if you want to keep things small but engage inside, would be our VW Campers, or if you are willing to go slightly larger, our vintage Airstreams.

While this vehicle can be used for light catering setups, it is less efficient than similar sized vehicles, such as the Citroën H-Van, Renault Estafette or VW Pop-Up Camper.

 

Customisability

Milk Floats might be relatively small, but they are very modular, allowing you to use the space as you see fit.

Pros

Our Milk Floats can be used flexibly, if product display is your primary concern, we can strip the vehicle back so it remains open sided, allowing your internal display to be viewable from all sides, whether mobile or stationary.

Pink and Yellow Milk Float Selfridges flowers

If largescale branding is important to you, we can add side panels to maximise your impact.

The Milk Float’s bed is basically a large blank canvas, so we can build out any kind of display you might want.

For example if you are really keen on being able to stand in the rear of the vehicle, it is possible for us to alter it, we've even made it two stories high in the past! 

We created this double decker float (left) for Selfridges. It even had a DJ booth up top!

White Milk Float The FloatCons

This vehicle isn’t designed to be vended from, as you can’t enter the rear. However you can vend from outside, and we can even add external counters if you would like a more traditional shop like setup.

 

Logistics

This vehicle is included in our full logistics package. This includes a professional driver, route mapping and of course transporting your vehicle to and from each venue for each activation day.

ProsBlue Electric Milk Float Zapp

This vehicle is drivable around your locations of choice, providing the perfect moving platform for photo ops and general customer engagement.

As an electric vehicle the Milk Float is exempt from any pollution related tolls, including the Congestion Charge, Low Emission Zones, and Ultra Low Emission Zones.

Cons

The Milk float is slow, usually travelling at about 15 mph and has a range of just 25 miles. This is why we transport the vehicle for you over any significant distances.

If you want a faster electric option with intercity range, take a look at our modern Maxus Vans.

 

Cost

The Milk Float is priced at £5,620 for a one day event, including wrapping and logistics. Internal modifications to this vehicle tend to start around £2000, but can exceed £10,000 if you are looking at large-scale changes.

Pros

The Milk Float is one of our most affordable small vehicles, and definitely offers the most usable space for product sampling.

It’s about £500 - £1000 less than many similarly sized vehicles such as Citroën H-Vans and Ice Cream Vans, and offers a more efficient product storage and sampling space.

This vehicle is the cheapest British classic in the fleet, so if nostalgia is a concern and your budget is tight, the Milk Float is a great option.

Cons

If a vending type catering setup is a must the Renault Estafette is only about £150 more. The Piaggio Ape is slightly smaller, but significantly cheaper at £3,390 and works well for Barista setups.

Neither can store as much product as a Milk Float but might be a better fit if light catering is of prime concern.

 

What are my next steps?

If you are interested in one of our Milk Floats feel free to navigate to our Budget Calculator, where you can ballpark the cost of an electric Milk Float based campaign.

We also recommend using our Costs and Services Guide, for a more specific explanation of all our services and how much that might add to your final bill.

Gary Parker

Written by Gary Parker

Director of Promohire, with over 10 years' experience of helping customers find the perfect vehicle for their brand activations, product launch campaigns, PR stunts and more.

Gary is also instrumental in our vehicle fit-out and build projects, drawing on his extensive knowledge to advise on interiors and implementing power solutions.