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Promotional vehicle problems: Everything that can go wrong and how we fix it

By Gary Parker on Aug 5, 2022 10:22:01 AM

7 min read
Orange and white pop up camper trailer

Promotional vehicle campaigns have a lot of moving parts (pun intended), and lets face it, things can and do occasionally go wrong. But that doesn’t mean your campaign has to grind to a halt, your on your own, or that you are going to end up paying more money.

At Promohire problem solving is part and parcel; we deal with problems every day in one form or another, and finding a way to make it all work is just what we do.

In this article we are going to delve into all the typical problems encountered whilst supporting clients during a promotional vehicle campaign, and how we solve them.

We will divide these problems into venue and vehicle related issues, the two biggest problem umbrellas we deal with.


Vehicle problems

Vehicle problems typically crop up during the design or transport phase of our relationship with a client.


There are usually a number of small problems that we solve on any promotional vehicle build. Many of these are related to the initial design submitted by a client, something to be expected as few are going to have worked with vehicle templates before.

A typical error might just be placing a logo too high – it might look fine on a template, but on the actual vehicle that logo may end up going onto the roof or spreading across a window or other undesirable places.

That’s why we have a team of design specialists ready to give helpful advice and pointers to assist with the often finnicky process of mapping a 2D design onto a 3D structure. We are extremely experienced in brand colour and guideline based design, and will put that expertise to work in bringing your ideas to life.

Prop practicality can also be an issue. For example if you want to mount a large object to the roof, we may have to make it removable in order to transport the vehicle safely on the road.

If that is not possible, then we may need to transport the vehicle from location to location to avoid damage. This might be recommended to you, if you wanted to cover the vehicle in flowers for example.

The inhouse advantage High quality blue vehicle wrap

As an inhouse service we can fully manage any problems that occur as part of our quality control process. We test print designs for example, to make sure they conform with design intent and actually fit practically to the vehicle – something that a standalone company cannot do.

If you use multiple services, then you might have separate printing, wrapping and vehicle supply services.

This means that the first time your design gets tested, is the first time your wrapping service tries to apply it to your vehicle. If you have leased the vehicle from another independent company and there is a mistake, you will now have to manage three lines of communication to find the issue.

Was the wrapping service at fault? Or did the vehicle supplier misquote the vehicle dimensions? Did the print company mismanage print production? Or did your graphical design team change something they shouldn’t have?

Fingers get pointed, you waste your time and your vehicle doesn’t get wrapped. It’s a real headache that you just don’t need to deal with.

Route planningPromotional vehicle route planning

Just getting to the venue is a problem in itself, and not one as simple as plugging locations into Google Maps. All of our vehicles are unique and come with their own set of limitations.

Older vehicles have limited range and many are just plain slow, whilst others are simply too large or unwieldy to navigate narrow roads. Whatever the situation we plan it all out in advance, as part of our logistics packages.

Whilst we do monitor traffic and road maintenance updates, we can’t predict incidents that cause traffic and congestion, as sometimes occurs on the way to a venue. In such circumstances we trust in the skill and experience of our drivers to find an alternative route to make it to your event on time.

Traffic is just one of those logistical problems that never goes away, so we try to build in extra time to avoid it affecting arrival times.


We have a very unique collection of vehicles, many of them vintage examples dating as far back as the 1950s. As a result, a lot of experience, care and knowledge is needed in order to drive and maintain them in good working order.

This is why we always insist on sending a dedicated driver with you for almost every one of our current fleet options.

Despite this problems do still occur and vehicles occasionally break down. If this does happen we will fix your vehicle and have you back on the road as soon as possible. If you are close to an activation, we may opt to simply transport the vehicle on a dedicated loader, direct to your event.

In this case we would repair the vehicle after your event, or between events, depending on how many venues you are visiting. It goes without saying but, we will cover any expense associated with such inconvenience, it is all covered by our logistics service.


Venue problems

Many of our most frequently encountered issues happen at venues, There are a lot of logistical concerns that can easily be overlooked. If you opted for campaign support we squash as many of these as possible prior to arrival, liaising with councils, site management or anyone else involved in administrating the use of promotional vehicles at a venue.

However, despite preparing in accordance with the information we are given, there are sometimes one or two logistical problems to sort out on the day.

Promotional vehicle parking blue food truckParking

Parking is a good example, and one where we have to sometimes fight on a clients behalf. Usually, an in situ location is discussed and agreed upon ahead of time, but sometimes that changes on the day, and you can find yourself pushed into unreasonable corners.

A venue might make odd requests such as to park your vehicle in too tight a spot, or in a location obscured by clutter such as a bike rack or bins. In these instances, you can trust our event managers to fight on your behalf and find you a practical spot to run your activation smoothly.


Access times are critical information, if you don’t turn up at the right time, you won’t be allowed in to a venue. They are also often spread between unsociable hours, something to factor in with setup and take down of your display.

This is why we will always ask for this information upfront, so we can arrive on time and prep your vehicle for the day ahead. If your venue has particularly early or late access times factor that into your final bill, as it will cost more in terms of the additional hours worked by support staff.

Powerpromotional vehicle power requirements food truck

Power can present a whole host of problems that in an ideal world we try to solve long before we ever arrive at a venue. There are a variety of ways you can power a promotional vehicle, but the one you use will typically rely most on what is allowed by the venue.

We ask you to provide this information upfront, as in many cases clients will have decided on or even booked a venue before contacting us. We recommend reading our power guide before talking to venues as there are a number of factors to know that can affect the entire design of a vehicle.

It really is important to be aware of this because if you provide us with the wrong information, your finished vehicle might not comply with the venues power regulations. This would result in us having to retrofit your vehicle last minute, which is expensive, up to £2000 in some cases.

If you opt for our campaign support in your package with us we will take care of all these sorts of worries as part of our service.


What are my next steps?

Now that you have a better understanding of the problems that may occur during a promotional vehicle campaign, you may want to start thinking about how much it all costs. If that’s the case head on over to our handy budget calculator, ideal if you want to quickly ballpark your expenses. For more detailed information check out our cost and services explained article.

If you’re happy on price, it’s time to start thinking design, head on over to our design guide.

Everything in order? Why not double check with our promotional vehicle hire checklist, or contact us today.





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.