A Guide to: Van Hire
Whether you’re moving house or transporting some of your belongings to a storage facility; hiring a van will be much more cost effective than cramming as much as you can into your car, and those of your friends and family should they be gracious enough to help, and making several trips. In this guide we talk you through what steps you should take when hiring a van.
What you need to know before you hire a van?
- You need a standard UK driving licence for driving vehicles under 3.5 tonnes. Vans are usually manual so you need a proper licence that doesn't limit you to drive only vehicles with automatic transmission.
- The minimum age required to hire a van is 23 years of age. If you are above 25 years old you will be allowed to drive larger vans.
- Vans hired come with insurance in their hire price but beware of the excess. It usually is £1,000 so in case if anything happens to the van you will have to pay this amount out of your pocket.
How much stuff do you need to move?
Before you do anything make sure you work out how much you need to move and roughly what size of van you’ll need. This might sound like stating the obvious but overlooking this task could end up with you hiring a van that’s much too big or too small for the job in hand. In both cases you’ll end up paying more than if you plan in advance the size of van you’ll need. If you’re moving particularly heavy items then a van with a tailgate lift will ease the strain of loading and unloading.
Compare what’s out there
Once you’ve worked out what size van you’ll need, the next step is to compare deals like for like. Looking at comparison websites is the best way to do this. Also look out for any previous customer feedback to give you an idea of which companies are reputable and offer the best value for money.
While searching around in addition to looking at hire costs, work out how many miles you’ll need to cover as most companies charge for mileage after a fixed allowance. If you’re unsure then go for a company that offers unlimited mileage. Don’t forget to ask about special offers as some companies will do a weekend deal that will save you money and avoid the stress of having to get everything done in a 24 hour period.
When choosing a hire company opt for the ones that have full insurance included in the price, but make sure you ask about any excesses that might apply. Also make sure you get breakdown cover on your hire van.
Check the van thoroughly
Once you’ve made your choice and settled on a van; before setting off check it inside and out. Look for any damage – scratches, dents etc. – and confirm with an employee they are aware of the situation as you don’t want to be held responsible for the damage and charged for the repairs. Also verify with an employee what you should do in the event the van breaks down or you have an accident.
Returning the van
When returning a hire van ensure you return it exactly as it was when you hired it. This includes returning it on time – dropping it off late can result in extra charges – and bringing it back with the right amount of fuel.
Check your bank statement just in case additional charges were added to you hire. If you notice a discrepancy, take it up with the hire company right away.
Van Driving Tips:
- A van is bigger than the average car so you need to be aware of the size of the vehicle you’re in at all times.
- Vans are also longer than cars so make extra allowances when manoeuvring in tight spaces or reversing
- If you are carrying a particularly heavy load, reduce your travelling speed as you’ll take much longer to slow down or stop.
- Leave a bigger gap between you and the vehicle in front than you would if you were driving a car
- Be aware of any blind spots around the van and take extra care when changing lanes or overtaking; and be watchful for pedestrians and cyclists
- If you’ve hired a particularly large van watch out for any low bridges, overhanging trees and wires