Short Wheelbases, Long Wheelbases, Lutons, Minibuses and bespoke Crew Vans. Medium, small, large and very large with tail lift. The list is endless, especially when you bring specification, payload and model into the mix. All the options are making decisions around vehicle type selection and its size quite challenging if not difficult.

Man and van hire

Choosing the wrong size or type of a vehicle can result in huge cost and efficiency implications when it comes to self drive van hire gigs. This article will offer advice to ensure you choose the right vehicle size and the right type to help you avoid making decisions that could end up hurting your planned budget. Following are the top tips for choosing the right vehicle size and type for your self drive van hire job.

Also available as simplified infographic: Sizes and types of vans [infographic]

What are the most common van types and sizes?

Car Derived Van – Small Van Hire

Small Car Derived Van – Typically Transit Connect, Peugeot Partner or Citroen Berlingo. Transit Connect is a small-sized, compact and economical van. Useful for smaller loads and town use.

Short Wheelbase Van – Medium Van Hire

Medium Sized Van – Typically Ford Transit, Volkswagen Transporter or Vauxhall Vivaro. General purpose panel van. Useful for small moves and clearances.

Long Wheelbase Van – Medium/Large Van Hire

Medium to Large Sized Van – Typically Ford Transit, Peugeot Boxer or Renault Master. One of the largest panel vans. Useful for house moves with larger furniture.

Luton Box with Tail Lift – Very Large Van Hire

Very Large Van – Typically Ford Transit Luton, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or Renault Master. One of the largest available vans, with hydraulic tail-lift. Useful for removals and large heavy items.

Crew Van Hire

Medium Van with Extra Seating – Typically Ford Transit, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or Nissan NV300. Van for bands, groups and work crews, with room for equipment.

Minibus Hire

Seating Only Van – Typically Ford Transit, Nissan Interstar or Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Ideal for group outings, day trips or short holidays.

Calculating the size of your self drive van hire

Vehicle dimensions

In order to make the right decision when it comes to the size of your self drive van hire, you will need to consider various dimensions, as well as the overall volume of space in the load carrying area of the van. Size of the items that you need to transport must be carefully considered too.

Dimensions can only be precisely determined once the length, height and width of the largest items has been measured and compared to the size of the load carrying space in the back of the van.

Number of trips should also be taken into consideration, as it might take just one trip using Luton Box van with tail lift  but quite a few trips while using car-derived Transit Connect.

Vehicle payload

Assessing what payload and access to load space is required should be one of the first considerations you make. Mistakes on vehicle payload specification can be costly. If you choose a vehicle that is too small then you risk not being able to complete your task and lose time and money. Choose a van that is too large and you’ll end up paying to transport air, hence wasting your precious funds.

Payload that is not suitable for the selected vehicle will affect fuel efficiency, not to mention that you might be risking serious consequences such as criminal convictions for drivers and companies when a vehicle is overloaded.

What van hire size and type is best suited for your task?

Loading and unloading

Considering the way of loading and unloading your payload is crucial when it comes to making decision on the size and type of the vehicle that you might select for your job. Size of items must be carefully considered. Builders dropping off or picking up tools from a site will probably be fine with a Crew Van that incorporates enough space and seating, and one trip will probably be enough. But if there is a heavier item such as larger wardrobe while moving your flat or apartment, you might consider to increase your budget slightly and invest into a box van with a tail lift that will significantly simplify your work.

Moving flat or house – removals

Moving your house can be stressful experiences. So in order to keep the stress at bay, we recommend to thoroughly plan your house move in advance. When planning your house move, make sure you start by estimating how much stuff have you got and how much space you require in terms of transport.

Also note, that you should make sure the weight of the items you shall be carrying is not excessive. And finally, work out the distance you are expected to be travelling. All the factors above will greatly influence the size and type of vehicle needed.

Construction and builders

Size and number of seats are often at the top of the list when considering van hire for construction and building purposes. It can help narrow your choices immediately, but the type of work should be thoroughly considered. Builders dropping off or picking up tools from a site will probably be just fine with a vehicle that provides enough space and seats such as Crew Van, but transporting heavy payloads will require completely different specification.

Movie production, TV and bands

When looking at van hire for entertainment industry, one should consider not only the type of items being transported but also the distance required. TV production programme will probably require more than one medium to large vehicle to move all the equipment and material back and forth while a band touring the country would be in the market for some extra seats and extra mileage.

Also important to consider

Fuel cost

Most of the van rental companies will provide you with a diesel vehicle, therefore remember to fill up the tank with diesel and not petrol. Accidental filling with the wrong type of fuel would most likely result in heavy excesses charge for recovery.

Fuel prices vary quite dramatically therefore it is recommended to make sure the right budget is ready in place for your journey when it comes to your tank. Use many available calculators online to plan your fuel requirements in relation to the type of vehicle required.

Driving licence

If you’re planning to hire a van either here in the UK or abroad you may need to consider certain criterias and requirements. And while it is mostly straight forward process, It can get quite confusing when it comes to hiring specialist types of vans such as minibuses and box vans with tail lift. Make sure you are entitled to drive your selected vehicle.

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