Today I’m going to answer some of the most common questions we get about hiring a van.
- Do I need to drive differently to in a car?
- What are the speed limits for vans?
- Is there a limit on how many miles I can do?
- Do I need to return the van with a full fuel tank?
Driving a van
If it’s your first time, check out our guide to driving a van.
Actually operating the van is easy — the steering wheel and gears and other controls are just the same as those of a car.
What’s different is the size and weight of the vehicle, especially when it’s loaded. As a general rule, you should brake and corner much more gently than with a car. Remember that the van may be much wider than a car.
If the back of your van contains the contents of your flat, then chucking it around like Lewis Hamilton is likely to damage your stuff.
Another problem is height. Medium or large vans are usually too tall to fit under car park height barriers. Don’t be the person who gets this wrong, as your insurance probably won’t cover damage to the roof.
The other big thing to remember is that there’s no rear view mirror. You need to make sure your van’s wing mirrors are adjusted so you can clearly down each side of the van. Use these a lot!
Van speed limits are different to those for cars!
These speed limits apply to virtually all vans, including small models like the Ford Transit Connect and Citroen Berlingo. I’ve highlighted where the speed limits are different to those for cars:
- Motorways: 70mph
- –> Dual carriageways: 60mph
- –> Single carriageways: 50mph
- Built-up areas: 30mph
Many hire companies rent their vans with no mileage limits. You can do as many miles as you want.
But some companies do have limits, and ignoring them can be costly. One common approach is a maximum number of miles per day, after which you will be charged an additional rate per mile. This can be costly, so check before you book.
Fuel policy varies between companies, but the usual setup is that the vehicle will come with a full tank of fuel, and you have to return it with a full tank of fuel.
If the tank isn’t full when you return the van, you’ll be charged a refuelling charge per litre that’s more than the local pump price.
Some of the big companies will allow you to pre-purchase a tank of fuel when you pickup the vehicle, so you don’t need to refill it when you return the vehicle. If you do this, make sure you will use enough fuel to make it worth the extra cost.
Finally, most hire vans are diesel. But there are a few small vans with petrol engines, so if you’re not sure, check. There’s usually a label on the filler cap reminding you of the right fuel to use.
If you do put the wrong fuel in, don’t start the engine or even put the key in the ignition. Ring for the assistance number provided by the hire company immediately.