Volkswagen Caddy van

Van size guide: Should I hire a small van?

Volkswagen Caddy van

The Volkswagen Caddy is a popular small van. Other choices include Ford Transit Connect and the Citroen Berlingo.

Choosing the right size van is probably the hardest part of hiring a van. If you choose the wrong size, you can end up in a difficult situation.

To help you find the right size van for you, we’ve put together a run-down of the most popular van sizes offered by the van hire companies in our price comparison system. (You can also find a summary of this information with typical load bay dimensions on our van sizes page.)

Small can be beautiful

Today we’re starting with a look at small vans. These popular workhorses are bigger than their name suggests.

But their car-like size means they’re also easy to drive, easy on fuel and easy to fit into car park spaces.

However, these vans generally only have room for two people (driver + passenger) and they’re not big enough for everything! Here’s what will fit and what probably won’t.

Small vans are ideal for: This size of van is great for for boxes and parcels, or perhaps a fridge or washing machine. They’re also good for most garden waste or trips to the tip.

Small vans are also popular with tradesmen who don’t need too much space for tools and equipment.

The main thing to watch out for is that you’ll need to carry something that’s too long or high to fit in the back.

The load-through hatch in the Transit Connect

Some small vans now have hatches allowing you to load longer items through from the back into the front. But I wouldn’t rely on this when hiring a van, as not all models have this feature.

These probably won’t fitThe loadspace in small vans is typically around 1.7m long and perhaps 1.5m wide (less between the wheel arches). Height is restricted to around 1.2m.

So small vans aren’t ideal for things like long lengths of timber, plasterboard, mattresses, wardrobes, sideboards, bed frames or sofas. For this kind of item I’d suggest a larger van.

Next up: We’ll take a look at medium vans, a.k.a. Transit vans!