When you hire a van, there are times you only need it for a couple of hours.
Some companies do offer van hire by the hour, but in major towns and cities hourly van hire is increasingly being replaced by a much more flexible and simple service — van sharing clubs.
The idea is that hire vehicles are left dotted around the city, sometimes in allocated parking spaces. Anyone who is a club member can reserve a van online and then use it for as long — or as little — as they want. Charges are low and often start with a one-hour minimum.
You can pickup and dropoff vehicles 24/7, unlike at traditional rental branches
This concept is probably more familiar for self-service car hire users – car sharing clubs have been around for a while now. But its also increasingly popular with vans. A number of the big hire companies now operate their own van sharing club services. Here’s a quick overview:
- Enterprise Car Club – Join the club and you can pick up cars or vans by the hour in towns and cities across the UK. More info at www.enterprise.co.uk/en/car-club.html
- Hertz 24/7 – locations are mainly self-storage facilities, B&Q sites and other similar locations. Very practical for shifting large items such as furniture, DIY supplies or stuff for storage. More info at www.hertz247.co.uk/
- Zipcar & Zipvan – one of the original dedicated car-sharing services, now expanded to offer vans. In the UK, Zipvan operates in London and a handful of other major cities. More info at www.zipvan.com/
- Ubeeqo (Europcar) – at present this self-service car hire club is available for cars only, but I suspect that in time vans will also become available. In the meantime, Europcar has a very large network of UK van hire branches, so there’s sure to be one near you. (More info about Ubeeqo here)
Have you used a car or van sharing club? Do you find it cheaper or more convenient than regular car and van hire? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.