Europcar is one of a handful of big hire companies which offer hourly van hire in the UK (another is Hertz).
This service is very popular with customers, but is harder for hire companies to operate profitably — hence its limited availability.
Hourly hire comes into its own for short distance moves in towns and cities.
Picking up large furniture or DIY purchases is a good example. To try and capture some of this market and presumably trial a new service, Europcar is making two VW Crafter vans available at the Lincoln branch of Wickes this Easter weekend.
Europcar’s research shows that nearly 20% of 35-44 year olds have admitted to driving an overloaded car. This is surprisingly easy to do when purchasing DIY supplies, given the weight of quite small items. A standard bags of gravel, sand or cement weighs 25kg. Tiles and paving are also very heavy for their size.
The vans will be available for just £17 per hour, according to Europcar UK boss Ken McCall. Commenting on the Wickes initiative, Mr McCall said:
“An overloaded car presents visibility issues and could compromise vehicle handling, not to mention being uncomfortable and probably requiring multiple journeys.“
If you are planning a big DIY job or house move this weekend and will be hiring a van, Europcar has also provided the following tips to help make sure that you and your load arrive safely at their destination.
Remember to distribute cargo evenly to ensure the van handles correctly
- Load the largest, heaviest items first such as appliances or furniture and keep them upright
- Use padding to protect corners or wooden surfaces – this will help you slide heavier items into the van
- Use spare mattress protectors to cover sofas and mattresses and place them on their sides against the walls of the van to save space
- Dis-assemble bed frames, tables and desks but making sure you tape the pieces together
- Roll-up rugs and carpets and tape these at each end and in the middle and place these on the bottom on the van
- Put heavy boxes at the bottom then stack the lighter boxes on top
- Slide long items such as floor lamps in along the sides of the van
- Place odd-shaped items on the top of your load if they are light enough or place them last in the van ensuring that they don’t move around when being transported
- Pack all items as tightly as you can to prevent anything breaking whilst on the move