Category Archives: Van hire faq

Ford Transit hire van

Why van hire price comparison could save you money

Ford Transit hire van

If you want to save money on van hire, then you need to know that van hire prices change a lot.

Many of the companies listed on change their rates on a daily basis! There’s often a surprising difference between companies as well. Factors such as the time of year and the level of demand from big corporate customers can have a big effect on prices.

To find the cheapest prices, you’ll need to compare prices across a range of suppliers. And you’d probably prefer to do this on a single website. That’s what we aim to do. logo

How we compare prices

To help you find the cheapest rates, we get live prices from as many companies as possible every time you search.

Our price comparison system has been developed by our developers in house. We’re not owned by any van hire company and are 100% independent.

We don’t add anything on to the prices you see, which should be the same as you’d get on the hire companies’ own websites.

All of our results are listed strictly in price order. No one can ‘buy’ the top spot

Van hire price comparison results on

How you make a booking

We are strictly a comparison website. We don’t rent vans ourselves and we’re not a broker.

After you choose a van to hire, you’re transferred to the website of your chosen hire company. You’ll see a page like this when you leave our site: exit page

Your booking will be made directly with the hire company you choose. We don’t collect your personal details and we don’t handle any bookings or payments.

What if there’s a problem?

One advantage of booking direct is that if you have any questions or problems, you can contact the rental company as a direct customer. You don’t have to deal with a middleman who might try to fob you off.

Although there are lots of other websites which compare car hire, there are hardly any in the UK which offer genuine van hire comparison except us!

Thank you

We have been in business for nearly 11 years, thanks to the support of people like you. We believe our service is still the best and the most transparent you will find.

If you have any comments, questions or concerns about, we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch and we’ll do our best to help:

Finally – if you run a van hire company and you’d like to appear in our results (even if live pricing isn’t possible) then check out our advertising options here or get in touch.

Filling up a van - petrol or diesel?

Are hire vans petrol or diesel?

Filling up a van - petrol or diesel?

Should you be putting petrol or diesel in your hire van?

Diesel has got a lot of bad press over the last year. If you’ve been following the latest new car sales data, you’ll know that 220,000 fewer diesel cars were sold in 2017 than in 2016.

In fact, falling sales of diesel cars accounted for the entire reduction in new car sales last year.

So if you’re driving a new car — or even hiring one — it’s increasingly likely to be a petrol model.

Are hire vans petrol or diesel?

Although van manufacturers are now starting to offer more petrol models, the vast majority* of van hire fleets are still 100% diesel.

We may see van rental companies starting to offer more petrol models over the next few years, especially in the smaller models such as small and medium vans. However, petrol vans are still rare. For now, almost all rental vans use diesel.

Most rental vehicles have the fuel filler cap labelled with the correct type of fuel, so there should be no reason to get it wrong. But if you are unsure, make sure you ask when you pick up the van, and double-check each time you fill it up.

What if I fill up my van with the wrong fuel?

If you put the wrong fuel into any car or van, the golden rule is to stop instantly. Stop filling and stop driving if it’s safe to do so.

Don’t even put the key in the ignition if you can avoid it. Many modern vehicles prime their fuel pumps with fuel when you put the key in, before you start the engine. Driving a diesel van with petrol in the tank can cause a lot of damage, especially to the (expensive) fuel pump.

In a hire vehicle, you should phone the number provided for breakdown assistance. The breakdown provider will probably send someone out to pump the tank for you. Both the AA and RAC have special misfuelling patrol vans fitted with tanks and pumps to do this safely.

Unfortunately you should expect to pay for this service, as it’s your fault — it’s not a mechanical failure that might be covered by breakdown protection.

*There are a few exceptions, especially in London. Tighter emissions rules and problems with diesel particulate filters on vans used for short journeys are making diesel increasingly unattractive. Car-sharing firm Zipcar recently added 10 Volkswagen Transporter vans with petrol engines to its London fleet, but this is a drop in the ocean and is very much an exception to the rule.

MAN TGE dropside van conversion

Van hire size guide: should I hire a dropside or tipper van?

MAN TGE dropside van conversion

The new MAN TGE dropside van conversion, pictured at the Birmingham NEC at CV Show 2017

Choosing the right type of van to hire isn’t always easy. But if you need a dropside or tipper then your choice should be pretty clear, as these types of vans are designed for quite different jobs to standard panel vans.

In this series, we’re taking a look at the popular sizes of vans offered by the hire companies who supply the results for our price comparison system.

Today I’ll explain what dropside and tipper vans are, and what they’re normally used for. But before I get started, here are links to the other types of van we’ve already covered in this series:

Dropside & Tipper vans

The defining feature of these vans is that they have an open load area that’s enclosed by folding sides which lock into place for transport and can be folded down for easy loading and unloading.

Tipper models look the same but have lifting gear which raises the load bed at the front, meaning that its contents are tipped off the back of the van.

Nissan NV400 tipper

A Nissan NV400 tipper van conversion.

The size of the load area can vary widely on tippers and dropsides, but a typical example might be 3m long by 2m wide. Dropsides are likely to be slightly larger than tippers, typically.

Tippers vs. dropside: You can use a tippers like a dropside. The only disadvantage to this is that the available payload (weight limit) will often be lower than it would be on a dropside, because of the extra weight of the tipper gear.

Load capacity: These vans are often used for transporting building materials, which tend to be pretty heavy. With a typical payload of 1,000-1,200kg, it’s easy to go overweight if you’re loading packs of bricks and bags of cement, for example.

Remember — items in the load area are exposed to the elements and may need securing to ensure they don’t move or fall out while being transported.

Crew cab or single cab: These vans are available with a single cab (driver + 2 passengers) or a crew cab (driver + 5 passengers). Crew cab models sometimes have a smaller load area, so if you hiring a tipper or a dropside, make sure you know what you’re getting.

Volkswagen Crafter Luton

Van size guide: should I hire a Luton van?

Volkswagen Crafter Luton

A Volkswagen Crafter-based Luton van, with tail lift.

If you’re not used to hiring a van, it isn’t always easy to know what size to choose. That’s why we’re running this blog series. We’re taking a look at the popular sizes of vans offered by the hire companies who supply the results for our price comparison system.

Today we’re looking at luton vans, which are top choices for small house removals, furniture and other bulky items. I’ll explain why in a minute, but first here’s a quick reminder of the van sizes we’ve already covered:

What’s a luton van?

Named after the Bedfordshire town of Luton in which they were invented, luton vans have box bodies on top of a van chassis. If this sounds too technical, then what you need to know is that they provide a wide square load area that’s ideal for furniture and household goods.

Luton vans also have vertical sides, making it easier to strap tall heavy objects like furniture into place securely.

The final characteristic of a luton is the storage area that sticks out over the driver’s cab. This isn’t suitable for heavy items but is ideal for large, bulky light items. For example, clothes, bedding and sofa cushions.

How big is a luton? The length of the body will vary, but a typical example designed for removals might be 4m long, 2m wide and 2m high. In a standard luton, this will be a completely square space — there are no wheel arches as the luton body sits above the wheels (like in the picture above).

What can you fit in a luton van? The large, square shape of these vans makes them ideally suited for furniture and other bulky object such as washing machines, fridge-freezers and so on. I’ve moved house from a one-bedroom flat with our furniture in a Luton without a problem.

Is there anything that won’t fit? One area where you might have problems is if you’re not able to use the space effectively. Removal men are expert at fitting huge amounts into these compact vans. The trick is to use the space inside the van as fully as possible.

So furniture might be stacked or perhaps stood on its end, and then strapped to the side of the van. Doing this requires a bit of thought if you want to avoid any damage. You’ll also need plenty of old blankets, suitable straps and at two pairs of strong arms!

The other area that might be a problem is weight. The payload of a standard 3.5t luton is typically around 1,000kg. Furniture and household goods probably won’t be a problem. But if you’re moving something heavy, such as packs of bricks or tiles, then you may use up your weight allowance before you run out of space. A panel van is often better for this kind of work.

Tail lifts: The load deck of a luton is quite high off the ground, as the luton body normally sits above the wheels. Many luton hire vans come with a tail lift. This allows you to lift raise heavy items from ground level up to the level of the load floor, from where you can lift them inside the van.

Tail lifts often have a load capacity of 500kg, although this can vary. The downside of a tail lift is that it’s quite heavy, so it reduces the amount of weight you can carry inside the van.

Not all luton hire vans have a tail lift, so if you need one, make sure it’s listed when you book — or ask.

Coming next: In the final instalment of this series we’ll take a look at 3.5t dropside and tipper vans.

Extra-long wheelbase Nissan NV400 van

Van size guide: Should I hire an extra-long van?

Extra-long wheelbase Nissan NV400 van

An extra-long wheelbase Nissan NV400 van. XL models are recognisable by the big overhangs behind the rear wheels.

Choosing the right-sized van can be the hardest part of hiring a van. You rental company should be able to help you choose, but if you’re booking online and are unsure then you may need help.

That’s why we’re running a series taking a look at the most popular van sizes offered through our van hire price comparison system.  (You can also find a summary of this information with typical load bay dimensions on our van sizes page.)

So far we’ve covered:

Today we’re looking at the longest vans you can drive on a car licence — extra-long wheelbase vans.

Do I need an extra long van?

Extra-long vans are normally the same width and height as their shorter siblings. What’s different is that the van body has been lengthened so it stretches out behind the rear wheels, like in the picture above.

What will fit? The load area in these vans will typically be between 4m and 5m long — so you really can fit a lot of stuff in. Just remember that the weight limit probably won’t be any higher than in a smaller van, so you probably won’t be able to fill it with — for example — packs of bricks or tiles.

If you’re shifting furniture, then to work out what might fit I’d measure the longest items (probably sofas) and then subtract that length from 4m and see what’s left. You should have a bit more space than this but you don’t want to have to force the rear doors closed!

As a guide, I’d expect to move a one-bed flat with some furniture and other bulky possessions inside one of these vans, if it’s packed carefully.

What won’t fit? Very wide objects might be a problem. Another consideration is that tall items such as wardrobes may not stand flat against the side of the van, due to the curve of the side and the intrusion of the wheel arches. This can make it hard to load such large items securely without wasting a lot of space.

For really large furniture, a luton van is still the best option. So that’s what we’ll look at in our next post.

Volkswagen Transporter T6

What’s the minimum age for van hire?

Volkswagen Transporter T6

It’s well known that young drivers often find it difficult to rent a van (or a car). But the actual minimum age varies widely with different hire companies.

Although it’s usually somewhere between 21 and 25, we understand that a couple of years can make a big difference if you’re a young driver who needs to hire a van. To help you work out which van hire suppliers might be able to help, we’ve gathered up age limit information for most of the major van rental firms in the UK.

All information was believe to be correct as of February 2018. 

How old do I need to be to hire a van?

Van hire company Minimum age for van hire Additional fee for under 25?
Europcar 22 Young driver surcharge applies to under-25s. At the time of writing (9 Feb 2018) this was listed as £32.50 on Europcar’s website.
Hertz 23 Young driver surcharge applies to drivers aged under 25.
Thrifty 21 Drivers under 25 can only rent compact and short wheelbase vans. A young driver surcharge also applies.
Sixt  21 Drivers under 23 must not have any endorsements on their licence. Restrictions apply to van choice for under 25s. A young driver surcharge applies to under 25s.
Enterprise 25 n/a
Avis 25 n/a
Budget 25 n/a
National 25 n/a
Northgate 21 Drivers age 21-24 must pay a young driver surcharge of £10 (last checked on 9 Feb 2018)

P.S. If you’re looking for information about maximum age limits for van hire, click here.

Disclaimer: accepts no liability for any damages or losses suffered as a result of errors or omissions in the information provided on this page.

New Europcar Volkswagen Crafter

Van size guide: Should I hire a large van?

New Europcar Volkswagen Crafter

Large vans such as these Europcar Volkswagen Crafter vans can hold a lot of stuff! (Image: Europcar)

Choosing the right-sized van is often the hardest part of renting a van! Understanding the different sizes and knowing how much space you need for your stuff isn’t always as simple as it might seem.

That’s why we’re running a series of posts aimed at helping you understand 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.)

So far, we’ve covered:

Today we’re looking at large vans.

Should I go large?

When a rental company offers you a large van, it usually means a long wheelbase panel van. Occasionally it might be a medium wheelbase model.

Popular models include the Ford Transit LWB, Volkswagen Crafter (pictured above), Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Renault Master and Fiat Ducato.

Although these vans are quite bulky, they’re still quite easy to drive, with big clear mirrors and dash-mounted gearsticks and power steering which make them easy to handle. Typical fuel consumption is likely to be 30-35mpg. And these vans usually have a high roof, so you won’t be able to go into car parks with height barriers, for example.

What will fit in a large van? Most things, as long as you’re realistic. You should be able to fit the contents of a studio flat, including some furniture and a reasonable number of boxes. Possibly even a one-bed flat if you don’t have too much furniture or kitchen appliances.

For example, you should be able to stack a couple of sofas, slide in a mattress, and fit plenty of boxes in around these big items. Depending on the size of your sofa, you might get a fridge or a washing machine in too.

Although you can get a lot in, it’s worth remembering that you probably won’t be able to use the full height and space of the van. If you stack stuff too high, you may end up with damage.

The load area on a long wheelbase van is typically 3.5-4m long, although this can vary. The roof is often high enough to provide standing height and load width will be around 1.7m (less between the wheel arches).

What won’t fit? Very long and large pieces of furniture may still be difficult to fit, or if they do fit, you may find that you have to put them down the middle of the van because of the wheel arches. This may mean that you can’t use the rest of the space inside the van very efficiently.

Other things that might not fit inside a long wheelbase van are 4.8m lengths of timber from builders merchants and 5m rolls of carpet.

Next up: We’ll take a look at extra-long wheelbase vans!

Ford Transit Custom

Van size guide: Should I hire a medium van?

Ford Transit Custom

The Ford Transit Custom is the UK’s most popular medium van.

When you hire a van, choosing the right size isn’t always easy. Especially if it’s your first time.

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.)

We’ve already covered small vans.

This week we’re continuing with a look at medium vans.

Medium is a popular choice

The best-known medium van in the UK is probably the top-selling Ford Transit Custom. Other popular choices from other manufacturers include the Luton-built Vauxhall Vivaro and the Volkswagen Transporter.

There’s a good reason why this size of van is so popular. It’s big enough to hold quite a lot, but small enough to be car-like to drive and easy to park. Fuel consumption is also good, with modern models often able to give more than 40mpg.

What will fit in a medium van? A typical medium van might be able to carry a cooker, washing machine, fridge and freezer, plus some small stuff. Or you could probably fit in two armchairs or one sofar (although some sofas will be too long).

The load area is usually 2.4m long, so you can fit 8’x4′ plasterboard, mattresses, and other longer items. Sideboards should fit too, as might a medium-sized dining table and chairs.

If you’re packing removal boxes, then I’d expect to get 25-40 in, depending on their size, weight and how easily they can be stacked.

These probably won’t fit: Very large items of furniture could still be awkward. A triple wardrobe or a large Welsh dresser might notfit. Nor will large rolls of carpet, or very large tables. Big sofas will be a problem, and you’ll only fit one sofa in unless it’s unusually small.

Another problem is that even if you can cram everything in, you may find it difficult to secure it and make sure that nothing gets damaged while you’re driving. Sometimes a bigger van allows you to pack things more safely.

Next up: We’ll take a look at long wheelbase vans!

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!

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Beginner’s guide to van hire: the round-up

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

We’ve recently been running a beginner’s guide to van hire here at For many of you, we know that it’s your first time renting a van.

So we’ve tried to put together a series of short articles covering all the questions you might have.

In order to make sure these new articles easier to find, I’ve put together this round-up post with links to all the beginner’s articles we’ve published.

Of course, if you still have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: