Top Tips For Cheap Van Hire

Whether you’re relocating your household, your business or simply having a clear out, a van hire service can prove extremely valuable. It will save you from unsafely stuffing your car full of moving boxes and furniture, not to mention enable you to carry out your relocation or trip to the tip in one fell swoop, rather than uneconomically shuttling things back and forth.

Many people opt for a self house move because it’s more economical and practical, so for the elements that you do have to pay for - namely van hire - you’ll want to keep costs at a minimum. On the other hand, you don’t want to cut corners; you need to ensure you’re getting a van hire service that’s good value for money and provides you with a van that’s fit for purpose.

At the Riviera Car Centre, we’re proud to offer an affordable van hire service that is suitable for whatever the job at hand may be. Below, we offer our top tips for van hire on a budget so that you can get the most out of a van rental service.

Plan ahead

There a number of reasons you may wish to rent a van; whatever your reason, it’s absolutely essential that you plan in advance and make sure you understand your requirements. Whether you need a particularly large vehicle for a number of weeks or just a standard transit van for 24 hours, planning ahead will ensure that you find the perfect van for your needs and in turn, pay the right price.

Consider what size van you need

The first thing to consider is what size van you need. How much stuff will you be transporting? Can you predict approximately how much your belongings will weigh? There’s nothing worse than overpaying for a van that’s too large, or, equally, renting a vehicle that’s far too small, resulting in you having to make multiple trips to complete the task at hand. Let’s take a look at the vans available for hire from most dealerships:

  • Standard transit van: These vans are available in a range of different sizes, but generally can carry up to 800kg. This means you can transport large items of furniture such as sofas, kitchen appliances or wardrobes, as long as they fit.
  • Long wheelbase high-top transit van: This type of van adds extra length and height to a standard transit van and can hold up to 1400kg. This is ideal if your furniture is particularly large and won’t fit in a standard transit.
  • Luton Box van: A Luton Box van is essentially a long wheelbase transit that’s fitted with a large box on the back and is ideal for a more substantial house move. They are easy to pack as they are perfectly rectangular, however, to load the van you’ll have to lift items at least two or three feet off the floor. You could add a hydraulic tail lift to your van hire price if you don’t feel confident lifting your belongings off the ground.

Check you have a suitable driving licence

Once you’ve decided on a van, you’ll next need to double check your driving licence is suitable. In most cases, a standard driving licence (Category B) is sufficient, as this will cover any van up to 3500kg- as long as you don’t use a trailer too. For a van that is between 3500kg and 7500kg, you’ll need a Category C1 licence if you passed your Category B after 1997. If not, you can use your Category B for a van that’s up to 7500kg.

Work out how long you’ll need a van for

Depending on the job at hand, you need to consider how long you’ll be using your van. Perhaps it’s just for 24 hours as you clear out your garden for an upcoming renovation project, or maybe you’ve just started a small business and you’re in need of a van for a couple of weeks as you get your business premises set up.

Either way, you’ll need to check that your chosen dealership can hire out a van for the period you require at a decent price. Most dealerships offer daily, weekly or monthly hire windows, but keep your eyes peeled for special offers on weekends and during holidays.

Estimate your expected mileage

Another factor that will impact the cost of your van hire is how far you plan to travel and whether the dealership offers fixed or unlimited mileage. If you know you’ll only be travelling a short distance, van hire with a capped mileage won’t be an issue as you simply pay a set price up to a certain distance. However, if you go over the fixed mileage, you may have to pay per mile beyond the allowance- usually between 8-12p per mile.

With this in mind, if you’re travelling a long way, we’d always recommend van hire that offers unlimited mileage. You may pay extra initially, but this way you won’t need to worry about going over a fixed mileage and totalling up lots of extra fees.

Set out a clear budget

As with anything, cost is an integral element. Consider your budget before you start looking into van hire, but appreciate that prices will vary between dealerships. You want a price that’s great value for money in terms of the quality of the vehicle but also includes insurance and guarantees. Remember that you’ll have to pay a deposit, so factor that into your budget too!

Find a reputable van rental dealership

When it comes to vehicle rental, every car dealership will have different conditions. As with anything, finding a reputable company that offers the ideal service for you takes time and effort, but once you’ve done your research, you can guarantee that you’re paying for a quality service that suits your needs.

Firstly, browse the websites of a few local dealerships and find out about what they offer, their prices ranges and how previous customers reviewed their services. Next, narrow your favourites down to three different companies and collect three separate quotes to compare. From here, you can choose a company that offers the services you require for a price that seems most reasonable.

It’s important to remember that the cost of van hire should always include insurance. Insurance can vary greatly between companies but as a rule, you want your van hire insurance to cover damages, theft and loss. You should also ask about any excesses you may be expected to pay. Whilst a very low price may seem attractive, it’s essential that you always read the full terms and conditions before committing; you don’t want to get caught out by something in the small print and wind up having to pay hundreds of pounds of cover if the van gets damaged or breaks down.

Next, we outline the best practice for collecting, driving and returning your chosen van.

Collecting your van

Now that you’ve chosen the ideal van from a trusted company, it’s time to collect your vehicle. You’ll need to take a few things with you, including:

  • Relevant driving licence(s) in both photo and paper form.
  • Your driving record, if you have any points on your licence.
  • A credit card to place a deposit (we’d also advise paying the rental fee with a credit card if it’s over £100, for financial security).
  • Proof of home address e.g. bank statement or utility bill.

Once the keys have been handed over, you should always check the vehicle for internal and external damage and cross-reference what you see with what’s written on the rental agreement. You should also check the mileage and fuel level against what’s written on the agreement.

Before you set off, ensure that you know what to do if the van breaks down or you have an accident. It’s a good idea to save the emergency number for the dealership, as well as local breakdown recovery companies located where you’ll be driving.

Driving your van

It’s important to remember that driving a van is quite different to driving a car. If you’ve not driven a van before, you won’t be familiar with the feel of it, so start off by going slowly and carefully- especially if it’s loaded with heavy items.

In a van, your blind spots will be bigger, particularly when turning corners and parking. It’s also easy to forget that the dimensions are far higher and wider than you’re used to, so take due care when driving underneath low bridges or through narrow lanes. Be sure to check the weather conditions before you set off; tall vans will lean in high winds.

Returning your van

Once you’ve made use of your van, you need to ensure that you return it in the same condition as you collected it. This includes the fuel level, so make sure you budget in the cost of a full tank at the end of the hire. Any scuffs and damages should be reported to the dealership, and they should let you know if any additional charges are required; good insurance should cover this, though.

Riviera Car Centre: Reliable and affordable van hire to suit your project

Here at the Riviera Car Centre in Devon, we understand how important it is to stay within budget when carrying out a home or business project. That’s why we offer a range of high-quality vans for hire at affordable prices. We believe in offering the best service that we can, which is why we’ll take the time to discuss your van hire needs and ensure you choose the ideal vehicle for you. We offer free, no-obligation quotes to all of our customers, so if you’re looking for budget van rental in Devon but you don’t want to scrimp on quality and reliability, contact us today.

Our services extend far beyond van rental; if you’re on the market for a used car or van in the Devon area, why not browse our directory? We supply a comprehensive range of well-known and quality brands, ideal for new and experienced drivers.