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Your guide to van hire

Hiring a van for a set period of time provides an answer to many problems, be it moving your items from an old property to a new one, picking up large pieces of furniture from shops that don’t deliver or completing a job whilst your van is out of action. To ensure that you get the most out of your van hire, and avoid the common pitfalls that could see you paying a surcharge, read this guide.

Full cover and unlimited mileage

You need to have the full insurance package. Generally, you should inquire into the availability of a car insurance and a breakdown cover which will see you pay nothing in case you get stuck on the road and need roadside assistance or you inadvertently get involved in an accident. You should also require of your van rental company that it offer you unlimited mileage. Since you are most likely to use the van quite intensively, the last thing you would be willing to mind would be mileage restrictions.

Age and driving licence restrictions

There are restrictions, however, which rental companies are likely to impose. For one, a rental company will be reluctant to rent a van to a youngster up to 25 years of age over insufficient driving experience. Yet another is that the would-be van driver has the C1 classification in his/her driving licence. This presumes that the driver has the legitimate right to drive vehicles weighing up to 7.5 tonnes, namely the category vans pertain to.

Ensuring cargo-and-van match

Whatever cargo you carry, you need to ensure that it can freely enter the vehicle. For this reason, make sure that you measure beforehand all bulky items and match them against the dimensions of the van you are to rent. All rental companies will provide you load height, length and width parameters; hence, doing the math is easy, not only essential.

Avoiding hidden surcharges

Returning your van on time

Returning you van on time certainly sounds like an obvious tip in avoiding surcharges, however many consumers end up returning their vehicle late because they’ve simply underestimated the length of time they needed the van for. Whatever the reason you’re using a hired van be sure to plan your trip thoroughly, bearing in mind that you won’t be used to driving a new vehicle.

Returning your van in the condition in which it was lent

Avoiding accidents, scrapes and bumps during your van hire isn’t always avoidable; however what is avoidable is ensuring you’re not charged for damage that was already sustained. To this end you should check the van over thoroughly before van driving out of the hire centre. If you notice any damage you should notify a customer services representative and take photos so that you have evidence to back you up.

Ensuring that you don’t need to get the van recovered

The last thing you want during your van hire is having to get the van recovered. However many people forget to check the fuel gauge prior to setting off, and find that they break down in the middle of their journey. Van hires generally don’t include a full tank of fuel, so ensure you check what’s included in the hire price.

Getting the best deal on your van hire

Shopping around

Getting the best van hire deal is very much a matter of shopping around. Start your search on the internet to get an idea of current offers and going rates. You should also check your local newspaper as the classified section is generally full of various vehicle hire adverts.

Booking early

Booking your van hire early means that you benefit from significant discounts, so always try and book in at least a month in advance. You shouldn’t be put off booking early by worrying about not being able to cancel, generally speaking you can cancel your van hire anything up to a few days prior without so much as a cancelation charge.

Considering the small guys

Don’t presume that large corporations always offer the best deals; in fact, very often smaller, local companies offer far more competitive rates. You should at least give them a call with a few quotes to hand to see how their rates fair.


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