Everything You Need to Know About Hiring a Van

Vans are perhaps one of the most versatile vehicles you can hire, and can be used for a whole host of reasons. Whether you’re moving house, facilitating an office move or need it for a more commercial purpose, hiring a van is always a great choice. 

However, while you’d be forgiven for thinking that hiring a van was as simple as just turning up at the depot and making your selection, there’s actually a bit more to it than that.

At Gatwick Car & Van Rental, we have a fleet of over 300 vehicles, including vans, that people can make use of in Gatwick, Luton, Crawley and beyond. In this month’s article, we’ll be outlining everything you need to know about hiring a van, giving you a thorough understanding of what to expect at every step of the process. 

What You Need to Have    

While you can drive your own van from the age of 17, the legal age you can take your driving test, most hire firms will not let you hire a van if you’re under the age of 23. As well as this, many companies will include a young driver surcharge for drivers who are below the age of 25. This is because vans are more difficult to drive than your average car, so companies might prefer a more experienced driver to get behind the wheel. 

For vans that weigh less than 3.5 tonnes, the only thing you’ll require (other than being the right age) is your standard driving license. No special qualifications are needed, but the hire company will need to know about any prior driving misdemeanors, such as speeding offences, before you hire it. You can print out a summary of your driving licence from the Government’s website which will include all the relevant information. 

What the Van Needs to Have

Due to their multifaceted nature, vans are often the vehicle of choice for a number of different purposes. So it’s important to think closely about which one to hire.

The first thing you should consider is the size of van you need. Bigger isn’t always better and you can fit a decent amount of stuff in a small LWB van with a load length of 1.95m, height of 1.2m and width of 1.1m.  However, if you’re moving larger items, for instance furniture, you may need something bigger such as an extra LWB van or Luton with T/Lift that offers additional load space. 

If you’re moving furniture, or similarly heavy or bulky items like white goods, it can be tricky to move them in and out of a van. This is why it’s always handy to opt for a vehicle that comes with a lift. The Luton with T/lift van we provide at Gatwick Car & Rental comes with a fold-out platform that quickly and easily ascends and descends making it so much easier to transport large goods.         

What To Do When You’re Driving the Van

Often, people who hire vans are only used to driving a car. But it’s important to remember that a van is a very different prospect, both on and off the road. 

The first thing to remember is that you’re going to be in a far bigger vehicle and you need to account for that when navigating your way around. Also, a heavy load can affect the vehicle’s braking, acceleration and handling can all be affected so make sure to stick to the loading requirements as outlined when you take out the hire.

Finally, parking the van can become an issue for those who are not used to it. Smaller vans can be parked like cars, but things get a bit trickier when it comes to larger vehicles. It’s always worthwhile taking someone with you who can physically get out of the car and help guide you into a space. If this isn’t an option, then take things slowly and at one step at a time.

Looking for van hire in Gatwick, Luton, Crawley or the surrounding areas? Then look no further than Gatwick Car & Van Rental. Located just a few minutes from Gatwick Airport, we offer both short and long-term van hire options, meaning your needs are always met. To find out more, contact us today.