There’s something pretty satisfying about hiring a van and doing it yourself. But it’s pretty easy to get a few key things wrong when going about this task.

Whether you need a van for a house move, tip run, or simply because your car isn’t big enough to move a particular object from Point A to Point B, you need to put your thinking cap on.

The good news is that hiring a van is actually pretty straightforward but hiring the right van and ensuring you use it correctly takes a bit more thought.

So, without further ado, here are the most important dos and don’ts of van hire.


You’ll be glad to see that this list is satisfyingly short, but avoid it at your peril!


Do think about how far you’ll be driving

Pick the right van hire company, and you should find that mileage is unlimited, but there may be certain restrictions.

Largely speaking, if you’re just going to use the van to move between houses within the same town or county, or if you need it for a few tip runs, mileage won’t be an issue. However, if you’re heading much further afield, it pays to double check that there aren’t any limitations or premiums for additional mileage.


Do think about insurance

Your hire van will – or, at least, should – be insured by the hire company. But it’ll only cover you so far.

Always double check what level of insurance is on offer. There may be upgrades to the insurance which are worth investing in, but it’s important to consider the contents of the van, too.

Are you confident that the level of insurance covers whatever it is you’re transporting?


Do think about how long you’ll need it for

When booking van hire, you’ll obviously need to state how long you require the van for, but this is where lots of people make a key mistake.

It’s actually pretty easy to misjudge how long you need the van for. Book it for too long and you’ll spend too much money; book it for too short a period and you’ll run the risk of incurring penalties.


Do think about what you’ll need to transport

The reason you’re hiring a van is of course entirely your business, but if you’re transporting something out of the ordinary (again, that’s pretty subjective), it’s often a good idea to check a couple of things.


Firstly, make sure the van can accommodate whatever it is you’re transporting (more on that later). Secondly, double check with the hire company that you can indeed transport it in their van.

It’s quite rare you’ll need to do this, but if you’re unsure, there’s a reason you’re feeling that way, and it’s always best to ask the question.



Others have made mistakes so you don’t have to. So, let’s think about the most important things you’ll need to avoid when hiring a van.


Don’t assume you can take it anywhere in the world

If you’re hiring a van in the UK, the good news is that you can take it to most EU countries at the moment. What’s more, the hire company should help you out with the necessary paperwork.

However, it’s always a good idea to check whether or not your intended destination is permitted. This will also give you the chance to find out what (if any) additional restrictions or licence requirements exist over there.


Don’t forget the accessories

Sat nav, protective blankets, restraints… there are lots of options you might not consider when hiring a van.

You may have these items yourself, but you may not realise you need them. This is why it’s a great idea to have a really good think about what you’ll be transporting, where you’re going, and what tools or accessories you’ll need to ensure the process is as smooth as possible.

Most hire companies will have accessories you can book out at the same time as the van, so don’t forget this vital step.


Don’t forget to check your licence

You should be able to drive a van of up to 3,500kg on your standard driving licence.

However, if you passed your test after 1st January 1997, you may need to take extra tests if the van weighs between 3,500kg and 7,500kg.

The government has lots of useful information on the requirements, and it really does pay to check before you take the plunge and book that van.


Don’t underestimate how much space you’ll need

This is a classic mistake, and it can save huge amounts of hassle if you avoid it.

Always overestimate how much space you’ll need when hiring a van, because you can guarantee you’ll run out of space as you get into the meat of the job.

Make a list of all the things you’ll be transporting and then allow for at least 10% extra, because there’s nothing worse than getting halfway through a house move and realising you need another van. Equally, the right sized van may prevent an additional trip to the tip.

If you need help choosing the right van for your needs, remember to get in touch with the Squab team. We’d love to help you avoid the common mistakes noted in this guide and get you on your way.