It might seem like an obvious choice at first. You need a van, right? So, just hire the biggest one you can afford to allow for as much space as possible, surely?

But what if you spend too much and end up only half filling it?

What if the van you choose is a pain to park at your destination?

No one wants that.

Choosing the right van to hire is really important, whether you’re a business moving to a new office or a homeowner on the way to your new pad.

Whatever your situation, you can consider this the ultimate, simple guide to choosing the right hire van.


How much are you going to carry?

This is the obvious starting point. Payloads are vitally important when it comes to choosing the right hire van.

Every hire van will have what’s known as a ‘maximum payload’. It should be highlighted clearly by the hiring company, because if you exceed that limit, it means you’ll be driving illegally.

Load space is the thing you’ll need to get your head around initially, and it’ll quickly point you to the right vehicle. For instance, if you’re moving home, a Luton will likely do the job, but if you’re just transporting a few office essentials, a Vivaro or Crafter is probably a better choice.

Your decisions at this stage will also lead you to the length of van you require, therefore it’s important to familiarise yourself with the three common options:

  • Short wheelbase
  • Medium wheelbase
  • Long wheelbase

Just bear in mind that whatever you choose will need to play nicely with your access requirements (we’ll get onto that later).


Think seats

You’re probably not considering how many seats you require, are you? Well, now you are!

Don’t forget – you’ll be transporting people as well as belongings, therefore you want to make sure you have enough legal seating space for whoever needs to come along for the ride.

Some vans have three seats, while others only have two, so make sure you pick the number that will result in fewer return trips to collect people.


What about access requirements?

When choosing a hire van, it’s important to think about the type of access you have at both your current location and destination.

Are there any tight spaces you’ll need to navigate? What about headroom? Will you need to drive under any low-lying structures to get to where you need to be?

You may not be able to choose the perfect van for the access you have, but the key lies in finding the best possible fit – even if it means you need to undertake some of the work yourself on foot.

The other factor here will be loading requirements. Some vans only come with rear doors, while others (like the Crafter and Vivaro range) have side entry, too. Some even have tail lifts, and if you need easier loading, there’s often the option for a low-loader, too.

Think carefully about that access and which type of loading you need from the van to make the job as convenient and safe as possible.


The stuff you might forget

We’ve covered the big considerations for van hire above, but there are some smaller things to think about which are often forgotten:

  • manual or automatic drive
  • cabin comforts (from air con to sat nav, what’s going to make the difference for you?)
  • running costs

With all that in mind, you should be able to pick the perfect van for your task, no matter how big or small it is. But if you have further burning questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Squab team. We’ll be delighted to help.