Thinking of hiring a van? What you need to know

  • Ballards range of vans to hire
Removals Advice

People are often nervous about hiring a van, perhaps worried about the cost or whether it will be hard to drive.

What if you just have a couple of things to move – is it easier to squash them in your car? Would they rattle around and get damaged in the back of a van?

In this blog, we’re going to explain the benefits of van hire and answer some of the common questions we’re asked here at Ballard Van Hire.

Can anyone drive a van?

First the legal bit. Anyone with a standard UK driving licence (“Category B”) can drive any car or van weighing no more than 3500Kg and carrying no more than eight passengers. All of our vans fit into this category.

Our standard van hire rates cover drivers who have a clean driving license, have held it for at least 2 years and are aged between 25 and 70. Before hiring a van, you need to visit www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence with your driving license number, National Insurance number and postcode. This will enable you to generate a “check code” which we need in order to rent a van to you.

Is a van difficult to drive?

These days, vans are really similar to private cars, with the usual dashboards, gadgets, gear stick and power steering, so they don’t feel that different. The only thing (obviously) is that they are bigger so if you haven’t driven one before, you might want to drive around our yard for a few minutes to get familiar with the higher driving position, the mirrors and the width and length of the van. For first time van drivers, unless you need a lot of space, we’d recommend hiring one of our smaller vehicles, like this one.

We also recommend taking a few minutes to familiarise yourself with ALL of the controls before you set off, including wipers, lights etc as they may not be where you’d find them on your own car. We usually have people on hand who can answer any questions. We’ll also let you know what to do in the event of any problems.

Then when you’re out on the road driving, just remember that when overtaking or manoeuvring, allow a bit more space than you’re used to. Having a co-driver in the passenger seat can be useful, and he/she can also help when reversing or parking, as rear visibility may be restricted. The extra we weight in the back will make cornering feel a bit different so we recommend taking things slowly just until you’ve got used to it.

Fuelling up your hire van

We, unlike like most van hire companies, provide our vans with a full tank of fuel, so you don’t have to worry about filling it up straight away. Vans consume a bit more diesel than your average car but even so, a full tank is usually ample for most local moves. Keep an eye on the fuel gauge though if you’re travelling a long way or doing multiple trips. We do ask you to return the van with a full tank when you return it to us, and there are some petrol stations nearly where you can fill it up.  

Securing your possessions in a hired van

When you hire a van from Ballards, you’re hiring one that is equipped with side rails, so you can secure things to the sides of the van. For a small additional cost, we can also provide you with blankets, ties and even a sack barrow to help you to move things to the van. We can also supply packing paper, boxes and anything else you might need. Remember when you’re lifting furniture to take care, get help to lift larger items so you don’t damage your furniture (or yourself).

Is hiring a van expensive?

With rates starting at only £50 per day (including VAT) including insurance, hiring a van is a time saving an economical way to move furniture and household goods. Even if you might be able to fit things into your own car, you’ll do the job in less trips and with much less hassle when you hire a van, and depending on the size of van you hire, you’ll even be able to move wardrobes and beds.

What if you don’t want to drive the van yourself?

We also offer a man and van service, where you can hire a van and 2 experienced people to help you.

If you have any other questions about van hire, you can read our “frequently asked questions” here or just give us a call.

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