Before hiring a van, it’s important to really evaluate why you need one, if it will be logistically smooth, and what kind of van you get. Before getting started on 5 tips, a bonus tip (but a very important one) is to check and take photos of any damage you see when you first get the van. This is as evidence to prove you didn’t do these.
Will a van be necessary for your trip?
If you’re moving house and have a significant amount of furniture to shift, it’s always appealing to save money by getting your own van. Home removal companies are expensive, and although moving yourself can be a challenge, it will be the best way for you to ensure that you possession are well looked after.
Additionally, if you’re renting a van because you’re going on holiday, then you need to decide if it’s better than renting a car or using public transport. If you have camping gear or 5+ people, it might be worth getting a van. Van rental in Valencia for example has a selection of vans that would surprise you, from refrigerated vans to 9 seater minibuses. It certainly ends up being cheaper than renting two seperate cars if there are a lot of you.
Where is the pick up/drop off location?
For most people when travelling, it’s crucial that the pick up location is in the airport. This is worth double checking before hiring a van.
Additionally, don’t write off having a rental if you aren’t going to be ending the holiday in the same place (i.e. departing from a different airport than you arrived at). Many rental companies accommodate dropping off the van in a separate location (they may have many possible locations to select from, with no penalty for whichever one you choose.)
Is it a 2 or 4-wheel drive?
This may not matter to most, but if you’re travelling in areas with poorly constructed roads/off-road, lots of ice, steep mountains and/or possible floods, then a 4WD may be necessary. A good example of where this is vitally important is with Icelandic F-roads, where you won’t actually be covered with your insurance if you drive on them in a 2WD.
Does it have a leisure battery?
If you’re using the van rental for the purpose of a family holiday and opt for a 9-seater, it’s worth seeing if the van has a leisure battery. A leisure battery is separate to the main car battery that is used to start the engine; it doesn’t matter if the leisure battery runs out. The reason this may be important is because when travelling around, there may be instances where passengers will want to stay in the van whilst others are exploring, or perhaps shopping. In this instance, children can listen to the radio and keep the lights on without worrying about breaking down.
Does it include insurance?
Most van rental places will have an in-house option where you can easily buy insurance through them. You will want to make sure that the price is clearly denoted, or if it is included in the rental price.