Determining your needs
The first step to picking the perfect van to rent is determining exactly what it is you need it for. You should find a company that gives you a wide choice of vehicles whether used, new or customised. Factors that you need to consider are things such as the type of load you’ll be carrying, the number of people you may need to transport, issues you may face with access (narrow streets, low emission zones, etc.) and the type of journeys you’ll be doing.
Remember to think ahead; you may only need a small van now, but if your business grows within the next year, will this still be the best vehicle option? Being smart with your money
When it comes to van leasing deals, you should make sure you know the difference between contract hiring and leasing. These can both be financially appealing and cost-effective options, but it’s good to know what to expect from each option.
Contract hiring, whether for business or personal, is the most common form of vehicle rental and comes with a number of benefits. These include but are not limited to minimal deposits, fixed repayments, no part or exchange disposal issues and an additional line of credit for your business. At the end of the contract, which typically lasts roughly three months, you simply hand the vehicle back.
Alternatively, leasing involves the customer paying either the entire cost of the vehicle or over an agreed set period of 24-60 months, depending on how long you need it for and the mileage that you cover. This means that the customer and not the finance company benefits from the sale of the vehicle at the end of the agreement.
Knowing your options
If you’ve never bought or hired a van before, then the likelihood is that you’ll be unaware of what there is out there in terms of options. Types of vans can range from 4x4s to those that are car-derived. If you need a van for your trade, panel vans and box vans tend to be the most popular option as they allow for bulkier loads. Chassis vans, tippers and dropside vans are usually used for building trades as they have a removable cab or sides that drop down to open making it easier to load and unload equipment.
Having the right documentation
As with any vehicle hire, you should check what documentation you need before picking the perfect van to rent. Your driver’s license is essential but, depending on the leasing company, you may need other documentation such as a proof of address and a credit card to cover any excess costs. If you’re renting a van above the weight of 3,500kgs, you will need a specialised heavy goods vehicle license. Similarly, hiring a van intended for minibus use, therefore carrying passengers, requires a more complex proof of documentation. Most rental companies require minibus drivers to have a category D1 addition to their driver’s licence.