Everything you need to know about hiring a van

Moving house or sorting out the garden once and for all? Then you may be thinking about hiring a van. But what are the requirements? Are you even qualified to drive one?

Here’s the Hertz guide to everything you need to know to hire a van.

Driving licence and code

You just need a standard UK driving licence to hire and drive a van that weighs under 3.5 tonnes. All vans on the Hertz fleet are less than 3.5 tonnes, so you can take your pick. It’s that simple. You don’t need any special qualifications. All Hertz vans have manual transmissions, so a full licence rather than a licence restricted to automatic vehicles is required.

We also require evidence of any driving endorsements, such as speeding offences, on your licence. For that, you have two options. You can use the government website to print out a copy of your Licence Summary which is valid for 30 days.

The other option is to generate a Unique Code, which Hertz can use to view your summary online. In both cases, go to https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence armed with your driving licence number, your National Insurance number and the postcode on your licence.

Are you old enough?

For the smaller B4 and C4 category Hertz vans, which includes the VW Caddy, the minimum age is 23 years old. Those under 25 must pay a daily young driver surcharge. For Hertz larger vans, like the Ford Transit, Volkswagen Transporter and the Ford Transit Luton, the minimum age is 25 years.

Insurance and excess

All Hertz vans come with insurance cover as part of the hire package. What’s more, most rentals also come with a Collision Damage Waiver policy that limits your liability in the event of an accident or damage to the amount of the excess. For Hertz van rentals in the UK, the excess figure is typically £1,000.

However, for an additional fee you may also be able to choose Hertz’ SuperCover protection. This reduces the excess to zero, meaning you have nothing to pay should the vehicle be damaged. It’s a great option if you want a totally worry-free hire arrangement.

The only exceptions are Hertz Wifi and Hertz NeverLost SatNav units and the keys to the van. Charges will be applied if those items are lost or damaged. You can check the availability of SuperCover with your preferred Hertz hire location.

Fuelled and ready to go

Most Hertz hire vans are fuelled with diesel. However, smaller models such as the Ford Fiesta van may be petrol powered. You can check availability and specifications with your local Hertz branch.

Regarding refuelling, aside from ensuring you refill with the correct fuel type, you have two options. As standard, Hertz runs a full-to-full fuel policy. On collection at the beginning of the hire period, the van will be full of fuel on collection. It also needs to be returned with a full tank. The location of filling stations vary but in practice, Hertz asks that you refuel within 10 miles of the return location.

If the van is returned without a full tank, Hertz charges by the litre to refill including or in addition to a refuelling service charge. Your hire agreement will indicate the specific charges.

The alternative is Hertz’ Fuel Purchase Option. A full tank of fuel is included in the hire charge and you don’t need to refill before returning the van. Just remember, Hertz will not provide a refund if you return the van with a full tank of fuel.

Size matters

You might think bigger is automatically better when it comes to vans, but even the smallest vans on the Hertz fleet have some serious load capacity. VW Caddy, for instance, has under 700kg of total capacity and a load bay that’s 1.5 metres wide, 1.8 metres deep and 1.2 metres tall. Again, that’s a very large load space compared to something like a standard hatchback.

However, if you’re moving large items including furniture, you’ll need more load space. Enter the Ford Transit van, which can cope with loads up to 1,100kg and has a very large load bay measuring 1.8 metres wide, 2.5 metres deep and 2.4 metres tall.

The daddy of Hertz rental vans is the Ford Transit Luton. Its load space is fully three times larger than the standard transit at 2.1 metres wide, 3.9 metres deep and 2.4 metres tall. If you’re doing a major house move with lots of furniture and other large items, the Transit Luton would be your best choice.

Give yourself a lift

Getting large and heavy items such as furniture and home appliances like fridges and washing machines into and out of a van can be a challenge. The van’s load bay is usually a significant distance off the ground.

The solution is to hire a van with a built in tail lift. This is a fold-out platform that lowers to the ground and then raises back up to the load floor, making is much easier and safer to load and unload large and heavy items.

Rolling out

For the most part, modern vans are simple to drive and surprisingly refined and economical. Most are just like a regular road car, right down to features like ABS brakes, stability control systems, steering-wheel airbags and even stereo systems.

However, Hertz larger vans may be much bigger than any car you’ve driven before and particular care must be taken when loading and driving a van with heavy loads. To find out more, see the Hertz guide to everything you need to know about driving a van.

Need to hire a Hertz van? Find out more and book here.