Frequently Asked Questions About Van Hire
When you are using self storage one of the things that many customers do, is rent a van from a local van hire company. This is quite a simple process but there are one or two questions which you may have. This short article hopefully provides some of those answers.
What is the Minimum Age to Hire a Van?
The minimum age to hire a van will be dependent on your provider. You should check this with them. Generally, with panel vans, you need to be between the ages of 21 and 75 years old. Some providers will have a minimum age of 23 years old. With minibuses and Luton vans, the age range is between 25 and 75 years.
Do I Need a Specific Type of Driver’s License to Drive a Van?
This will be dependent on when you pass your driving test. If you passed your test before the 1st of January 1997 then you were issued an old-style driver’s license.
You were able to drive vehicles in Group A. If you have a new style EC drivers license then this will show vehicles in Category B, C1 and D. Check your licence and with the hire company that your Licence covers the vehicle you hire.
I have Points on My License, Can I Still Rent a Van?
Just because you have points on your license does not mean to say you will not be able to rent a van. You will need to check with the van hire company whether they will allow you to rent when you have these endorsements.
The best approach is to inquire as to their policy when you make your initial enquiry. This is much better than arriving on the day of rental, only to find out you are unable to rent due to driving license points.
My Moving Day has Changed, and I Need to Change the Date of My Van Hire
Most van hire companies will not have a problem with you changing the date of your hire. Providing as much notice is the key. If you give the van hire company as much notice as possible, they will normally be able to accommodate any change.
Van hire companies get busy, particularly at weekends. It may not be possible to change the date due to availability.
Can Additional Drivers Be Added?
Van hire companies will allow additional drivers. This may be at a small cost. Remember that the additional driver must be the appropriate age to drive the vehicle. They must also have the correct license.
What is Insured?
This will depend on the terms, conditions and policy of the van hire company. Most van hire companies will charge an excess if the vehicle is returned with any damage.
The reason for this is to keep their insurance costs as low as possible. It enables them to keep their hire costs lower, which makes them more competitive. It is also a great incentive for renters to be careful with the vehicle, due to the potential cost of any damage that they cause.
There are ways to mitigate this risk. Often you will be offered additional insurance to protect the excess when you rent the vehicle. This is one of the ways the van hire company will be able to increase their revenues.
Be aware that you can protect this excess with third-party insurers. It is always worth looking at alternatives on the internet, as these are invariably cheaper than the excess protection that will be offered at the desk when you are renting your van.
Van hire excess is typically around about £1,000. But always check with the van hire company when enquiring.
Returning the Van late, Is There Any Additional Charge?
Most van hire companies will give a degree of grace, in terms of the return time. This may be, for example, thirty minutes. However, if you exceed this grace period then you are likely to be charged for an extra half or full day.
Van hire companies generally charge in 24-hour periods. The other point to remember is that, if you have rented at a discounted rate, any additional time because you return the vehicle late, will probably be charged at the van hires standard rate, which may be more expensive.
It is always recommended that if you know you are going to be late returning the vehicle, that you contact the van hire company as a matter of courtesy to let them know. They may well have the vehicle booked for another customer and this will enable them to make alternative arrangements. Also, it puts you in a better position to negotiate not being charged for the additional time, or at least getting this at a discounted rate.
Van hire companies will always accept the early return of the vehicle. This gives them the opportunity to get the van re-rented. Whether there is a refund available to you will depend on the terms and conditions of the specific van hire company. This is unlikely, but it is always worth checking.
These are just a few of the things to think about when you are renting a van to move your goods into storage. This is a general guide. The answer to the question is to address any concerns directly to the van hire company.
Also, read their terms and conditions before renting. You may well be able to get a copy of these on their website. If not, just ask the company to email you a copy prior to rental.
It is very difficult to read all these terms and conditions when you are standing at the desk, renting the van, with other customers waiting. Also, you will be keen to get your move underway.