Right up there with planning a wedding and preparing for your first-born, moving houses is one of the most stressful life experiences of them all. Fortunately, renting a van to help you safely move all of your precious belongings from A to B needn't be a hassle - here's our guide on making sure it all goes off without a hitch.
Planning - and, in particular, knowing exactly what you need to load up and how far it needs to travel - is essential when it comes to renting a van.
This is because rental companies want to know how what kind of capacity you need to shift, as well as the sort of mileage that you'll be doing (in most cases, cross-country trips are unfortunately frowned upon).
It's also important to consider the type of stuff you will be lugging about - if it's going to be too heavy for you to lift into the back of a van, then you may need to rent one with a tailgate lift at the back.
Additionally, if you're loading the van up with material that is potentially harmful to the van's body or interior, then the insurance costs associated with renting will be higher.
It should go without saying that companies which rent out large machinery are generally pretty discerning with their cash and resources.
Often times, those looking to hire a van will need to be a minimum of 21 (and in some cases 25) years old, and have held a UK driver's license for at least three years.
This is simply to ensure that they are up to the task of driving without incident - and there's really no way around it unfortunately.
In most cases, you will also need a credit card - so that the company can keep a security deposit on file - and be able to prove your current (or future) address with an official deed or utility bill.
Remember, due diligence isn't a one-way street. You need to take responsibility for making sure the company you rent from is correctly certified to operate in the UK. A simple check online ought to suffice, but if in doubt, ask them for their credentials directly.
When it comes to choosing which company you rent your van from, it's often contingent on your location and the services available in your area.
Below are some of the ones we recommend taking a closer look at.
Europcar are perhaps the leaders when it comes to van rental in the UK - and a great place to start (or indeed finish; they promise to match any better deals you find on third party websites). Pick-up and drop-off points are available nationwide, with midweek deals said to be the most generous.
Enterprise vans are a popular sight on British roads, as they cater for private customers as well as businesses. Over a longer rental period - let's say more than the standard one week - they offer some of the best value for money on the UK market.
Avis doesn't have quite the same name recognition as Europcar or Enterprise, but its diverse van fleet is specially designed for long-haul trips with heavy cargo in tow. Well worth a look if you need a sturdy pair of wheels.