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A Guide to Removal Van Sizes

Zenyx Griffiths

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

29th Jul 2021 (Last updated on 18th Aug 2021) 6 minute read

There are a variety of sizes and models for removal vans. Whilst your chosen moving company will be able to accurately allocate the best van for your personal requirements, it’s still important to understand the different vehicles available to you.

Trying to work out which size van you need for your house move can feel impossible. But by using a professional and experienced removal company, you can make the process so much easier. They will be able to assess the property and items that need to be moved during the home removal survey, ensuring you’re provided with the most appropriate moving van.

Compare My Move work with a number of professional property and finance experts, creating insightful guides that will help you through each step of the moving process. In this article, we will explain the many different types of vehicles removal companies use so you’re aware of what to expect on your next moving day.

This article will cover the following:
  1. What Are the Van Sizes Used?
  2. What Size Van Do You Need to Move House?
  3. What Moving Equipment is Used?
  4. Removal Van Insurance
  5. Saving Money on Your House Move

What Are the Van Sizes Used?

Whilst there are a few makes and types of removal vans, there are 4 standard sizes that many moving companies will use.

1. Medium Wheels Base Transit and Sprinter Van

Medium wheels based (MWB) vans are the most commonly used removal vans across the UK. The most common models that you’re likely to encounter are the Ford Transit and Mercedes Sprinter. MWB vans are usually ply-lined and have an easy loading platform and high roof making the moving process much more efficient. They are often cheaper than other vehicles too as they are fairly small.

These types of removal vans are best suited to small moves, with enough space for the personal belongings of 1 or 2 people. Many removal companies will use these vans for jobs that include moving flats or apartments. Depending on the specific size and model, a typical MWB van can fit 30-40 moving boxes and has an average loading capacity of 280-380 cubic feet. Some vehicles may fit a small bed, fridge or mattress, but it greatly depends on their dimensions and the number of boxes being moved.

2. Long Wheels Base Transit and Sprinter Van

Long wheelbase (LWB) vans are slightly larger and are available with either a high or low roof. They are also known as ‘Jumbo Transits’ or ‘Jumbo Sprinters’. This type of removal van is ideal for moving 1-2-bedroom flats but the specific dimensions will depend on the exact make and model your chosen removal company will use.

LWB vans typically have a loading capacity of 380-530 cubic feet and are able to carry a range of white goods and/or several pieces of furniture such as wardrobes, tables, televisions and sometimes double beds. LWB vans can fit approximately 30 boxes alongside these other items, depending on the specific dimensions.

3. 3.5 Tonne Luton Van

Luton vans are very popular amongst removal companies, especially 3.5 Tonne Luton Vans. This type of vehicle was named after the Bedfordshire town where the original Bedford Lorries were produced. They’re not drastically bigger than LWB vans but they have a loading capacity of around 550 cubic feet, meaning there is a little extra space. Many removal teams favour Luton vans as they often have a tail lift to help with the loading and are narrow enough to easily manoeuvre narrow streets. This is why they are especially popular when moving in London.

3.5 Tonne Luton Vans are typically used for a small house move or for moving a 1-2-bedroom flat. They can fit around 45 boxes as well as other furniture such as tables and chairs, wardrobes and 2 double beds. There are also no awkward wheel arches that can get in the way of house removals or deliveries, making it an easier process overall.

4. 7.5 Tonne Luton Van

A 7.5 tonne Luton van is built exactly like a 3.5 tonne Luton van but on a bigger scale. They have a loading capacity of approximately 880-650 cubic feet and can store 40-50 moving boxes. Luton vans of this size are often used for 3-bedroom house moves as they can also hold up to 4 beds, 2 tables and sets of chairs, 3-4 wardrobes and 3 sofas.

Whilst they are usually the largest vehicle a removals company will have, they are still compact enough to move through narrow spaces such as the streets of London. However, if you’re moving anything bigger than a 4-bed property, you might require more than one vehicle depending on your budget.

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What Size Van Do You Need to Move House?

Every piece of furniture will have a cubic feet size value. When measured, this can help your removal company gauge the volume of the van required. As a basic example of this, many medium-sized moving boxes will be around 3 cubic feet, meaning 300 boxes could fit into a 900 cubic feet van.

It can be very difficult and confusing trying to work out specific quantities when moving house - that is why it’s recommended you hire a professional and experienced removal company to help you calculate which size van you need. But to help you prepare, we’ve created a table showing the inner dimensions of 3 of the most common types of removal vans. However, it’s important to highlight that these dimensions will vary depending on a number of factors such as the specific make and model.

Type of VehicleLengthWidthHeightPayload

Long Wheels Base Transit (LWB)

4.2m/14.1ft

1.7m/5ft

1.8m/5.9ft

1000-1200 kg

3.5 Tonne Luton Van

4.0m/13.1ft

2.0m/6.5ft

2.2m/7.2ft

1000-1100 kg

7.5 Tonne Luton Van

6.0m/19.6ft

2.3m/7.5ft

2.3m/7.5ft

1500 – 4000 kg

The data provided in the table above shows the inner dimensions of numerous removal vans, taken from the House Movers website in July 2021.

What Moving Equipment is Used?

One of the benefits of hiring a removal company is knowing that they have the correct equipment to safely load your items. The type of moving equipment used will depend on the specific movers you choose. However, there are a few basic items that most removal companies will need to acquire. These include:

  • Protective workwear such as steel toe-capped footwear
  • Hoisting straps
  • 2 or 4-wheel furniture dollies
  • Ramps
  • Furniture blankets
  • Crates or bins
  • A basic toolkit

If the moving company offers additional services such as help with packing or storage, they may need more equipment than other companies. For example, if a company offers packing services, they will likely need:

  • Packing tape and a dispenser
  • An assortment of moving boxes
  • Packing paper
  • Bubble wrap

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Removal Van Insurance

When comparing removal companies, there are 2 specific types of commercial van insurance cover that you should look out for:

Hire and Reward Insurance

This type of insurance covers physical vehicles. It is a legal requirement for any removal van and for the transportation of goods for monetary reward. It can be fairly expensive to purchase but it is a necessity for any moving company.

Goods in Transit Insurance

This insurance will cover the cost of goods and the property while everything is being moved or placed in storage. The maximum amount for this cost is typically around £10,000. However, removal companies are not legally required to purchase Goods in Transit insurance so it’s vital you ask for further information.

Every partner that enters the Compare My Move network must first be put through our strict verification process - part of this process is providing evidence of this type of insurance cover. To be accepted as a removal partner, the company must provide our team with the relevant documents showing they have both Goods in Transit insurance and Public Liability insurance. This cover ensures that both you and your personal belongings are fully protected throughout the move.

Saving Money on Your House Move

Now that you're aware of the types of vehicles available when moving house, it's time to compare removal quotes to find the most professional company available in your local area. Simply complete Compare My Move’s quick and easy online form to get connected with up to 6 verified removal companies, saving you up to 70% on your moving costs.

Zenyx Griffiths

Before Compare My Move, Zenyx once wrote lifestyle and entertainment articles for the online magazine, Society19 as well as news articles for Ffotogallery.

Dave Sayce

Reviewed by Dave Sayce

Co-Founder and Director, Compare My Move

Dave Sayce is the co-founder and director of Compare My Move and has over 10 years of experience in the house removals industry.