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The Ultimate Guide to Removal Vans

Adele MacGregor

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

29th Jul 2022 (Last updated on 16th Aug 2022) 5 minute read

Whether you are using a removal company, a man with a van or hiring a vehicle yourself, you will be using a removal van for your move.

Moving the contents of your home in a removal van can ensure your possessions are protected. It also means moving your items in one trip. This is especially vital if the move is long-distance.

Regardless of whether you are hiring a removal van or using professionals, it’s worth having an understanding of removal vehicles. This will allow you to plan ahead for your move and know what to expect on the day.

This article will cover the following:
  1. Why Removal Vans Are Useful When Moving
  2. Types of Removal Vans
  3. Removal Vans and Their Prices
  4. Removal Insurance Explained
  5. Hiring a Professional Removal Company
  6. Renting a Removal Van by Yourself

Why Removal Vans Are Useful When Moving

For the majority of people, moving house will require a sizeable vehicle. Many of us have a considerable amount of possessions, such as clothes, tech and appliances. In fact, a study from AXA UK revealed that the average home in the UK contains nearly £30,000 worth of possessions.

By moving your items in a removal van, you are taking steps to protect your belongings. These vehicles will have the necessary equipment for transporting your items. If you’re using a removal company, they will load the van using their expert knowledge and experience.

Realistically, homes bigger than a small one-bedroom flat will need a removal van. While some items can be dismantled and moved by car, most furniture will require a removal van.

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Types of Removal Vans

The type of removal van you need will largely depend on how much is being moved. It also depends on the size of the items being moved and if there are any specialist items. Larger removals will need a bigger vehicle, a bigger team and extra equipment.

There are four main types of removal vans. These include:

Medium Wheelbase Transit and Sprinter Van

This is the UK's most commonly used removal van, suitable for smaller moves. A typical vehicle will have a loading capacity of 280-380 cubic feet. These will more than likely be a Ford Transit or Mercedes Printer. They are usually ply-lined, have a high roof and an easy loading platform

Long Wheelbase Transit and Sprinter Van

These are larger vehicles, typically with a loading capacity of 380-530 cubic feet. Long Wheelbase Transit vans can carry white goods and furniture. They hold approximately 30-40 boxes alongside other items.

3.5 Tonne Luton Van

With a loading capacity of around 550 cubic feet, Luton Vans are popular among removal firms. Many of the partners in our network will have these in their fleet.

7.5 Tonne Luton Van

This size of Luton Van has a loading capacity of around 880-650 cubic feet. This is suitable for an average 3-bedroom house move, fitting 40-80 moving boxes.

For more information see: A Guide to Removal Van Sizes

Removal Vans and Their Prices

According to our data, the average cost of a removal company for a 3-bedroom house is £806. The cost of your move will depend on your requirements. Removal firms will factor in the length of the journey and the size of the move. It will also depend on your location, with prices higher in London and other big cities.

Keep in mind that the cost includes the vehicle(s), team, equipment, insurance and time. You are also paying for their experience and expertise in moving and packing.

If you are renting a removal van, you will likely pay either a daily or hourly rate. This will depend on the company you use and can vary in price.

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Removal Insurance Explained

Removal companies must have Goods in Transit and Public Liability Insurances before becoming a partner with us. Goods in Transit will cover the cost of goods and the property during the move. The maximum cover is up to £10,000.

Be aware that although we as a company insist partners have this in place, it is not a legal requirement.

There is also Hire and Reward Insurance which covers physical vehicles. It is a legal requirement for any removal van.

If you are hiring a van, many companies will offer insurance or it will be included in the rental price. Make sure that you have insurance in place before driving or loading the van.

For more information on insurance see our Guide to Removals Insurance.

Hiring a Professional Removal Company

Hiring a professional moving company comes with a number of benefits. Not only do they take on the hard work, but they have specialist equipment and experience. They will be insured and know how to safely handle items, protecting your belongings and home.

We would recommend hiring a moving company if the property you are moving from has more than one bedroom. Anyone moving heavy or fragile items would benefit from using a professional firm.

If you do opt for a removal company, keep in mind that there may be items that are classed as non-allowable removal items that they may refuse to move.

Extra Services Offered

Another reason to hire a professional removal company is that many offer additional services to help with your move. These include but are not limited to:

  • Packing: Many firms offer a full professional packing service, part-pack, supplying packing materials or packing specialist items.
  • Storage: Some companies will either have their own facilities or a partnership with a storage company, offering either containerised or self-storage options.
  • Dismantling and Reassembling: Some removal companies offer to dismantle furniture at your old property and reassemble it at your new home.

For more information read: Why Hire a Professional Removal Company

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Renting a Removal Van by Yourself

According to the government website, you can drive a van up to 3,500kg (3.5 tonnes) if you have a standard car driving licence. Be aware that you can be fined up to £1,000 and get 3 to 6 penalty points for driving without the right licence.

Van rental companies may have their own restrictions, however. Vehicle rental company Enterprise require those renting a van to be over the age of 25.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you are driving the removal van yourself:

  • Vans often have lower speed limits on UK roads
  • The van will have a maximum weight when loaded so make sure not to overload it. You can be fined up to £300 or get a court summons if your van exceeds its maximum permitted axle weight
  • Make sure the goods within the vehicle are secured properly
  • Be aware of where you can legally park
  • Make sure the van you are renting has the correct insurances in place

For a larger house move, renting a removal van yourself is unlikely to be an option. There are also safety considerations to be aware of, in addition to the time it will take you to move yourself.

Remember when hiring a removal firm, they have the experience, equipment and team to ensure a safe and efficient move.

Adele MacGregor

Having written for PerformanceIN, WalesOnline, Grazia Magazine and The Olive Press, Adele now writes advice articles for home movers, first-time buyers and house sellers alike.

Dave Sayce

Reviewed by Dave Sayce

Owner & Managing Director, Compare My Move

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

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