Van rental guide

Student Van Hire

Van hire advice for students moving to or from university

Moving to uni? Worried about how to get all your stuff there?  Want to hire a van but not sure what restrictions apply? Read our student van hire guide and ensure the experience is easy and hassle free!

Hiring a small van can be a good way to move everything into your new student accommodation, and avoids having to drive a dangerously over packed car! However, there are a few things to consider as a young driver hiring a van.

Minimum age for students hiring a van

The minimum age for renting a van varies from company to company.  They can also change these age restrictions on a regular basis so best to check direct with the rental company.

Hertz Van Rental

Hertz - if you are aged 19 or over and have held your drivers’ licence for over a year then Hertz  are currently offering a student van hire deal where you will get 20% off the hire of vans (subject to availability). However, if you’re aged between 19 and 24, you will need to pay a Young Driver Surcharge when you pick up your vehicle.  For rentals in the UK this surcharge is currently £15.75 per day with a maximum of £157.50 per rental. *

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Sixt - you must be 23 to hire a van with Sixt unless you are in London where you can actually hire a van if you are 19 (subject to availability). You must have held your driving licence for a minimum of two years.

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National Van Rental

National - you need to be over 21 years old to hire a van with National and have held your driving licence for at least a year. There is a young drivers’ fee which applies to drivers between the ages of 21 and 25. This surcharge is currently £15 per day. *

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Europcar - you need to be over 21 years old to hire a van.  Their cheapest rates are for drivers who are aged 25 and over. If you are aged between 21 and 25 then you will be charged additional insurance, the amount of which is dependent on your age.

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* Prices correct as of July 2011

What you’ll typically need to hire a van

  • An EU/UK driving licence which you have held for at least one or two years (depending on rental company)
  • Student identification such as the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) or National Union of Students card (NUS).
  • A credit card in the name of the driver.
  • Form of ID such as a utility bill or bank statement.
  • Some extra money in your account so that the rental company can hold a security deposit (in the region of £200 - £250) while you’ve rented the van.

Surcharge for young van drivers

Check whether the rental company will charge you a surcharge and at what age this charge is no longer applied.  Is there someone older who can drive the van?

One way van hire

Think about where you want to drop off the van. Some companies may do one way van hire so you can leave the van at a convenient location near to your university.  However, one way van hire is typically a lot more expensive, and can involve a surcharge of approximately £100 - £150.

Fuel charges

Do you need to return the van with a full tank? If you don’t return it with a full tank, then you may be charged extra. All vans are generally supplied with a full tank of fuel and should be refilled prior to return to returning to the rental station otherwise a refuelling charge may apply.

Parking your van

Can you park and unload your belongings near your accommodation? Check out parking restrictions or time limits and ease of access. Larger vans are difficult to drive in small, confined areas and you may need a friend to help direct you if you have to reverse. If you can park outside your flat or halls of residence great, if not then find the nearest, safest place to park.

London congestion charge

If you’re driving through the city centre in London check the arrangements for paying the congestion charge.

Cheap student van hire

So bearing all this in mind, what’s the best way of keeping down the costs and getting the cheapest van rental?

  • Avoid any student surcharges by getting someone older to drive the van.
  • Ask someone older to hire the van as the main driver and then see if you can name yourself as a secondary driver.  Check the terms and conditions of this with the rental company.
  • Don’t forget that the rental company will typically hold a security deposit while you are renting the van. These funds will need to be in your account and may take a couple of days to be refunded.
  • Check out the large UK rental companies, they regularly offer cheap van hire deals with discounts for van and car hire when you book online.