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9 months ago - 8 minute read
Figuring out what size moving van you need when renting can feel like an impossible task.
I mean, who really knows how many boxes you’ll have when all your stuff is packed up? 30? 40? 200?
Realistically, most tenants only need a small to medium-sized moving van, especially when renting a furnished property, a studio apartment, or a 1-2-bed flat.
But it really depends on what size property you’re moving from and how much stuff you’re taking with you.
To help you figure out what size moving van you need, we’ve put together an expert guide on the most common UK van sizes and what you can fit in them. We’ll also share our top tips on how to save money on a van when you’re moving rental.
Which size moving van you need depends on 3 main things:
When searching for a moving van to hire, you also need to consider what level of service you need. There’s a difference between hiring a moving van and hiring a removal company.
Hiring a van means you’ll need to load, unload and drive the van to your new rental yourself.
Whereas hiring a removal company means hiring a van plus a team of people to help you load, unload and drive the vehicle.
Hiring just a van will always be cheaper than hiring a removal company, but with good reason! DIY-ing your move from one rental to another can be a lot of work. It can also be risky if you have fragile belongings.
If you’re thinking about hiring just a van, not a removal company, consider things like:
Related article: Top tips to help you move from one rental to another
When you move from one rental to another, you can usually hire one of four sized moving vans.
While some of the specifics may vary per company, here’s a general moving van size guide to help you determine what size moving van you may need:
Who is it Usually Suitable For?
Medium Wheels Base (MWB) Van
280-380 cubic feet
Equivalent to a medium-sized garden shed
1-2 people moving from living at home or an unfurnished studio apartment or a 1-bedroom flat
People with 30-40 boxes to transport with no furniture
Long Wheels Base (LWB) Van
380-350 cubic feet
Equivalent to a single garage
People moving from 1–2-bedroom flats with some furniture and 20-30 boxes
3.5 Tonne Luton Van
550 cubic feet
People moving from a 2-bedroom flat or a small house with some furniture and up to 45 boxes
People who need a van with a tail lift to load heavy items
7.5 Tonne Luton Van
650-880 cubic feet
People moving from 3-bedroom houses with lots of furniture, kitchen appliances and 40-50 boxes
Related article: Top 10 questions to ask when viewing a house to rent
It’s always a good idea to get more than one quote when you’re looking at hiring a moving van.
Ideally, you want to get at least 3 quotes from different companies.
If you can, make sure 1 quote is from a company based in your new area and 1 is based where you currently live. Sometimes, quotes can be cheaper in your new area compared with where you currently live.
It’s best to speak to each company directly rather than just booking a van to hire online. This is because you can ask their advice about what size van you need.
When you speak to the company, try to give as much detail as possible about what you need to transport and how it might need to be done.
For example, tell them if you have lots of large or heavy furniture items, like wardrobes and beds, that need to be taken down a flight of stairs.
Some companies carry out a free home survey to assess how much stuff you have and what van size you need. If you’re hiring removal services as well as the van, it’s a good idea to do the survey. It’ll ensure you get a more accurate quote.
Remember, always be careful of scammers. Do your research about the company you’re hiring from and check the reviews to ensure it’s a legit business.
To recap the above, here’s how to hire a moving van or a removal company:
Related article: Pros & cons of renting furnished vs unfurnished
Moving from one rental to another can be expensive, especially when you have to pay rent, bills, and your deposit upfront (although the secret is that your deposit doesn’t always have to be paid upfront!).
Hiring a moving van is just another expense renters have to deal with.
If you live in the UK, hiring a moving van can cost anywhere between £40-£200 per day, depending on the van size you need.
If you’re hiring removal services as well, you’ll usually be charged an hourly rate for each person you have helping you. This can cost anywhere between £40 to £135 per hour.
Saving money is always a priority when you’re moving. Here’s our best advice on how to save money when you’re moving rental.
Related article: How & why Lifetime Deposits can help moving renters
A guaranteed way to save money when you move is to get rid of stuff you don’t want or need.
The less stuff you have, the smaller moving van you’ll need. Naturally, the smaller the moving van, the cheaper it’ll be!
Purging your belongings may sound easy, but it can be more difficult than it sounds.
Before you start packing, ask yourself questions like:
Some good items to purge to save money when you move are often things like:
Related article: Everything renters need to know about end of tenancy cleaning.
Another way to save money when you move is to pack wisely.
The goal is to minimise the number of boxes you need to take with you as best you can.
Here are a few tips to help you pack smartly:
Related article: Expert tips to help your rental application stand out
Moving from one rental to another can be a stressful and expensive time. Getting help can make things easier, cheaper and less stressful.
If you don’t feel too cheeky asking, see if nearby friends or family are willing to lend a hand when you’re moving.
For example, you could ask for favours like:
Related article: 40+ First home essentials every new renter needs
It probably goes without saying that the more time a removal company spends with you, the more it’ll cost.
Most removal companies charge by the hour, so the goal is to make things as quick and easy for them on moving day.
While you should be given a relatively accurate cost upfront, if you leave tons of stuff for the removal company to do on the day, you’ll be charged for the extra time it takes.
For example, if they need to tape up your wardrobes or dismantle furniture for you, this could come at an extra, unexpected cost.
To ensure you get an accurate quote from the removal company, choose a supplier who undertakes a free home visit before giving you a cost.
Ask the company what you can do in advance to save time on the day, and be upfront about what you’ll need them to do.
For example, don’t neglect to tell them that they’ll need to take furniture down 3 flights of stairs in the hopes they won’t charge you for it on moving day!
Some other things you can do to save money include:
Related article: 15 Things all renters MUST do when moving rental
You no longer need to save up for a deposit every time you move.
For the first time ever, if you already have a deposit protected in a deposit scheme, you can transfer it to your next property.
A Lifetime Deposit will help you keep hold of £1,200 on average, which we think is pretty neat.
We are on a mission to help more people move, so if you are moving soon, don’t forget your Lifetime Deposit!
If you're a renter, we've got your back. This corner of the Fronted site is loaded with everything from moving tips, Lifetime Deposits, and anything you need to make renting, or moving, a breeze.
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