What Size Van Hire Do I Need?

Whether you’re transporting a new washing machine or a few pieces of furniture during a move to your new home, taking a trip to the country with your family, or catering a special event, renting a van is a convenient and cost-effective way to get around.


When it’s time to make your van rental decision, it can be a bit overwhelming with all of the choices available to you. Which size van should you choose? Have you considered the weight limitations? Knights Van Hire is here to help. It’s important to us that you find the vehicle that meets your needs — not too big or too small. 


Before you get started, it’s best to understand two words that you will frequently come across while renting vans: payload and load space.





Next, you will need to know which type of licence you need to safely operate each van.


Now that you’re ready to rent, here are your options:

Small vans

Similar to compact vans, this option seats two people, including the driver. Small vans are wider, and they are also longer than a compact van. Again, this type of van is commonly used by people who specialize in self-employment and trades. This includes florists, electricians, DJs, and many others. 


Small vans sport an average payload of 500 kilograms. For load space, think of washing machines, small boxes, a chest of drawers, and other small items. Another great benefit is that this size van is great on fuel, too.


Medium vans

This is one of the most commonly rented van options — and for many reasons. Medium vans offer much more space than a small van, including headroom for transporting taller items. There’s also space for two more passengers to accompany the driver. Another benefit is that you can still park your medium van in a traditional parking space. 


Medium vans support a payload of up to 800 kilograms. For the carpenter or plumber that is carrying larger materials, a medium-sized van should be up on the list. For the mover, you may have enough space for dining tables or a dresser. If you’re thinking about larger items, such as a sofa, consider a large van. Whatever you’re transporting, medium vans offer some additional comforts for passengers. There are electric windows and other navigation tools that make driving easier. 


Large vans

If you need to carry long, large, or heavy materials, pick this option. Large vans also sport even more height than medium vans. You can now move sofas, several boxes, and most household items. Keep in mind that a larger payload leaves more room for items to move around during the drive. 


Properly secure your items to protect them — and your vehicle. Stacking items properly is a great way to avoid damage. Due to the larger size of this vehicle, it may also take some time to get the hang of driving around town. It is recommended that you drive carefully and get acquainted with the added weight and size of the van.

Large vans support a payload of up to 800 kilograms, but offer more load space for your taller and bulkier items, appliances, or tools. 


Luton vans

The 3.5 tonne Luton van is highly requested for moving. With a tail lift, it is easy to bring large furniture and appliances in and out of the van. Plan ahead, and protect your back by choosing this option. This is the van of choice for movers who need to pack the entire flat into one or two trips. The added space above the cabin fits looser and more delicate items, allowing them to be separated from larger and heavier loads in the main cargo area. This van easily supports up to 900 kilograms and seats three in the main cabin.


Extra-long vans

Not much introduction is needed for this van. Length is an advantage, and you can move longer, bulkier items like wraparound sofas and sectionals, lumber, rebar, or a dining room table. It is important to be aware of the payload, though. Again, always be aware of the payload. An extra long van supports the same 900 kilograms as the Luton van, but does so with a much longer cargo space, at the expense of less vertical space. Always be sure to know the safety recommendations for your van. This van can accommodate three people in the cabin, including the driver.


Refrigerated vans

Grouped in the extra-long category, these vans are excellent options for caterers or professionals who are transporting perishable items. This van seats three people, including the driver and supports a payload of 800 kilograms total.


Low loader vans

Choose this option for moving cargo that doesn’t require a tail lift. For a payload of one tonne or less, low loader vans are highly recommended. In addition to the driver, two passengers can comfortably sit inside.



There are quite a few options available to you for your next adventure. Keep our tips in mind for your next move, trip, or job! Still undecided? Contact the Knights Van Hire team today and we’ll help you find the right fit! Learn more here about your local van hire options and click here to book now!

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