The Ins & Outs Of Van Hire. What You Need To Know

Jul 15, 2022

When you need to transport a large item or group of items, a van is often the best way to go. But what are your options when it comes to van hire? And what should you know before hiring a van?

In this article, we’ll also provide tips on why you might consider van rental, how to choose the right van for your needs and we will discuss the benefits of van hire and explain why it’s often a better option than buying and owning a van.

What could you use a van for?

use a van

Some of the many reasons you may need to hire a van:

Secure and weatherproof

A van is lockable and anything transported is completely enclosed. Your cargo is safe and protected from the elements.

Moving house or office

Perfect for a property relocation. They can hold a lot more stuff than your car meaning you don’t have to make multiple trips. Obviously, if you are moving the furniture and possessions from a large house or office, you may need to consider using a moving truck instead.

Transporting large items or furniture

If you need to shift a piano, pool table, three-piece suite or even a jukebox you will find a van is the obvious moving vehicle. These items are too big or bulky for your family car but will fit nicely in a van.

Carrying equipment for a business project or event

If you are heading off to an exhibition or have a pop-up shop or market stall, you will need to carry a lot of equipment and stock. A van is what you need. You can even leave items in the van until required, safely locked up.

Home deliveries

There’s a good reason parcels and packages delivered to your home or office arrive in a van. A van can transport more than a car and often has a sliding side door as well as double rear doors, for ease of loading and unloading.

Transporting a pet to the vet or a new home

When you need to travel with your dog or cat consider making them a bed in the back of a van. They’ll be comfortable, with no stress from passing traffic or the scenery rushing by, plus they are safe and unable to run away.

Travelling to a gig

There are many stories of excited, up-and-coming bands travelling the country with all of their equipment in a van. The equipment is secure and could there between appearances and a van may be the perfect size to hold guitars, amps, drums and PA from your average travelling musical hopefuls.

Moving to University

You or a family member are moving to university for the first time. You need a van to be able to comfortably carry enough for at least a term. If you move to unfurnished accommodation, you will need a bed and a desk, as well as the clothes, books, snacks and equipment for study and relaxation.

Temporary storage

If you need emergency, secure, temporary storage, rent a van. You can even relocate your store as needed!

Taking a group of people on a trip/to the airport

Great for helping to take a group of people on a road trip or to the airport. Your van will carry all of the luggage plus any equipment needed, for camping, or the outdoor kitchen, for instance.

Things to check when you hire a van

hire van

Some things to consider when you choose a particular van, or when you go to collect the vehicle.

Size/weight capacity

A van has a greater load capacity than a car but it still has limits. Make sure you know the approximate weight and volume of the items you need to transport. If your van of choice isn’t capable, you may need to consider a larger van or another type of moving vehicle.

Southern Cross Truck Rentals have a handy, easy-to-use, volume calculator to help you estimate your cargo requirements.

Side door

If your van has standard double rear doors, the stuff you load into your van first will be the last items you’ll be able to unload. They will be at the back of the storage area. If your van has a side door, you will have access to almost everything you carry.

Air conditioning

Air-conditioning should come as standard for vehicle hire in Australia, but make sure before you drive away into the summer heat.

Is it Clean?

You may expect to find some dust in the cargo area, but it should have been swept. The body of the van and the driver’s area should have been cleaned, at least for the sake of your clothes!

Generally, if a rental company looks after the inside and the appearance of a vehicle you have confidence they ensure it is well-maintained, too.


Is it an automatic or manual drive? If you are used to driving a vehicle with automatic gear changes, you may struggle with a gear stick. Check with the rental company when you make your booking.

What Licence is needed?

You should be able to drive a van on your ‘C’ (car) licence vehicles over a certain weight or with a large passenger capacity may require a driver with a different class of licence. Again, your truck rental company will be able to advise.


Having a sound system or radio is a matter of personal choice but it’s likely you will need aid for navigation. Many modern vehicles have ‘Android Auto’ or ‘Apple CarPlay’ as standard and, if not, you should be able to rent a satellite navigation system as an “extra”.

How many passengers (heavy lifting)

Check out the number of seats in the cabin area. Having an additional helper could make a difference when it comes to heavy lifting.

The benefits of hiring instead of buying your own van

Van Hire

Driving Confidence

Your rental vehicle should be well-maintained and regularly serviced. Make sure your rental company offers full 24-hour breakdown cover to make sure you reach your destination.


Hiring a van is usually more cost-effective than buying one. All of the running costs, such as maintenance, servicing, breakdown cover and insurance are taken care of by the rental company.

Save on parking

It may not seem like a big deal, but having to provide a parking space, or spaces, especially in the city can be expensive. With a van rental, you could collect it and return it directly to the rental company with no need for it to be located outside your home or business.

Try before you buy

When you need to buy a van, hiring one first gives you the opportunity to try it out before you commit to buying one. This is a great way to make sure you are happy with your potential purchase.

You can get the van you need for every job

When you hire a van, you can choose the best van for your needs. This means you are not stuck with a small van without the features you need.

Special deals/extras

Truck rental companies may have special deals or offers. Make sure to ask about

  • One way rentals
    Your truck rental company may collect or drop off your van at a location convenient for you.
  • 24-hour emergency breakdown cover
    To guarantee you will get to where you are heading!
  • Driver for hire
    If you don’t want to drive yourself, ask about van and driver packages.

Rent with confidence


At Southern Cross Truck Rentals, we tick all the boxes. Our fleet consists of late-model, well-serviced clean and comfortable vehicles. Our friendly, expert team will answer your questions and offer advice where needed.

If you realise one of our vans isn’t sufficient for your needs, we have other popular options which can also be driven using a ‘c’ (car driving licence:

  • Refrigerated trucks
    If you need to carry food or perishable goods, consider hiring our 2 or 3-tonne refrigerated trucks.
  • Minibus
    Carrying some friends or family? Go for the comfort of our 12-seater minibus, complete with a CD player for a singalong as you travel!
  • Moving truck
    Did you check your capacity requirements using our truck volume calculator?If you realise you need a larger vehicle, we can help. Our 3-tonne Pantech can be driven on your car licence. It may carry more than a van and comes complete with moving equipment, including blankets and ropes.

We offer short-term and long-term hire and may be able to offer driver and vehicle packages. If you are travelling long-distance ask about interstate hire deals.

Call our friendly expert team today. We will make sure you get the truck, or van, you need when you need it.

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