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Transit van hire with Nationwide Hire

Transit van hire for dispatch

According to the Collins Dictionary a Transit Van is a type of van used for carrying goods, and that describes it perfectly. The most popular and well-known vehicle of this type is the Ford transit – one of the most successful van models in Europe and one of the best-selling vehicles of this type in the UK for more than 40 years.   

This range of Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) have been produced since the mid 20th century to help tradesman and businesses go about their daily business, and we at Nationwide hire have a range of vehicles that do just that. In short, a LCV is a commercial carrier vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of no more than 3.5 tonnes, built to be tough and engineered to be fuel efficient. Vehicles that fit into this bracket include many goods carrier vehicles including pickup trucks and vans, especially those with passenger capabilities.

If you’re looking to hire a van, then there are many options available to you at Nationwide Hire. Transit vans come in different sizes and choosing the right one will be based on need.

How big are transit vans and what van is best for me?
Transit vans are pretty spacious, and the length allows for larger items to be carried safely. Knowing what you intend to carry in the van, whether you’re transporting smaller goods or need to fit lots of equipment on board, will help you to decide what wheelbase size is best for you. The wheelbase is the distance between the front and rear axles of a van, and at Nationwide we have short and long wheelbase vans available. We also offer a choice of heights on our transit vans with the long-wheelbase variant available with the high roof – it’s worth checking any height restrictions on your journey before hiring a van as many car parks have height limits in place.  

Hire a Ford Transit SWB (or similar)
The Ford Transit short wheelbase (SWB) is available from Nationwide Hire with a low roof. The specifications are as follows:

Passengers – 3
Drive – Manual
Internal dimensions (LWH) – 2.30m x 1.70m x 1.53m
External dimensions (LWH) – 4.85m x 2.40m x 2.00m
Payload (how much you can safely carry including passengers and cargo) – 900 - 1200kg
Volume (cubic m) – 8.5
Volume (cubic ft) – 300
Miles per Gallon (MPG) – 30 - 40

Transit vans like this are great for house moves and clearances, transporting smaller pieces of furniture, tradesmen’s tools and equipment and delivery drivers.

SWB Transit van hire starts from £164.98* ex VAT for a two-day period for a driver over the age of 25, including delivery and collection.

SWB transit van for hireExample of a SWB transit van for hire through Nationwide Hire

Hire a Ford Transit LWB (or similar)
The Ford Transit long-wheelbase (LWB) is available from Nationwide Hire with a high roof. The specifications are as follows:

Passengers – 3
Drive – Manual
Internal dimensions (LWH) – 3.35m x 1.70m x 1.90m
External dimensions (LWH) – 5.70m x 2.40m x 2.55m
Payload – 1200 - 1500kg
Volume (cubic m) – 11.3
Volume (cubic ft) – 400
Miles per Gallon (MPG) – 28 - 35
Towing capacity – 1500kg

Transit vans like this are great for larger house moves and clearances, transporting larger and heavier pieces of furniture, tradesmen’s tools and equipment, delivery drivers and tradesman who need more headroom inside a vehicle.

LWB Transit van hire starts from £233.73* ex VAT for a two-day period for a driver over the age of 25, including delivery and collection.

LWB transit van for hireAn example of a LWB transit van for hire through Nationwide Hire

Driving a transitDriving a van is similar to driving a car but it’s perfectly reasonable to feel a little apprehensive

What do I need to know about hiring and driving a transit van?
When hiring and driving a van there are some factors you need to consider. Most driving licenses allow you to drive a transit van as long as the weight does not exceed 3.5 tonnes (3,500kg). However, you may need to add higher categories to your license if the weight of your van exceeds this, so check before you hire.

If you have driven a van before then you are probably confident behind the wheel, but in many hire situations, the customer may not have previously driven a large vehicle like this. In reality, driving a van is no more difficult than driving a car but it’s perfectly reasonable to feel a little apprehensive, and equally as important you know how to confidently manoeuvre the vehicle for your safety and other road users. Although you are covered by insurance on the road, damage to a hire vehicle can be a costly affair.

Tips for driving
• Before setting off, familiarise yourself with the controls – lights and windscreen wipers being a priority as these are more likely to be used on a journey. If you’re potentially driving in the dark, check out our guide to driving a vehicle at night.

• Sit in the driving seat and get a feel for the position you are in. It may feel very different from sitting in a car and the more upright posture may take some getting used to.

• Take a note of your mirrors. Transit vans don’t generally have a rear-view mirror (although newer models have these with rear cameras to help) so you adjust the two-door mirrors to give you the best view of the road.

• Make sure you are aware of the van dimensions and how this affects your journey and destination. Make a note of any height or width restrictions which may hinder you.

• When loading items into the van make sure they are secured, not only to prevent damage but also ensure the stability of the van is not compromised by moving items. Do not exceed the payload of the van as this is not only dangerous but also carries a fine if you are stopped. Remember if you are carrying anything hazardous to display the relevant warning on the outside of the van. Please do not use stickers on our hire vehicles.

• Check your brakes – this is more to get an idea of how responsive they are as opposed to scrutinising their adequacy. Brakes are designed for a full load so they may seem really sensitive and over-responsive when the van is empty.

• Once behind the wheel, try to drive calmly, take your time and be patient with other road users. Keep a check on your speed and remember stopping distances are longer for larger and heavier vehicles, and accelerating from a stationary position will also take longer, so give yourself plenty of time and space when pulling out.

• Remember to adjust your speed limits when driving a van. On single-carriageway roads displaying the national speed limit sign, vans are limited to 50mph and 60mph on a dual carriageway. A van is typically allowed to run to the 70mph on a motorway, the same as a car.

• Be aware of blind spots. Although the large door mirrors generally have smaller blind spot mirrors integrated into them, remember to position your vehicle carefully to minimise creating blind spots. When manoeuvring your vehicle, double-check you are clear for added safety.

Information to check
When you hire the van from us make sure you go through this checklist to ensure you know exactly what is expected of you during the hire.
• Know what fuel the van you hire takes. Most vans are diesel but always check to ensure you fill up correctly.

Some of our vehicles now also use AdBlue and this is always marked on your rental agreement alongside the fuel type. AdBlue is used to reduce NOx emissions in vehicles and converts harmful NOx from your diesel vehicle exhaust into harmless nitrogen and steam, therefore considerably reducing the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) that are a major source of atmospheric pollution.

• Check your licence for the categories of vehicle you can drive and ensure you have the correct ones for the van you are hiring.

• Nationwide may charge a young driver surcharge for drivers under 25, but as long as you have a license for driving the type of vehicle you need, you can rent and drive it from us even if you are younger.

• Find out what comes as standard in the van in case of break down. If you’re unsure what you may need, take a look at our article What to do in a breakdown situation for tips and advice.


If you need any help or advice on hiring a transit van from Nationwide hire, please do get in touch. You can call us on freephone 0800 5244 780 or chat to us online between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm Monday to Friday or 8 am and 5 pm Saturday and Sunday.

*Discounts and offers are occasionally available so please speak to a member of our team about hiring any of our vehicles