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Ensuring your items reach your new property, on time, and in perfect condition, is imperative. So, guaranteeing a straightforward move starts with making sure you choose the right sized van for the job. As local property experts in Chelsfield we are aften asked, “What size van do I need when moving house?” so we’ve created this easy guide to help you!

Let’s Look at Van Sizes

There are four main sizes of vans used for house moves.

However, sitting outside of this main category is the smallest of them, the short wheelbase panel van. Although this van is not suitable for a full house move, it does have its advantages.

If you are a student moving out of the family home for the first time, perhaps into halls of residence or a furnished place, a small wheelbase van will likely be plenty big enough to transport your belongings.

These smaller vans are popular in London, perfect for navigating the narrow streets and sliding into small spaces.

The main choices when choosing a van for moving house are:

A Medium Wheelbase Van (MWB)

Medium wheelbase vans are the smallest in the main category of removal vans.

They are ideal for those moving without the help of a professional removal company, who may lack the confidence or experience of driving a bigger vehicle. The most commonly used medium wheelbase vans are the Ford Transit and the Mercedes Sprinter.

The interior load size sits at just over three meters in length, meaning they can fit a good number of personal items inside but are not suitable for large amounts of bulky furniture.

However, if you are only moving a short distance and are prepared to make multiple trips, a medium wheelbase van will be perfect.

A Long Wheelbase Van (LWB)

The specifications of these vans will vary between models, but all have the capacity for a significant amount.

These are best for moves from a flat, fitting all of the usual personal items alongside a small amount of furniture. They are long enough to transport the average three-seater sofa. Long wheelbase vans are great for those moving to or from part-furnished properties.  

For those who want to transport white goods alongside household furniture, a bigger vehicle is generally needed.

A 3.5 Tonne Luton Lorry

This is the largest vehicle you can drive with a standard driving licence (category B).

This Luton Lorry can move the average home’s entire contents, comfortably transporting your belongings and furniture from a two bedroomed house. 

The Luton Lorry will have enough room for personal possessions, furniture, and white goods.

A 7.5 Tonne Luton Lorry

A 7.5 tonne Luton lorry requires the driver to hold a HGV licence, so usually, you will need to work with a removal company.  

For three-bedroom properties, you will require a vehicle of this size. Enabling you to fit the entire inventory of furniture, personal items, and white goods.

For anything bigger than a three-bed property, you will need to discuss with the removal company for the prospect of getting multiple vehicles on board.

Hiring a Self-Drive Van v Hiring a Removal Company

A decision must be made during any move, whether to hire a self-drive van or work with a removals company for the moving process.

Compare Prices

Hiring a self-drive van will undoubtedly be much cheaper than working with a removal company. However, a removals firm will get the job done efficiently and professionally. They will also offer additional services such as packing your belongings – and supplying materials such as bubble wrap, boxes and packing tape.

Look at Experience

When hiring a removal company, you are not only paying for their time, but their experience and professionalism.

They will have experience of efficiently packing vans to reduce the chances of anything getting broken in transit and the obvious; experience driving larger vehicles.

You are unlikely to choose the wrong size van when working with a removal company, as they will be able to assess your property and belongings, providing a vehicle that caters perfectly for your needs.

Consider the Stress!

Choosing a self-drive van can often bring about its own elements of stress, as you have the responsibility of sorting, packing, transporting, and unpacking your items without professional help.

Working with a removal company will undoubtedly be less stressful, however, you will have to stick to their timescales. Hiring a self-drive van allows you the freedom to make multiple trips and even spread the move over a few days.

Once the move is complete, a self-drive van will need returning to the designated garage. This can be a logistical issue and yet another stress on top of an already long day.

What about Insurance?

Many removal companies will have different levels of insurance to cover your belongings. A self-drive van will probably not include insurance to cover anything that is broken in transit.

Ensure you discuss the ‘goods in transit’ insurance with your supplier, to decide what level of protection is appropriate for you.

Langford Rae Property Agents are your local property experts for the Chelsfield area. Call us on 01689862770 or email to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.