4 questions for van rentals

Whether you’re renting a cargo van for moving or a passenger van for travel, know your rights and role as a renter. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Linda P.)

Whether you’re renting a cargo van for moving or a passenger van for travel, know your rights and role as a renter. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Linda P.)

Have a big family road trip coming up? Moving into a small apartment soon? Got an oversized load that won’t fit in your car? Renting a van may be the option you need. But there are some key factors to consider before you purchase a van rental.

1. What do you need the van for?

This may seem obvious but there are many types of van style available and some vans might not suit your needs. For a family road trip, you’ll definitely want something more akin to a passenger van or a mini-van. For large loads, you’ll want a more heavy-duty and less passenger friendly cargo van. Make sure you know what type of van you need an choose accordingly.

2. What features are you looking for?

Modern automobiles have a bevy of available options and this includes passenger vans. If you’re renting a family van, there’s a long list of extra options available to help keep your passengers comfortable, entertained and safe. Rear-bumper parking sensors, in-car DVD players and screens, and armrest audio jacks are just some of the numerous choices you can opt for in a family van.

Cargo vans are less comfortable, but you still want to take a look at the options available, including removable seating or floors with protective durable coatings,  as they can make carrying your cargo easier.

3. What are you liable for as the renter?

Most van rental or car rental companies have some type of “reasonable use” terminology in their contracts, but what does that mean? Be sure you find out what is considered reasonable usage before you rent so you can avoid extra fees due to potential damage.

4. Will the driver be comfortable?

If the driver of the van rental has never driven a van before, it may take some getting used to before they’re comfortable driving the vehicle in traffic. The riding height and length of the vehicle – especially with larger cargo vans – may cause some discomfort, so practice driving the vehicle in an empty parking lot or side street with little traffic before taking the van on the open road.


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