Friday, 7 October 2016

Hiring a Van

For many people, it's rare to need to Hire a Van - but maybe it's a 'home-move' or a student leaving home and needing to be ferried to college - then a 'Big Van' might be the answer! 

For the uninitiated (and unprepared), hiring and driving a van can be a daunting experience. 

The Transit Van - a popular choice

The 'Backbone of Britain' for more than 40 years, the Ford Transit is the van against which all others are judged.  The Transit is easily one of the most refined vans to drive and it also features a superb gear shift with its standard six-speed manual gearbox.  Every Transit comes with ESP, ABS and traction control as standard.

Ford Transit Van Hire Derbyshire East Midlands

Then there's the choice of front, rear and four-wheel drive, short wheelbase, medium wheelbase, long wheelbase and even the extra-long 'Jumbo' Transit van variants!  Different body lengths, various roof heights and a number of off-the-shelf body configurations including the 'Double Cab-In Van' crew vans.

There aren't too many automatic vans available for hire - so make the phone calls first - if you are an 'automatic only' driver.

Get smart with your hired van
Get to know the dimensions of your van before you turn the key.  Fully familiarise yourself with the length, width and importantly the height of the vehicle!  You won't gain many friends by getting your van stuck under a car park height barrier or clattering a parked car with your side mirrors.  If you're used to driving a car then you'll need to keep in mind that the wheelbase (distance between the centre of the front and rear axles) will be much longer on a van which means you'll need to give yourself more room before turning in at junctions and around obstacles.   Some larger vans, such as Transit Jumbo, 5 metre L5 XL Dropside Vans and Dropwell Luton Removal Vans also have a long body overhang behind the rear axle.  This overhang can "whip-around" when a sharp turn is made, which can lead to the rear of the vehicle striking adjacent objects, so take extra care when manouevring these extra-long vehicles.

Many vans (especially Luton Vans and Panel Vans with unglazed rear doors) may not have a rear view mirror - don't panic, vans usually compensate with huge door mirrors which will fill the gap.  They can take some getting used to though.

Keep your 'street cred' by remembering which side of the van the fuel filler is on - we've all been entertained by 'new drivers' over-stretching fuel filler pipes or scrambling to reach the other side of the vehicle to fill up.  Also remember that the majority of vans are diesel fueled!

Hire Van Dashboard
Test drive until confident
A hired van will handle very differently from your own family car; your driving position is usually higher, the gear stick may be on the dashboard and the handbrake could be much more of a reach.

Test drive the vehicle before loading up - you need to know where all the bits are...

Familiarise yourself with the essential controls: screen washer/wipers, horn, indicators, heaters, etc.  'I didn't see the lamp-post because my screen was misty' - is frowned up by police and insurance companies alike.

The van will likely be longer than the vehicle you usually drive, so cornering needs more thought - a slower and wider approach is the name of the game.

As for brakes... they could feel really fierce - due to built-in braking technology such as 'electronic brake assist' - sounds great, but where will your cargo end up if you stamp on the middle peddle too hard?  A heavy load in the back will also increase stopping distances, so think smart and think ahead.

There are no prizes for pranging a gate post, road sign or another vehicle - enlist a passenger to help park your unfamiliar van.  If you are alone, get out and check the space first. Don't rush into parking, take your time and keep it safe.

Parking a Hired Van
Watch out for any parking/loading restrictions - you don't want to find one of these stuck to the windscreen!

Loading all the stuff
Spread the load items evenly, working from the cab towards the back to keep the weight centralised. Always put the heaviest items on the floor to keep the centre of gravity low and firmly secure any items that may move around during the journey.  That fragile box of drinking glasses won't survive the journey if they are not secured properly. 

Some vans have lashing bars fitted and most have lashing rings on the floor of the load area; use them if available.  If an item can move about, it will.

Take extra care with external loads; if you need to strap ladders, equipment or materials to the outside of your van - e.g. in a dropside, tipper on on a roof rack - take extra care to ensure that these are properly secured to avoid danger to other road users.

Plan ahead
Don't rush the job - trying to save time (and hire costs) can prove to be a false economy. Take your time, plan the route, timings and stops. Dashing about leads to frustration, accidents and cargo damage.

When you've finished with the van, remember to take all your belongings and valuables with you before returning it to the rental company. You'll be surprised what gets left behind in hire vehicles.

Driving Licence and Insurance
Don't forget you will need to take your documents so the van hire company can check you are eligible to drive their vehicles. (Generally most vans are covered by the standard category B driving licence).

You will need to bring along:
  1.   A current, valid, Driving Licence.
  2.  Your National Insurance number (This is so that we can check the validity & eligibility of your driving licence - further info on this here).
  3.  Your postcode, as displayed on your driving licence (This is so that we can check the validity & eligibility of your driving licence - further info on this here).
  4.  Two forms of identification - with the same address as the licence holder, eg: A utility bill, Council Tax bill, bank statement. etc. These need be less than three months old.
  5.  Payment for the van rental (and refundable deposit) will be in cash, by debit card or credit card.
Drivers must be between 21 and 70 years of age and have held a full U.K licence for at least 12 months. Always check with the rental company first, to avoid unnecessary journeys and delays.

Make sure you have the correct hire vehicle insurance cover in place that will cover you for all eventualities. Discuss this with your van hire company, but check the small print to ensure the cover meets all your needs.

Don't forget to ask if there are any special rates for weekends or longer hire periods!

Can I drive a Minibus?
If you passed your driving test prior to January 1st 1997 you can hire and drive a Minibus on your category 'B' (Car) license with no further training.

Drivers who passed their test after January 1st 1997 can only drive a vehicle with up to eight seats (in addition to the driver) - such as 9 seat minibuses - on a standard category B car licence, although certain larger capacity minibuses can be driven on a voluntary basis for non-business purposes.  Otherwise an additional category D1 entitlement must be attained.

Click here for all the official details:

Enjoy the experience!

Vans are really easy to drive these days - van technology, safety and comfort has increased exponentially over the past couple of decades.  Vans are far more car-like and less 'agricultural' than ever before; they're no longer 'bone-shakers' or requiring you to wear ear defenders!

You'll be pleasantly surprised just how comfortable and efficient they really are; you might even be tempted to buy a van for yourself!  Vans are a great way to transport the family, dogs, bicycles and shopping.  The more up-market vans can rival most cars for equipment standards and safety.  Once you've driven a van - you'll be impressed!

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Driving Licence Changes - What it means for our customers

IMPORTANT UPDATE - June 2015 Driving Licence Changes

Due to the abolition of the paper counterpart driving licence by the DVLA, we now have to validate customers' driving licence details electronically which has led us to introduce new procedures for hiring vehicles to customers who use our own insurance cover (i.e. private individuals & small businesses who are only hiring a vehicle for a short period of time).
As of June 8th, 2015, we are unable to hire a vehicle to you if you do not/cannot produce your current driving licence and a valid, single-use licence check code obtained via the DVLA website.
The DVLA has introduced a service on its website which is free to use and enables individuals to provide proof of the validity & entitlement of their driving licence to companies such as vehicle rental operators by means of a unique code, without disclosing any unnecessary private information.
To use this service you will to provide the following 3 pieces of information:
1.  Your driving licence number
2.  Your National Insurance number
3.  Your postcode, as displayed on your driving licence
If you are hiring a vehicle from us within the next 72 hours, you can request your code from the DVLA in advance, which will significantly speed-up the process of collecting the vehicle from us.  We recommend that you do this at a convenient time prior to arriving at our hire depot.  At peak times, several hire customers trying to obtain codes from DVLA upon arrival will cause severe delays, so we have introduced an additional fee if you are unable to provide a valid DVLA Licence Check code upon arrival.
If you are hiring a vehicle from us which is covered by our insurance and you fail to produce a valid code when you arrive to collect the vehicle, we can assist you in obtaining a code, but this will incur a non-refundable flat-rate fee of £5 +VAT which will be added to the cost of your vehicle hire. 
If you fail to produce your physical driving licence at vehicle collection, we will be unable to hire you a vehicle.
We do not wish to impose this fee upon anyone, it is intended as a deterrent to customers arriving under-prepared which puts unecessary demands upon our hire staff.  This in turn has a  negative impacting upon the efficiency & quality of our service and overall customer experience.  Therefore we urge all private hirers to follow the steps below to ensure a swift and smooth vehicle handover without any additional costs:

Tutorial - how to request your free driving licence check code from the DVLA website

You can view the official DVLA guide, click here (opens a PDF file in a new window), or follow our 5-step pictorial below...
STEP 2:  Enter your details.  (click image for larger version)

Driving Licence Check Explanation Pic 04

STEP 3:   Select "Share your licence information".  (click image for larger version)

Driving Licence Check Explanation Pic 01

STEP 4:   Click "Create a code".  (click image for larger version)

Driving Licence Check Explanation Pic 02

STEP 5:   Find your code & take a note.  REMEMBER: the code is CASE SENSITIVE.  (click image for larger version)

DVLA paperless driving licence explanation 04

To visit the DVLA website for more information on the changes to driving licences and the abolition of the paper counterpart, click here.

Vans & Trucks for hire to private individuals & small businesses

Whether you are a private indiviudal wishing to hire a van to move house/take items to the local tip/collect some DIY materials, or you are a small local business which occasionally needs to move a large item/hire a replacement vehicle while yours is being serviced, you probably don't have your own fleet insurance policy that covers hire vehciles.  Therefore you need an all-inclusive rental package with insurance cover & VAT included in the price.
That's why Maun Motors offer a wide range of commercial vehicles - from Car-derived Vans to 9 seat Minibuses to 7.5 tonne Box Vans - available for rental by private customers, traders & small businesses.
We have 24 hour and 4 hour all-inclusive rates available on many van & truck types.  For a ful list of the vehicles you can hire from us with insurance cover included, click here.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

New Truck & Van Hire Website for Maun Motors

Maun Motors Self Drive Launch New Website

After months of design & development, we are proud to announce the launch of the brand new Maun Motors Self Drive truck, van & minibus hire website!

Live now at:

The new site is responsive, so it's mobile-friendly and can be viewed on any device. 

We've improved the layout & navigation, the vehicle search function, the photography and the ease of use... just about everything then!

But don't take our word for it.  Take a look at the snapshots below or have a browse of the real thing now at

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

4x4 Sprinter Service Van for HMF (UK) Ltd – WTG Operations

Maun Motors Self Drive has supplied HMF – a leading Truck Loader / Lorry-Mounted Crane manufacturer – with a four-wheel drive Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 318 CDi MWB on long-term hire.

HMF has a long-standing reputation for producing some of the World’s best lorry cranes and in recent years they have expanded into the WTG (Wind Turbine Generation) Crane market.  These huge, electricity generating wind turbines actually have their own service crane mounted within the ‘nacelle’ (the pod atop the tower, which houses the generator) and HMF supply these to WTG manufacturers.

Wind turbines are usually erected in remote, off-road locations and the cranes inside need regular servicing and routine maintenance.  This has led to a requirement for HMF to operate service and repair vehicles with off-road capabilities and the company approached Maun Motors to supply mobile workshop vehicles which met their requirements.

The solution was this 176ps, 3.5 tonne GVW Sprinter with selectable 4x4 and BF Goodrich off-road tyres, complete with an extensive internal van racking and worktop system in the rear.  This allows up to 3 engineers to travel on site, right up to the base of the turbine tower, carrying all of their tools and spare parts in the rear of the van.

If you have any requirements to hire a specialist commercial vehicle, please call our rental department on 01773 810007 to discuss your needs, as we may be able to provide a ‘one-off’ bespoke vehicle on long-term or contract hire.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Transit Dropwell Luton Vans join Maun Motors Rental Fleet - Pantechnicons for Hire

Maun Motors has recently added some large volume Ford Transit Dropwell Lutons to its rental fleet of over 800 commercial vehicles.

These large luton-bodied vans are also known as "pantechnicons" and are popular with furniture companies and removals firms.  These particular Transits feature a powerful 2.4 litre TDCi turbo-diesel engine with 6-speed gearbox and they are fitted with quality JCP luton bodies that have an internal length (not including the luton head above the cab) of 4.57 metres (15 feet 2 inches) and a main floor length of 3.87 metres (12 feet 5 inches).

These Transits replace our popular Iveco Daily dropwell lutons which have featured on our hire fleet for several years.  They feature a special lowered section to the rear of the body, which allows the driver to easily access the load area when loading and unloading the van. 


As you can see from the above photographs, these large luton bodies feature internal tie-rails to allow cargo to be secured to the sides of the vehicle.  This is another handy feature for removals companies, because tall and top-heavy items such as wardrobes and grandfather clocks can be safely transported with less risk of damage from toppling over.

If you would like to enquire about hiring one of these spacious vans, or would like some figures on long-term rental or contract hire, please visit our rental enquiry page or call our hire department direct on 01773 810007

Maun Motors Self-Drive Installs Retrofit Anti-Fall or Fall-Arrest Webbing to Dropsides & Flatbed Lorries for its Truck Hire Customers

Utilising our own in-house body building workshops, Maun Motors can now install fall-arrest systems to our fleet of crane lorries, dropside and flatbed trucks, to help customers meet their health and safety commitments.  Upon request by an account customer, this safety equipment can be retro-fitted to an existing hire vehicle, or a new vehicle can be built to specification for a long-term rental contract.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, "Falls from vehicles are among the most common accidents involving workplace transport.", so more and more companies are looking to incorporate installation of fall prevention systems to their commercial vehicle fleet, including the rental and contract hire vehicles they operate. 
The two fall-arrest system designs we have produced so far incorporate different materials to suit individual customer requirements.

The first design features galvanised steel box section rails, which surround both sides anjd the rear of the load area.  The body pillars are extended and the bars attach to these by means of anti-luce fasteners.  This makes the ant-fall rails easy and quick to remove when access to the load area is required, but ensures a very robust fall prevention system.  Our design also incorporates a drop-down access ladder to allow operator access to the load area when required.  The downsides to this steel construction are additional weight (i.e. reduced payload) and, should any damage occur to the anti-fall rails, the replacement cost of manufacturing a new bespoke rail to fit.

Our steel rail fall-arrest system looks like this (click on images to enlarge):

The second configuration of system to prevent falls from vehicles incorporates nylon webbing tension straps, which again protect from falls over both sides and the rear of the vehicle.  Extended rear and centre pillars ensure that the straps remain in place and the tension of the straps can be controlled by the operator by means of a ratchet tensioning mechanism.  These straps are much more lightweight than the steel rail design and are designed to withstand regular use.  However, it is recommended that the ratchet and hook end-attachments are regularly lubricated and due to their construction the webbing straps can de prone to chaffing and cutting from cargo with sharp edges.  These straps are very economical, quick and easy to replace, should one become damaged.  To assist the operator/driver to access the load bed, removable grab-handles are located at access points and painted high-visibility yellow for ease of location.  Also, non-slip sections are fitted to the body side guards and side rave (again, painted in high-vis yellow) at all load area access points.

Our webbing strap fall-arrest system looks like this (click on images to enlarge):

If your company has requirements for renting a crane lorry, dropside or flatbed with a fall-prevention system fitted, then please call Maun Motors direct on 01773 810007 to discuss your requirements.

For further reading regarding the prevention of falls from vehicles, please visit the HSE website or download their online leaflet entitled Preventing Falls from Vehicles - Advice for workers.