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    Choosing the Right Removal Van Size

    By The reallymoving Team Updated 24th May, 2024

    Reviewed by Em Smith

    How to choose the removal van size that is best for you on moving day.

    Choosing the Right Removal Van Size
    Choosing which size van you need when hiring local removals firms may impossible, so we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help you choose.

    Why should you hire a removal van?

    Hiring a removal van can save you time and make sure that your valuable items are handled with care. Hiring a reliable moving company can also provide you with valuable advice and support during the move.  
    It’s important to choose the right size removal van to ensure your move goes smoothly.

    What are the standard removal van sizes?

    There are many different sizes and models of removal vans. Your removals company can provide more details about the vehicles they have. However, there are standard sizes for removals vans.

    Medium Wheels Base (MWB) Van

    The MWB van is popular for removals in the UK. This is because it has a high roof, easy loading platform, and is cheaper to hire. The van's popularity is also because of its smaller size.

    The most common models are the Ford Transit and Mercedes Sprinter. The insides are often ply-lined for ease of loading.

    MWB vans are ideal for a moving either one or two people. They are perfect for an empty studio or one bedroom flat. You may fit a bed, small sofa, or appliances like a fridge or freezer, depending on how many boxes you have. It can fit around 30-40 boxes depending how large they are.

    The average loading capacity of this van is 280-380 cubic feet. To determine if your belongings can fit in this small vehicle, check if they can fit in a medium-sized shed. If so, the MWB van could be your best option.

    Long Wheels Base (LWB) Transit Van and Sprinter Van

    Also called Jumbo Transits or Jumbo Sprinters, these vehicles are ideal for one- and two-bedroom flats. LWB vans can carry large items like furniture, appliances, and electronics, including a collapsible bed. Alongside these you could fit up to 30 boxes depending on their size and contents.

    The average loading capacity of this van is 380-530 cubic feet. To determine if your belongings can fit in this van, consider whether your stuff would fit in a single garage.

    Luton Van

    Also referred to as a 3.5 Tonne Luton Van, this vehicle is another popular one. They have a slightly larger loading capacity than LWB vans, approximately 550 cubic feet. Luton vans are often preferable because of the presence of a tail lift.

    They are narrow, making it easy to manoeuvre through narrow streets, which is helpful when moving house in London. The wheel arches don't intrude into the storage area, making it easier to pack boxes.

    A Luton van is ideal for a two-bedroom flat or a small house with up to 45 boxes. It can hold a table and set of stackable chairs, spacious sofas, two double beds, wardrobes, and white goods.

    7.5 Tonne Luton Van

    This vehicle is identical to the 3.5 Tonne Luton Van – just bigger.

    It’s ideal for three-bedroom houses and can store 40-50 boxes. It can hold up to 4 beds, 3 sofas, 2 dining tables and sets of chairs, 3-4 wardrobes and most kitchen appliances.

    The loading capacity is approximately 880-650 cubic feet.

    Bigger vehicles

    If you're moving from a 4–5-bedroom house with lots of furniture, the 7.5 Tonne Luton Van may not be spacious enough.

    Your removals company may have a bigger vehicle or trailer, but the 7.5 Tonne Luton Van might be their largest option.

    Depending on how far away you’re moving to, the best option then might be paying for a second vehicle.
    Alternatively, if you’re not going far, you could do several trips but you would have to ensure when hiring a removal company that they are aware of this in advance.

    Things to consider:

    • The vans can vary in size depending on the model. Remember to check with your removals company, especially if your property has height or width restrictions.

    • Remember to tell your removals firm in advance if you have any particularly large or awkward items. Read more advice on moving awkward items.
    • This guide provides an idea of the vehicles available to you, to help you prepare for moving day. When you pick a removals company, they can give you specific information about the size and type of vehicle you need.
    • Get quotes for removals companies first.
    The best thing you can do is get a home survey. A home survey is when someone from the removals firm comes and assesses how much stuff you’ve got, so they know which van(s) to book.

    Have a look at our packing guide for information on how to pack for your move smartly.

    If you want to save money on your move by transporting less, have a look at our 5 easy ways to purge your possessions.

    Removal van insurance

    It is important that you check that the removal company you use are fully insured and that your items are covered by their moving insurance policies.

    Hire and reward insurance

    Hire and reward insurance, also known as courier insurance, is needed to use a vehicle to make deliveries. This insurance only covers the van and not the items that are being transported. 

    Goods in transit insurance

    Good in transit insurance covers the items that are being delivered. Many moving companies will already have this insurance as part of their cover with you. However, it is important to make sure that the insurance covers the value of your items. If you are moving valuable or precious items, then it might be worth taking out additional insurance cover.

    Removal van FAQs

    How much can you fit in a 3.5 tonne Luton van?

    Luton vans are suitable for small houses and flats and can hold up to 45 boxes. These vans have enough room for a table and set of stackable chairs, spacious sofas, two double beds, wardrobes, and white goods.

    What does L2H2 mean on a van?

    The L refers to the length of the van in relativity to that brand and the H refers to the height.
    • L1- Short length
    • L2- Medium length
    • L3- Long length
    • H1 - Standard roof
    • H2 - High roof
    • H3 - Super-high roof
    In this case L2 is medium length and H2 is high roof.
    It is important to note that although all brands use these codes the dimensions are different for each brand.

    What is the difference between LWB and XLWB vans? 

    LWB stands for long wheelbase. XLWB is extra long wheelbase. The difference between the two is that XLWB are longer.

    Can I drive a 3.5 tonne van UK? 

    Anyone that has a category B driving licence – the standard UK driving license - can drive any van weighing up to 3.5 tonnes when full.

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