Working out which size van you need to move house can feel like an impossible task, but we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the common removal van sizes.
There are all kinds of sizes and models for removal vans, and your removals firm will be able to give you more information about the kinds of vehicles they have. However, there are standard sizes for removals vans.
Medium Wheels Base (MWB) Van
The MWB van is one of the most common removals vans in the UK because of its high roof, easy loading platform and the fact it’s cheaper to hire due to its slightly 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 move, for either one or two people, from an unfurnished studio or one bedroom flat (although depending on how many boxes you have you could fit in a bed or a small sofa, or white goods such as a fridge or freezer). It could fit around 30-40 boxes depending on their size.
The average loading capacity of an MWB van is 8-11 cubic metres. If you’re trying to work out whether your belongings could fit in this relatively small vehicle, try and work out if your stuff could fit in a medium-sized garden 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 fit white goods, wardrobes, a sofa, tables, chairs, a flat screen television and home entertainment system, and even a bed if it’s collapsible. Alongside these you could fit up to 30 boxes depending on their size and contents.
The average loading capacity of an LWB van is 11-15 cubic metres. If you’re trying to figure out of this is the van for you, consider whether your stuff would fit in a single garage.
Also referred to as a 3.5 Tonne Luton Van, this vehicle is another popular one. Despite the fact their loading capacity is not that much larger than the LWB van (approximately 15-16 cubic metres), Luton vans are often preferable because they often have a tail lift, they’re narrow so easy manoeuvrable around narrow streets (which is especially useful when moving house in London
), and because the wheel arches don’t poke into the storage area which makes packing boxes much easier.
A Luton van can take a two bedroom flat or a small house with up to 45 boxes, a table and set of chairs (as long as they’re stackable), big sofas, two double beds, wardrobes and white goods.
7.5 Tonne Luton Van
In terms of build, this vehicle is identical to the 3.5 Tonne Luton Van – just bigger. It’s good for three bedroom houses and can store 40-50 boxes, 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 25-27 cubic metres.
If you’re moving out of a four or five bedroom house (and bringing all your furniture), the 7.5 Tonne Luton Van may not be big enough. Your removals company might be able to offer a bigger vehicle or trailer, but it’s possible the 7.5 Tonne Luton Van could be the largest they can offer. 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 journeys but you would have to ensure that the removals team were aware of this long in advance as it’s likely they’ll have more than one job that day.
Things to consider:
- Remember that the exact dimensions of the vans will vary depending on the model, so always check with your removals firm, especially if access to your property has height or width restrictions.
- Also remember to inform your removals firm in advance if you have any particularly large or awkward items, so that they can offer you the best vehicle for your move. Read more advice on moving awkward items.
- While this is a rough guide on the vehicles that may be available to you, your removals company will be able to give you more information about the size and type of vehicles you’ll 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, check out 5 easy ways to purge your possessions