If you’re interested in the difference between traditional refrigerated van hire vs electric refrigerated van hire, you’re not alone. As zero-emission vehicles become more commonplace and new UK legislation takes effect, what do you need to know? We’ll break down the costs, features and further info on the process of van hire to help you decide.
1. What is a traditional refrigerated van?
A traditional refrigerated van in its simplest form isn’t much different from your fridge at home. It’s a petrol or diesel-powered standard commercial van with a refrigerator for the rear cab instead of ambient storage. The fridge part is totally insulated to protect the cargo from the outside elements and it gets power from the van’s engine. You can buy and own or rent a traditional refrigerated van for a number of purposes, although the most common one is as a delivery vehicle. A traditional refrigerated van is different from a freezer van. Most fridge vans don’t allow for sub-zero cooling. If you need to transport frozen goods, get a freezer van.
But it’s important to note that in 2030 the UK will stop selling petrol and diesel cars & vans new. You’ll only be able to get a traditional refrigerated van used and so for that reason, many people are making the switch to electric already. This is to take advantage of the programmes and rebates available and to avoid the rush on used vehicles when the petrol ban takes effect.
2. Reasons to rent a refrigerated van
While you could buy your own one, there are many reasons to rent a refrigerated van. Perhaps you’re just starting a business and don’t want large committed overheads. Maybe you’re taking a short-term contract as a delivery driver and want to be able to return the van when you’ve finished. Or perhaps you don’t want the risk of breaking down and having to pay big sums to get up and running again. For those reasons and more, people choose refrigerated van hire over a purchase.
3. What’s an electric refrigerated van?
An electric refrigerated van is nearly identical to a traditional refrigerated van except it’s better for the environment. Not only are electric vehicles zero-emission but they don’t use petrol products in the running of the engine. So that means no high petrol or diesel prices and less harm to the planet. You also can benefit from some discounts if you choose electric from the UK government. By 2030, it’s expected that all new vans will be electric, so you’re getting ahead of the rush if you rent or buy an electric van now. The government programmes in place give you grant money based on the type of van you buy (large or small). For large vans, “The grant will pay for 35% of the purchase price for these vehicles, up to a maximum of £5,000. You can claim a total of 1000 plug-in van and truck grants for your business or organisation each year.”
4. What’s the average price for refrigerated van rentals?
A short term refrigerated van hire is around £375.00 + VAT per week. For a longer-term rental, you’d expect the price to fall to around £950 + VAT per month. This depends on the exact van you want, your mileage and the van specs that you rent. If you’re a new driver or under 25 years of age, additional fees or restrictions may apply. But, if you’re just starting out as a delivery driver and don’t want the added risk of repairs, coverage and upfront costs; renting a fridge van is a great idea.
5. Why choose an electric refrigerated van?
While battery and electricity production has faced some criticism in recent years, EVs are much greener than petrol or diesel vehicles. Forbes reports, “Current electrical grids are mostly moving towards reducing their reliance on fossil fuels and increasing their renewable energy production. With electrical vehicles already producing fewer emissions [throughout] their lifetime regardless of the energy source, it shows that EVs are indeed the vehicle of the future.” So, when you choose an electric refrigerated van, you’re helping the planet by reducing your impact on carbon emissions. Plus, in major cities, you’ll usually benefit from reduced tariffs and full transport access without congestion and the penalties that traditional refrigerated van drivers face.
6. What to look for in your electric refrigerated van?
There are some things you’ll want to look out for in your electric refrigerated van. The first is safety. You want a safe vehicle with a good crash rating. You’re going to be using it alot and you need to protect your health first. Next, you want a van that’s high on comfort. Once again, if you’re driving for hours each day, comfort is key. Then you want a reliable chiller that works well in the range of the goods you’re transporting with low power draws. And the cargo space needs to exceed your requirements so your goods aren’t cramped and transport is easy. Next, you want a van with a good range per charge so you’re not stopping all the time for energy top-ups. Lastly, you’ll want favourable contract terms on your rental which include vehicle replacement and regular servicing.
7. How does the van rental process work?
The van rental process is fairly easy. You’ll need your driver’s licence, a credit or debit card and 2 forms of proof of address. If anything extra is required, your rental agency will advise you. In general, the firm will check everything, issue you a contract, take your deposit and first payment then give you the keys to your new van rental.
Traditional refrigerated van hire vs electric refrigerated van hire is becoming a popular topic with the new 2030 laws coming into effect soon. And for all the reasons above, it might be a good idea to go ahead and rent an electric van instead of a diesel or petrol model.