Renting a Van in Ireland - The Questions that you Should Ask

02nd December 2016  |  Author: John Murphy

Renting a Van in Ireland - The Questions that you Should Ask

I am not going to say that renting a van is a complex or in depth process but it is certainly an area that has experienced large amounts of change in the last 10 years. Basically van hire rates are less than half of what they were 15 years ago, the vans are typically newer, do more miles and depreciate faster. Somethings up right? 

Well, yes it is. The car rental companies have entered the market and are now applying their same tactics to the commercial hire market. I recently needed a 7 seater car  and picked one up from  a local global franchise. While there I noticed a couple of things that really differentiated this type of operation from an independent like us. While the initial van hire rate looked cheap ( even to me!) its not that simple. Observations below.

Look past the initial van hire rate!

When I initially started in the rental business I used to get highly frustrated answering the same question from every customer. Basically the "How much to rent a van for a day?" question. This would be regardless of if it was required for a day, month or a year.  As I became more experienced I realized that it was lack of familiarity on the customers side that lead to the cost question always taking precedence.

Here are a couple of questions that can serve the customer better and should be asked:


  1. Can you guarantee that my van will be there when I arrive?.
  2. Is the hire van that you are providing me going to be clean enough for my household belongings?
  3. I do not want to wait 30 minutes to collect my van and get my paperwork, can you guarantee that?
  4. Can you guarantee  me that when I collect the vehicle that your representative does not try to upsell me insurance and instill fear into myself and my significant other as to the consequences of not taking your premium insurance options?
  5. Is there any chance that someone can take the time to show me how to operate the Van and give me a proper orientation on the controls?
  6. When we return the van are you going to charge us a 25 Euro admin fee for each M50 toll that we did not pay within 24 hours?
  7. Are you going to give us the all clear on vehicle condition upon return of the van and not make us wait an hour for it to get checked in?
  8. Can you provide me with receipt  for termination of credit card hold upon return of my hire van?
  9. Will you let me transfer my own ( very good and expensive) insurance on to your van?

As the reader will have guessed these are all things that I noticed during my very long wait to both collect and return my rental vehicle, the M50 toll surcharges were the icing on the cake.

Now, lets look at the Van hire Rate.

The largest of the multiples allows customers to book commercial vehicles with a Vat rate of 13%. However upon billing the vat rate then shifts to 23%. I actually rented a van to make sure and this was indeed the case. So when you get a quotation make sure that the Vat rate is clearly displayed. 
Next is the upsell. Basically when you arrive to collect your van you will be informed that you have the minimal amount of insurance and that you  would be crazy to take the vehicle out with only that cover. So they will then try to tack on excess protection at 25 Euro per day. Its all starting to get a bit expensive now. So you decide to use your own cover, but they inform you that you  can't do that. They are blocking you  because they want you to buy theirs.


Bottom Line on Van hire.


  • Use your own insurance if at all possible, it affords you better financial protection
  • Do not take any excess protection.
  • Do not allow the hire company to rob your money for made up penalties such as 25 Euro admin fees for M50 tolls. Hire companies are not charged penalties by the NTA, its just a cash grab.
  • Read the contract!!!!!! - Ours are short and very concise to enable people to understand exactly cost and terms. If the contract is long, take a seat and read.

Ok, Mini rant is done. Thanks for reading.


John Murphy