Vehicle Hire Guides | Automatic Van Hire

The Essential Guide to Automatic Van Hire for Businesses

Automatic vans are a blessing for drivers going long distances. Plus, there’s a huge range of automatic vans to choose from for every business type. Sole traders and fleets alike can benefit from cutting the hassle of manual vans.

But is buying an automatic worth it? If you only need the van for a short time or aren’t ready to break into your piggy bank, hiring a van could be the solution you need. Luckily, to hire an automatic van is easy. Read our guide to automatic van hire to see what your options are.

White automatic van parked outside a building

Can you hire an automatic van?

Yes. Many van hire companies will have automatic vehicles in stock, but you’ll have to let them know you want an automatic. Most vans in the past were only made with manual gearboxes, but the industry has shifted gear.

It’s a lot easier to get an automatic van for hire these days thanks to all these added options. Automatics, just like manual vans, are available for short term hire and long term hire.

Best benefits of an automatic van

Automatics have a lot of benefits over manual vans. Maybe you’ve heard the old myths that automatics are noisy or slower. Time has been the best treatment for these old bumps in the road. The automatics of today are a lot better than you’d think! Here are our top reasons to hire an automatic van.

1. Automatic vans are easier to drive

Let’s face it. You do enough work already throughout the day to add driving into that too. Self-employed joiners, electricians, plumbers, etc. We get it. The last thing you want to be thinking about on the way home is what gear you should be in.

You can let the van do all that work and focus your attention on the road. In cities with a lot of traffic lights, driving an automatic is a blessing.

2. Useful for drivers of every licence

Not everyone has a full driving licence. Some drivers only have an automatic driver’s licence. If you want those driver’s on your books, getting an automatic van is a faster solution. Otherwise, they’ll have to study and sit the test for a full licence.

Automatics can be driven by anyone with a full licence too. As roads get more congested, automatic vans will become the new norm. It’s a good idea to get ahead of the curve now and have your driver’s used to automatics before manual gearboxes are really phased out.

3. Automatics have better fuel efficiency

Back in the day, automatics only had around three gears. They were slower and chugged down more fuel than their manual siblings. These days, automatic vans actually have more transmissions than manuals.

Most of the time, automatic vans will have a higher fuel efficiency than manual vans. For businesses looking to cut fuel costs, getting an automatic is a clever and easy solution. Read our guide on cutting your fuel consumption for more tips you can apply every day.

Three large automatic vans parked at a van hire rental

What automatic vans can I hire?

Anyone can hire an automatic van, but you don’t want just any van. Some of the best automatics have more gears than their manual counterparts, are nearly impossible to stall, and are comfortable to drive. Can you get that all in one van? Absolutely. These are some of our top favourite vans with no gearbox.

Best small van for hire: Peugeot Partner Professional 2022

The Peugeot Partner is a car-derived van. Since it dropped in 2019 to the UK market, it’s won awards as the best small van. It might not be the roomiest, but it does a lot for its size. The van is available in two lengths (the L1 or L2). The L2 gets you a longer wheelbase and a little more room in the trunk.

This little van can carry anywhere from 670 kg to over 1,000 kg. It all depends on the model you get. Most small businesses and sole traders who need to carry tools will find that the standard L1 gets stuff done without a fuss.

You can get the Partner Professional as a petrol, diesel or even electric van with an automatic system. The manual version can have a 5 or 6 speed gearbox, while the automatic version has 8.

Best large van for hire: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2022

Larger vans typically are less fuel efficient. If you want a van that can go long distances, carry what you need, and doesn’t waste fuel – then meet the Sprinter.

This automatic van has even more options for you with 7 speeds or 9 speeds, depending on which model you choose. The 9- speed automatic version is only available on the front wheel drive model of the Sprinter.

The Sprinter is only available as a diesel van or electric. Mercedes electric vans are a wide-ranged group with models for every business type, but the eSprinter is one of their bigger options.

Whatever model you choose, the Sprinter is a versatile and heavy-weight champion to get the job done.

Are manual vans going to be phased out?

Most likely. The UK government are bringing in new rules that bans the sale of new petrol and diesel vans. Add in all the new Clean Air Zones and rising fuel prices and you’ve got yourself the best situation for automatic vans.

Electric vans and hybrids are basically automatic, because they don’t have a gearbox. But it’s not just green vans that are phasing out gearboxes. Bigger manufacturers like Mercedes and Porche have been adding new automatic options to their vans for a while now. More affordable vans are still a bit behind, but we don’t think it’ll be long before the automatic trend starts hitting the wider market.

If I can drive a manual van, can I drive an automatic?

Yes, but it might take a little bit to get used to! Keep that left hand away from the stick and let your left foot rest all the time. Any driver in the UK with a full driver’s licence can drive automatic as well as manual vehicles. Drivers who only have an automatic licence can only drive automatics.

Where can I hire an automatic van?

Van hire providers are dotted all over the UK. It’s not hard to find one, but it’s tough to find the right van for what you need.

To get the best driving experience and fuel economy, getting an automatic van with more speeds is the better choice. But which brand has a small or large van that can carry your payload?

We dig through all the details for you, so you can focus on getting your van. All you have to do is fill out our quick and free comparison form. After that, you’ll get your quotes and your van will soon follow.

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