Vehicle Hire Guides | Refrigerated Vehicle Hire

A Guide to Choosing the Right Refrigerated Vehicle Hire

Refrigerated vehicles come in many shapes and sizes. But you don’t have to be frozen out of the vehicle hire market. Plenty of businesses are carrying perishable goods that certain temperatures.

The most popular type of refrigerated vehicle is vans. With this guide, we’re taking a deep dive into the world of refrigerated vans.

Are you a butcher, a caterer, or a pharmaceutical company in need of a refrigerated vehicle? Consider refrigerated van hire! We can help you choose the best one for your needs.

(Updated Mon, 5 September 2022)

Refrigerated vehicle hire

Things to consider when looking at refrigerated vehicles

For a company working with refrigerated vehicles, things may seem simple enough when they need an extra van or two. But it’s not always the case, is it?

There are many things you should consider before you hire a refrigerated van. From the type of van you need, to the interior temperature and how often and for how long you will open the doors.

Sounds a bit more complicated now, doesn’t it? That’s because it is! But let’s take it point by point.

Types of refrigerated vehicles

There are four types of refrigerated vans available on the market:

  • Insulation-only vans. This type of van will keep the storage space from overheating in the summer and warm in the winter. They are lined with 50 mm thick insulation to keep the temperature somehow constant in the loading area. They’re best suited to transport non-perishable goods, so if your business transports food or medicines, you need to choose another type of refrigerated vehicle.
  • Chiller conversion vans. These are the most popular refrigerated vehicles among businesses in the chilled goods industry. On top of the 50 mm thick insulation, these vans also have a chill refrigerator. They can maintain a temperature between 0 and 8 degrees Celsius. These refrigerated vehicles are suitable for a wide variety of needs.
  • Semi-freezer conversion vans. Does your business need to transport frozen goods? This type of vans can maintain a temperature as low as -15 degrees Celsius. Compared to the standard chiller vans, they have a cargo area insulation of 75 mm thickness.
  • Full-freezer conversion vans. For more sensitive cargo, like specific medicines, you might need lower temperatures. Full-freezer vans are the perfect choice for this job. They usually have reinforced side and rear doors and can maintain a temperature as low as -25 degrees Celsius.

iCompario tip:

As a rule of thumb, drinks and flowers can be transported in a standard chiller van. Meat, fish, dairy and poultry can also go in a standard chiller van. But a multi-compartment refrigerated van is ideal to avoid cross-contamination. Ice cream and frozen goods usually need temperatures of -10 to -25 degrees Celsius, so a semi or full-freezer van would be ideal.

Count on us to find the ideal refrigerated van hire for your business. Just tell us what your needs are and we’ll compare the market for you.

What size refrigerated van do you need to hire?

When you choose a refrigerated van hire, you should do it with your business needs in mind. Questions like what you will be using the vehicle for, what goods you are transporting and what quantity and size the goods are may seem obvious. But you wouldn’t believe how many businesses fail to take all the factors into account.

If you’re working in the events industry, transporting wedding cakes or flowers, then you might need a small, refrigerated van. Whereas if you transport dairy products, like milk, you need more storage room for pallets of stock.

It can be very important to have the right size van. We make things easier for you. All you have to do is answer a few questions about your needs and we’ll make sure to find your right size refrigerated van hire.

How often you open the doors matters

When you need to open the doors to the cargo area too often, the temperature might fluctuate. And for some products, you want to avoid that. If you make many deliveries and open the doors often, you’ll need a refrigerated van. These vans have refrigeration units that can handle a high number of deliveries per hour.

Also, you might consider refrigerated vehicles that have a back-up system. Just in case anything goes wrong and the power is off, a back-up power source can be a lifesaver, keeping your goods chilled.

What are the options for refrigerated vehicle hire?

There are different options to hire a refrigerated van that suit various business needs. But which one suits your specific business needs best?

Flexible contracts for refrigerated vehicle hire could work for you. You can hire a refrigerated van for a day, a month, for as long as you need it up to three years. It’s a useful option to fill a quick demand and you have the flexibility to return the van at any time. The downside is that hiring refrigerated vehicles on a flexible contract could end up being more expensive.

Experience has taught us that businesses working with refrigerated vehicles need long-term hire contracts. Companies and sole traders moving cold products know their needs for extended periods. They usually work on well-established, long-term contracts.

Long-term refrigerated vehicle hire comes with some specific benefits:

1. Maintenance included

Many hiring providers offer service, maintenance, repair and replacement, recovery and even tyres. Does the refrigerated van hire need MOT? You just call the provider and it will be handled.

2. Cost-efficient

You don’t have to break the bank to buy an asset that quickly depreciates. Instead, you pay monthly instalments for your refrigerated vehicles when you need them. Much like a subscription. It is cost-efficient in the long the run. Not to mention that long-term hire comes with added benefits.

3. VAT reclaims

Depending on your contract, you can reclaim on VAT anywhere from 50% to 100%. If you need to expand your fleet of refrigerated vehicles, long-term hire contracts are a good solution to avoid added charges.

iCompario tip:

The value of refrigerated vehicles always goes down, so they’re not the most stable asset for your business. Hire a refrigerated van on a long-term contract and dealing with asset depreciation will be the provider’s issue, not yours.

The best refrigerated vans to hire

There are many refrigerated vans on the market and choosing one may be harder than it seems. That’s why we’ve summed up the best ones for you:

Ford Transit Custom

The Ford Transit Custom is a premium mid-size refrigerated van at not-so-premium price. It is an iconic van and an industry leader for good reason. If you’re looking for a mid-size refrigerated van, look no further than Ford Transit Custom.

Dimensions and payload after conversion:

  • Length: 2,335 mm
  • Height: 1,270 mm
  • Width: 1,550 mm
  • Payload: 760 kg / 720 kg with overnight standby

Best features:

  • Easy and comfortable to drive, offering a car-like driving experience.
  • The Transit Custom is highly customisable and available in different sizes and trims. It is very likely you’ll find the right fit for your business.
  • Great in-cab features for excellent functionality and comfort.

Peugeot Partner

If you don’t have high volumes to transport, the Peugeot Partner is the perfect refrigerated van. It’s one of the best selling refrigerated vans on the market, perfect for businesses who are only at the beginning of their operations. Hiring a Peugeot Partner refrigerated can be a more accessible option than buying or even leasing one.

Dimensions after conversion:

  • Length: 1,517 mm
  • Height: 1,090 mm
  • Width: 1,180 mm
  • Payload: 490 kg

Best features:

  • It’s the perfect choice if you’re a newcomer to the refrigerated vehicles world.
  • Being a small van, it’s easy to navigate through the narrow city streets and easy to find a parking space.
  • It’s one of the most accessible vans on the refrigerated vehicles market.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

As a refrigerated van, Mercedes Sprinter is state-of-the art. It is a large van which covers many business needs. If you need to transport high volume cargo, the Sprinter offers generous payload. It’s the perfect van for well-established businesses with lots of cold or frozen cargo to move.

Dimensions after conversion:

  • Length: 3,100 mm
  • Height: 1,760 mm
  • Width: 1,220 mm
  • Payload: 960 kg

Best features:

  • Very comfortable to drive with great in-cab features like the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system.
  • The Sprinter is a safe van, equipped to protect the driver and the cargo. It includes many driver alerts like crosswind assist and attention assist.
  • It can be fitted with electrical stand-by and it’s the perfect refrigerated van for high volume cargo.

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