Should I hire, buy or lease a van?

As with any vehicle, buying a van means you’ll own it outright, and you’ll be responsible for running it and its maintenance. It’s cost-effective in the long term, but the up-front payment and depreciation factor means that buying is not ideal for everyone. Hiring or leasing may be better alternatives, depending on personal circumstances.

Flexible and convenient, hiring a van is an ideal short-term solution. Most deals have short return clauses, ideal if you need to return the vehicle because circumstances have changed. With hiring, everything is covered except the fuel you use.

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The trade-off for this level of flexibility is that hiring can be more expensive than other options. Choose a national vehicle hire firm or a local one such as and pick from a range of vans on offer.


Leasing has become more popular in recent years. There has been a gradual shift from private ownership to leasing in Europe over the last decade, and in the UK, it’s estimated that between 20 – 30% of new cars are leased rather than purchased. Even with vans, which are more likely to be used for business or short-term projects, leasing can be a good option.

Leases tie you to a fixed contract, at the end of which are various options. These include buying it for a (often expensive) one-off payment, or returning the van and leasing a new one. The plus side is that you pay a fixed amount during the contract, which will often include maintenance and breakdown packages, with some even including insurance. Lease agreement terms vary, but it’s important to be aware of the do’s and don’ts in your contract, most notably the mileage restriction, which can incur a costly penalty.

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For short-term requirements, hiring is better. Search providers of van rental Bristol or nationally for a good hire deal. If you prefer medium to long-term usage with an option to renew, leasing is more suitable. If you’re looking to keep the van for its useful life, buying is almost always the best option.

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