Everyone loves planning a trip. However, many factors will determine the success of your trip. One of the significant aspects is the kind of van that you choose. There are several elements that one should consider while selecting the right van for a getaway. State Van Rental will offer you different vehicles for your travel needs in Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA, as well as Las Vegas, NV.
Types of Rental Vans
There are different types of rental vans that one can pick from while planning for a trip. Every option has its advantages and disadvantages depending on your needs. Let’s have a look at the common types of rental vans.
7 Passenger Minivans
This is a typical family minivan that can carry up to seven passengers, including the driver. Most of them can handle three large suitcases and two small ones. Standard features include automatic transmission, air conditioning, power windows, power lock doors, and cruise control.
8 Passenger Minivans
This is another typical family van that almost every rental van company owns. Its carrying capacity is eight passengers, inclusive of the driver and can carry three large suitcases and two small ones. Common features found in these minivans include air conditioning, power door locks, cruise control, automatic transmission, Stereo, and CD.
12 Passenger Vans
This is a much bigger van with a carrying capacity of twelve passengers inclusive of the driver. It can handle five big suitcases and two small ones. Its features include air conditioning, automatic transmission, power windows, cruise control, tilt steering wheel, and power door locks.
Please note, there are restrictions related to the use of this van depending on your location. For instance, if you want to use it in California, you must have a valid class B license. Also, the driver must be dependent on the status of the rental company to get the opportunity to operate this van.
15 Passenger Vans
This is the largest of all rental vans in the van rental industry. It can handle a total of fifteen occupants, including the driver. The van can only carry two small-sized suitcases, which probably is one of its most significant setbacks. Common features with this van include ABS brakes, air conditioning, power windows, automatic transmission, tilt steering wheel, and cruise control.
Anyone who intends to use this van should comply with some restrictions and conditions. Check with your rental company to learn more about these details.
This is a full-size cargo van that has been outfitted with different features to make it suitable for camping and road trips. They are either low-tops or high-tops options depending on the kind of space that one intends to maintain. The high-top option has become more of a signature vehicle in the van rental industry due to their added space. Some of the typical luxury features include storage cabinets, a TV, and large windows with shades.
How to Pick the Right Travel Van
Picking the right van for your travel is not as easy as it seems. It can prove to be daunting, especially to a first-timer. However, with the right aspects at hand, you can quickly settle on a vehicle that suits your needs. Here are a couple of factors to consider while picking the right travel van for your next trip.
Know Your Travel Needs
It is almost sure that your van rental company has a lot of vehicles to choose from. However, your choice depends on your travel needs. This includes the number of people that you want to bring along, the size of luggage that you carry, places that you intend to visit, how you want to utilize your trip and your budget.
With all these aspects in mind, you will be confident of picking a van that can match your needs, and you will make your trip as appealing as possible. Specific vehicles such as conversion vans require warm weather since you might need to take out of some of its items while picnicking or camping.
Check the Right Size
Another crucial aspect of your choice should the right size. The last thing you would want to experience would be squeezing into a small-sized van or leaving some of your luggage to create space for the occupants. Despite your expectations, you should understand that large vehicles usually consume more fuel and would incur additional costs on you. Therefore, you should weigh between your budget and your travel needs to determine the best size that matches your needs.
Look for Energy Efficiency
Fuel efficiency is a crucial aspect when it comes to finding a vehicle for your trip. Modern vehicles have adopted remarkable energy efficiency steps, which have made them more reliable than older ones. Therefore, while you are picking your van, consider a later model that has better energy efficiency.
If you would like to determine the fuel efficiency by yourself, you need to record the mileage of your vehicle before and after its movement and divide by the amount of fuel consumed over the respective distance. Please note, fuel consumption changes depending on your driving. For instance, driving in the city usually consumes less fuel compared with driving on a highway.
Do a Thorough Check Up on the Van
There are factors that one has to check when renting a van. This is a risk-assessment procedure that helps you avoid any possible problems that might result from the vehicle. It requires someone keen enough to check different aspects of the van. Most rental companies would provide the opportunity to their customers to do the checkup but to a certain extent. Some of the elements that you need to consider are:
- Checking wear and tear on the tires
- Checking whether the battery has a good charge and if there is corrosion around the terminals
- Inspecting the hoses
- Checking the oil, coolant, and fluids
- Make sure that the windshield wipers are working properly
- Ensure that the lights are functional
- Make sure that the seatbelts have the right tension and they are buckling efficiently
- Make sure that there is a spare tire and the jack is operational
- Ensure that the horn is working
- Look for unusual noises in the engine
- Confirm whether the child seat belt is fitted correctly or not
- Check whether the vehicle is clean or not
Once you are done checking these aspects, you can proceed into filing the documents as required by the van rental. Do not try picking a vehicle that has any faults since the costs that might result might fall on you.
Check the Transmission
The kind of transmission that you pick has an impact on the performance of your vehicle. The different types of transmission include:
This is the most common type of transmission in modern automobiles. It is also known as the self-shifting transmission of the gear shift. The name comes from the shifting of the engine’s gear, depending on the vehicle’s movement. Therefore, you should not worry about any upshift or downshift that occurs while the vehicle is in motion.
This is a more traditional type of transmission which involves the use of a clutch pedal and a gear knob. The driver has to push down the clutch pedal and adjust the gear knob to make a gear change. Modern-day vehicles maintain a five-speed ratio. The advantage of using a manual transmission is the level of performance that it can put up. Drivers can manage to put up speed within less time compared with the time that an automatic transmission would take.
Take Note of the Van’s Features
The convenience and usability of a van will depend on the type of features that it has. Different types of van features can guarantee safety and luxury. These features include:
- Rearview cameras
- Back-up assistance system
- Adaptable airbags
- Windshield clearing assistant
- Tire pressure alert
It is crucial to familiarize yourself with these features if you are ignorant about their usage. Also, you should check whether they are functional before you rent a vehicle to avoid any additional costs that might be associated with their damage.
Beware of the Age of the Vehicle
Renowned van rental service providers usually maintain their old vans, especially the conversion types. In that case, you can find that the only one that matches your expectations is an older vehicle than you expected. Such kind of vehicles usually poses a lot of risks to their users, especially if they have not been well-serviced.
You have to do a thorough assessment of the performance of such a vehicle if it suits your needs. Ask the van rental service provider whether they have made necessary adjustments to the vehicle and ask for concrete evidence about the same. If you manage to get such a vehicle, you would probably save a lot on your expenses since they are rented at a lower price compared with newer vehicles.
Check the Inspection Record
Every vehicle is expected to be inspected to determine its roadworthiness. Therefore, you expect your favorite van rental services to have recent inspection reports of their vehicles. Such records should be credible and must show that their vehicles have passed the inspection process and are suitable for use. Make sure that you go through the report and check whether every relevant part of the vehicle has been inspected. Choosing a vehicle that has passed inspection can guarantee more safety on the road and reduce the chances of unexpected breakdowns.
Ask for the Van’s Insurance
Rental van insurance can be a bit complicated. There are a couple of things that are different about them, which should make you careful with the decision to make. Most rental companies expect their clients to purchase an insurance policy or use their policy depending on which seems to be convenient.
The kind of insurance that you purchase should cover the costs for you and other passengers in the rental vehicle in case of an accident. If you choose to use your policy, check if it allows an additional policy on different vehicles. Please note, the extent of coverage depends on the amount that you decide to pay for the policy. The more you spend, the higher the level of coverage you will get.
Remain Flexible with Your Choices
Of course, everyone expects to get a specific type of van while planning for a trip. However, some factors, such as inadequate budget or unavailability of your intended vehicle, can be a significant setback in your choices. Therefore, you must be able to choose between different categories and remain comfortable with the option that you get.
To avoid late disappointment, you should call different rental agencies or visit their websites and learn about the vehicles that they have and the availability of the vehicle that you want. Narrowing down to a company with lots of vehicles might also increase the chances of getting the vehicle that you wish to get.
Check your Driving Limitations
The Department of Motor Vehicles is critical when it comes to hiring vehicles. They expect eligible drivers to have a credible driving license. In most cases, they do not expect drivers below the age of 25 to be given the freedom to rent vehicles. Therefore, if you intend to travel with your friends and are not eligible to drive, you need to find an adult who can drive you all along. Also, most rental companies would be glad to provide a driver at an additional cost. If you intend to drive the vehicle by yourself, you would probably need to pay an extra fee.
The Dos and Don’ts of Picking a Travel Van
There are various things that you need to do and avoid while choosing a travel van. These factors are described below.
Things to Do
There are a few things that one has to consider to get the right rental van and ensure that the trip becomes successful. Here are several aspects to consider.
Take Note of the Nearest Fuel Station
If you are new to a particular destination, you can easily lose track of your directions, especially when you are looking for a fuel station. This would consume a lot of fuel, contrary to your expectations. Therefore, the best thing to do is to locate the nearest fuel station and head to it once you get your rental van for refueling. You will also save a lot on your time if you make this consideration.
Plan for Your Gasoline
Most vehicle rental companies prefer having their vehicles full while renting them out to their client. Such an idea should not prompt you to give the company the freedom to refuel your vehicle while returning it. Their refueling cost is usually too high compared with regular fuel prices. The best thing to do is to refuel the vehicle by yourself to avoid the extra expenses. This means that you must plan for your gasoline in advance to avoid relying on the rental company.
Bring Along a Few Extras
Another common mistake that most people do is relying on the van rental company for all the extras needed on the trip. The rental company will add extra charges to your standard rates once you decide to rely on them for the extras that you need. Therefore, the best thing to do is carry them along to avoid the extra charges. Some of the extras that one might need on a trip are a GPS, a child safety seat, and camping equipment.
Things to Avoid
As much as there are lots of aspects to consider, there are a few that you should avoid as well. Let’s have a look at the things to avoid.
Fixating on One Vehicle
The last thing that you would want is to miss out on your trip if you fail to get a specific van. You need to have several options at hand as long as they can match your expectations and serve your needs as well. This will reduce the possibility of being taken advantage of by the rental company due to your indecisiveness.
Ignoring Offers for Specific Vehicles
Van rental companies usually have offers for their services. It is recommended that you take note of these offers to save on your expenses. Some companies offer membership offers to their clients, and this would be the best way to take advantage of these offers. However, you should only subscribe to companies that you will manage to depend on for your next trips.
Making Cursory Check Up on the Vehicle
As stated earlier, you should do a thorough assessment of the vehicle that you are about to choose. Most people usually do a quick check-up on the vans, ending up paying on damages that they are not responsible for. For that reason, make sure that you have enough time to make a thorough assessment of the vehicle.
Find a Van Rental Company Near Me
The success of your trip depends on the rental company that you pick. There are many companies to choose from, but only a few can match your expectations. A good company must have a variety of vans, a good reputation, and excellent customer service. State Van Rental offers credible services to our clients and has maintained a good reputation in this industry as well. If you are looking for a credible van rental company in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Las Vegas, contact us today at 888-826-5212.