What van size do I need for a house removal?

How do I choose the right van size?

A common question a customer will encounter when looking for a removal service is what van size is right for the move. Although getting a pre-move survey is the easiest way for a Removals service to recommend a van size, you can consider a few things before making a choice.

  • Payloads, think about how heavy your items are and whether it is reasonable to fit those items into the vehicle
  • Cargo Space, think about how much space you require. This is calculated in cubic meters
  • Loading, will your item fit through the loading bay door? How will the loaders load your item onto the vehicle?
  • Seats, do you wish to travel with the vehicle?
  • Ease of Access, is the pickup and drop-off location easy to access with the vehicle chosen? Is there a parking space for the vehicle?
  • Journey type, will the journey be inner city or in a rural area? Can the vehicle manoeuvre around the narrow city streets?

What van sizes are available?

In the UK, four main van sizes are used for removal purposes.

  • The medium wheelbase has a wheelbase of around 3450mm and an overall length of around 5400mm; a wheelbase is the distance between the front and rear axles of the vehicle
  • Long wheelbase has a wheelbase of around 4035mm and an overall length of around 5995mm; a wheelbase is the distance between the front and rear axles of the vehicle
  • 3.5 Ton Luton, this is classed as a Private/Light Goods Vehicle and can be driven on a normal car license; the gross vehicle weight must not exceed 3.5 tonnes
  • 7.5 Ton Luton, this is essentially a bigger version of the 3.5 Ton Luton

Which size should I choose?

Medium Wheel Base

Unfurnished studio move or small one bedroom flat typically can fit around 30-40 boxes. However, you will need to reduce the number of boxes if you also want to move a small bed, sofa or other small appliances such as a fridge or freezer.

On average has a capacity of around 280-360 cubic feet

Long Wheel Base

Ideal for 1 or 2 bedroom flats. If your items can fit into a small UK Garage, it will typically fit into a Long Wheel Base van.

On average has a capacity of around 360-520 cubic feet

3.5 Ton Luton

1 or 2 bedroom houses, this van is similar in size to a Long Wheel Base van; however, most removal companies prefer a Luton van because it usually has a tail lift to help with loading and unloading.

On average has a capacity of around 540 cubic feet

7.5 Ton Luton

3 bedroom houses, one of the largest vehicles available in the UK for house removals, you can fit 40-50 boxes, three beds, two sofas, a dining table and chairs, two wardrobes and all your kitchen appliances comfortably in this vehicle

On average has a capacity of around 640-880 cubic feet

What are my options if I need to move more than a 3 bedroom home?

Typically in the UK, if your items won’t fit in a single 7.5 Ton Luton, the removals company will opt to get more than 1 vehicle for your moving job. It is normal to see 2-3 7.5 Luton vehicles for more significant moves in the UK.

Do I need a tail lift?

A tail lift is a platform at the end of the Luton van which can lower to the ground level or rise to the loading level and provides ease of access for the Removals company. It can typically hold up to 1000kg and makes the loading and unloading heavy or bulky items safer and more efficient.

Suppose you are moving multiple items weighing more than 50kg. In that case, a removal company will typically try to get a Luton van for the job for safety reasons.

Can I sit in and travel with the van?

It all depends on how many helpers you have for the move. A typical removals van can seat three people, including the driver. However, it is up to the removal company’s discretion to decide whether you can travel with the van.

Where will the vehicle park?

It is the customer's responsibility to arrange for the parking of the removal vehicle both at the pickup and drop-off location. It would help if you made the removal company aware of any loading and unloading restrictions in the area.

Get a professional opinion

You can get the most accurate van size estimation from a professional at a removal company. Whether through the phone or having a professional removal company conduct a free pre-move survey, they will give you their professional estimation. The surveys can take place in person or over a video call lasting 15-25 minutes.

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