Is it Cheaper to Hire a Van or a Man with a Van?

Published 04-07-2023
Get An Instant Removal Quote
Found this article useful? Share it ⬇ 😊

Deciding to move house or relocate your office can often pose a perplexing question: is it cheaper to hire a van or hire a man with a van? This age-old dilemma can be a stumbling block for many, particularly when trying to orchestrate an efficient, hassle-free move whilst staying within budget. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the costs involved in both options, enabling you to make an informed decision based on your specific requirements and circumstances.

Understanding Van Hire Costs

Van hire is a popular choice for those seeking a do-it-yourself removal solution. It provides the freedom to operate on your own timeline and the satisfaction of a job done by oneself. However, when considering van hire as your preferred choice, you must factor in several elements that contribute to the overall cost.

Firstly, the hire fee. This varies widely depending on the size of the van you require. Naturally, larger vans command higher hire fees. Additionally, the length of the hire period will impact the cost, with longer hire periods costing more.

Secondly, you'll need to consider insurance. Some van hire companies include a basic level of insurance in their hire fee, but often this comes with a high excess, which you can reduce by paying a daily surcharge.

Thirdly, consider the fuel costs. The mileage you'll be covering during your move can add a significant amount to your budget. Remember, vans are generally less fuel-efficient than the average car.

Finally, don’t forget potential additional costs such as congestion charges or parking fees, particularly if you're relocating in a city like London. For instance, if you're making use of our van hire services in London, these are factors that could substantially influence your budget.

For more details on how to effectively manage your budget during a move, refer to our guide on Mastering the Art of Affordable Moving: Ultimate Guide to Saving on Removal Costs.

Breaking Down 'Man with a Van' Costs

Contrary to self-operated van hire, opting for a 'man with a van' service provides a different kind of value. While the upfront cost may seem higher than van hire, it's important to consider what's included in this cost.

The fee you pay for a man with a van service generally includes the driver's time, effort, the vehicle, and often, insurance coverage. This can significantly reduce the stress and time consumption of the moving process, particularly for larger moves. You're not just paying for transportation; you're also paying for expertise and peace of mind.

Much like van hire, the cost of hiring a man with a van can vary depending on several factors. The size and complexity of the move, the distance to be travelled, and any additional services required (such as packing, loading, and unloading) all play a part in the final cost.

To put it into context, if you were to opt for a man with a van in Nottingham, the costs would reflect the specifics of your removal needs in that locality, offering a tailored solution that accommodates both your budget and your removal requirements.

Understanding the benefits of van and driver hire can further help you decide if this option is the right one for you.

Van Hire Vs Man with a Van - A Comparative Analysis

Now that we've explored the costs associated with both van hire and a man with a van, it's time to compare them side by side. On the surface, van hire may seem like the more economical choice. However, the comparative analysis is not as simple as it seems.

It's crucial to understand that while van hire offers a cheaper upfront cost, it comes with hidden time and effort expenses. From driving and manoeuvring a large vehicle to the physical labour of loading and unloading, the time and energy required are significant. Plus, any damage to the van or your belongings during the move is your responsibility.

On the other hand, the man with a van option, though possibly more expensive upfront, includes not just the transportation, but also the expertise of a professional. This expert will efficiently load, transport, and unload your belongings, minimising the risk of damage. It’s also a time saver and, let's not forget, time is money.

For instance, if you are based in Sheffield and have a small move, hiring a van could potentially be cheaper. However, for a larger move in Manchester, a man with a van service could provide better value for money considering the labour and time savings.

Other Factors to Consider

Beyond the monetary aspects, there are other factors that you should consider when deciding between van hire and a man with a van.

Time is a significant consideration. With van hire, you must account for the time to pick up and return the van, load and unload your belongings, and the actual time spent on the road. A man with a van service can considerably shorten this time frame by taking care of these tasks.

Effort and stress are two other factors to contemplate. The physical exertion of moving, especially heavier items, can be considerable. Additionally, the stress of driving a large van if you're not used to it, coupled with the general anxiety that comes with moving, can make hiring a man with a van an attractive proposition.

Lastly, consider the size and complexity of your move. For smaller, more straightforward moves, van hire could be sufficient. However, for larger moves or those that involve bulky, heavy, or delicate items, the expertise of a man with a van could be invaluable.


In conclusion, whether it's cheaper to hire a van or a man with a van depends largely on your specific situation. While van hire may seem like the more economical option on the surface, the value of a man with a van service in terms of time, effort, and stress savings can outweigh the cost difference, especially for larger moves.

We recommend evaluating your individual needs, considering both the tangible and intangible costs, before making a decision. Whether you're moving in London, Nottingham, Sheffield, or Manchester, our team is here to provide tailored advice to suit your unique circumstances.

Found this article useful? Share it ⬇ 😊