What Size Van Do I Need To Move Home

by | Feb 28, 2024

There are different removal van sizes used by the removal companies in London. Our daily task involves assessing customers’ details and item lists to determine the appropriate van size needed. We calculate the volume required and provide recommendations accordingly. If necessary, we can allocate multiple vans to accommodate larger loads.

So before we give you a quote over the phone or email to tell you what size van you will need, it is good to know the different sizes we use and why we are sending one or multiple vehicles. This article is also useful when you are planning to move home by yourself and wondering what van to hire.

What Size Van To Move Home

Movivan Removals Vans Size Guide

Removal vans come in various sizes to accommodate different volumes of items. The most common sizes include small vans, medium vans, and large vans, which are also called panel vans.  These vans are mainly used by courier companies and man and van firms.

Almost all relocation firms including Movivan, use the so-called Luton vans. They can be with or without a tail lift. In the last 4-5 years we have been using the low loading version of the standard Luton van.

Van SizeVolumeSuitable For
Medium Base Van200 c.ftBoxes/ Suitcases
Long Base Van300 c.ftBoxes and small furniture
3.5t Luton Van650 c.ft1-2 Bed Properties
Maximover Van850 c.ft2-3 Beds Properties
7.5t Van / Lorry1200 c.ft2-3 Beds Properties
12t Lorry1600 c.ft3-4 Beds Properties

What Is A Short Wheel Base Van?

If you’re wondering about the size and manoeuvrability of vans, a short-wheelbase van could be the ideal choice for your needs. Short-wheelbase vans are compact, making them easier to navigate through tight city streets and park in smaller spaces compared to their long-wheelbase counterparts. They typically have a low height, so it is much easier to fit them into underground parking where the height restrictions could be a problem.


What you can fit ( Examples )?

  • 35 Large boxes
  • 20 Large boxes, 2-3 rugs, 2-3 chairs and a few suitcases

What Is A Medium Wheel Base Van?

A medium-wheelbase van provides a balance between storage capacity and manoeuvrability, making it a versatile option for various moving needs. With a medium-wheelbase van, you get more cargo space compared to a short-wheelbase van, allowing you to transport larger items while still being able to navigate through urban areas and tight spaces with relative ease.

The additional length of a medium wheelbase van enables you to accommodate longer furniture pieces or more boxes without sacrificing too much on agility. This makes it a practical choice for individuals or small families looking to move homes without needing a large commercial vehicle.

The medium wheelbase van strikes a good middle ground between storage capacity and drivability, making it a popular choice for many moving tasks. Consider opting for a medium wheelbase van if you require a bit more space than what a short wheelbase van offers but still value manoeuvrability.


What you can fit ( Examples )?

  • 55 Large boxes
  • 30 Large boxes, 3 rugs, 4 chairs, table, floor lamp
  • 20 Large boxes, washing machine, fridge, 4 chairs, table, bike

Removal Costs Calculator

Find out how much your move can cost using our calculator.

What Is A Long Wheel Base Van?

Long-wheelbase vans typically have an extended length between the front and rear wheels, allowing for increased storage capacity. With this extra space, you can easily fit bulkier furniture pieces, appliances, and multiple boxes without worrying about running out of room.

These vans are a popular choice for individuals or families moving to a new home or transporting sizable items. The extended cargo area provides versatility and flexibility, enabling you to pack everything in one go, saving you time and effort during the moving process. Additionally, the longer wheelbase enhances stability on the road, making it easier to handle heavier loads.


What you can fit ( Examples )?

  • 90 Large boxes
  • 50 Large boxes, mattress, bed, fridge, armchair, coffee table
  • 30 Large boxes, 30 Book boxes, 2 seat sofa, TV, single bed
Luton van size

What Is A Luton Van 3.5T Van?

A Luton van is a popular choice when it comes to house removals due to its spacious design and convenient features. These vans are easily recognizable by their distinctive box-like shape extending over the cab, providing extra space that’s ideal for transporting furniture, appliances, and other large items.

The extended area above the driver’s cab, known as the luton peak, allows for additional vertical storage capacity, making it perfect for bulky items or a large number of boxes. Luton vans often come equipped with a hydraulic tail lift at the rear, making loading and unloading heavy objects much easier.

The size and layout of a Luton van make it a preferred option for individuals or families looking to move house efficiently without having to make multiple trips. The secure and weatherproof nature of these vans also ensures that your belongings are well-protected during transit, adding an extra layer of peace of mind to your moving process.

Maximovers 3.5t Vans

What Is Maximover Van?

Over the last 3 years, Movivan has been heavily investing in updating our fleet with newer and better removal vans. We find the Maximover 3.5t vans very suitable for our job. They have a few major benefits:

  • Designed and built with a low floor for easy loading and unloading
  • Lightweight so we can take transport more with one van
  • Easy to park and manoeuvre through the busy London streets
  • With a 2.7m internal height, those vans are perfect for loading bulky items like long and big sofas

Our moving crews love these Maximovers. Every van we have has a 980 c.ft loading space, which is perfect for 2 or 3-bedroom properties.

7.5t Van or Lorry

A 7.5-tonne van or lorry is an excellent choice for moving home due to its spacious cargo area and robust capabilities. With ample room for furniture, appliances, and boxes, it minimizes the need for multiple trips, saving time and effort. Equipped with features like tail lifts, loading and unloading heavy items is made easier and safer. Its sturdy construction ensures a smooth and secure transportation experience. Overall, using a 7.5-tonne van or lorry streamlines the moving process, offering convenience and efficiency for a stress-free relocation.

Moving van or lorry

Why Using A Van To Move In London is Better Than A Big Lorry?

When moving in London, opting for a van over a big lorry can offer you more flexibility and convenience. In a bustling city like London, navigating narrow streets and tight parking spaces can be quite challenging. A van provides better maneuverability in these cramped urban environments compared to a large lorry. With a van, you can access more residential areas and negotiate tight turns with greater ease, making the moving process smoother and less stressful.

Moreover, using a van for your move in London allows for quicker loading and unloading times. You can park closer to your building, reducing the time and effort required to carry your belongings back and forth. This efficiency is especially crucial in London, where time is of the essence, and parking restrictions are common.

Additionally, vans are often more cost-effective than hiring a big lorry, saving you money that can be better spent on settling into your new home. By choosing a van for your London move, you can enjoy the benefits of convenience, flexibility, and affordability, making the relocation process more manageable and efficient.

What Size Removal Van Do You Need To Move 1 Bedroom Home?

To determine the appropriate size removal van for moving a one-bedroom home, gauge the volume of your belongings in relation to the dimensions of available van options. Typically, a one-bedroom home requires a van with a capacity of around 300 cubic feet. This size should accommodate basic furniture like a bed, dresser, sofa, and boxes containing kitchenware, clothes, and personal items.

Consider renting a small panel van or a medium-sized Luton van for a one-bedroom move. A small panel van with a cargo volume of approximately 300 cubic feet is suitable for transporting the contents of a single bedroom. If you have bulkier items like a mattress or furniture, opt for a medium-sized Luton van with a capacity ranging from 400 to 600 cubic feet.

Remember to pack efficiently to make the most of the available space and avoid unnecessary trips. By selecting the right size removal van based on the volume of your belongings, you can ensure a smooth and cost-effective moving process for your one-bedroom home.

What Size Removal Van Do You Need to Move 2 bedrooms Home?

When moving a two-bedroom home, assess the volume of your belongings to determine the appropriate size removal van. Start by taking stock of your furniture, appliances, boxes, and any bulky items like bicycles or sports equipment.

For a two-bedroom home, a medium-sized removal van with a capacity of around 500 to 700 cubic feet should suffice. This size typically accommodates items from two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen appliances, and several boxes. However, if you have an extensive book or clothing collection, or if you own large furniture pieces such as a sectional sofa or a king-size bed, you might need a larger van in the range of 700 to 1,000 cubic feet.

It’s crucial to be realistic about your belongings and choose a removal van that provides ample space without being overly large, as an excessively big van can be more challenging to maneuver and may cost more than necessary.

What Size Removal Van Do You Need to Move 3 Bedrooms Home?

Assess the volume of your belongings to determine the appropriate size removal van when moving a three-bedroom home. For a three-bedroom house move, you typically need a medium to large-sized removal van. A 3.5-tonne Luton van is a popular choice for this scale of relocation. It offers ample space to accommodate furniture, appliances, boxes, and personal items from multiple rooms. This size of van is suitable for transporting the contents of three bedrooms, including beds, wardrobes, dressers, and other sizable items.

When planning your move, consider the number of items you own, their dimensions, and how they can be efficiently packed into the removal van. It’s essential to ensure that the van you choose has enough space to fit all your possessions comfortably without overcrowding. Overloading a removal van can lead to potential damage to your items during transit.

Why Removal Companies Use Different Sizes Vans?

Removal companies use vans of varying sizes to efficiently cater to different household needs. Small vans are perfect for studio apartments, offering quick and cost-effective transport for fewer items, while larger vans suit bigger homes, enabling one-trip moves. This flexibility optimizes resources, with smaller vans reducing fuel consumption for lighter loads and larger vans saving time for substantial moves. Overall, the range of van sizes allows removal companies to provide tailored and efficient moving solutions for their clients.

What Size Van Do I Need When Moving Long-Distance?

Using a big lorry to move home is typically more beneficial for long-distance moves rather than local ones. For local moves, smaller 3.5 vans may suffice, as the distance travelled is shorter, and multiple trips can be made if necessary. However, for long-distance moves, a big lorry offers several advantages. It allows for more items to be transported in a single trip, reducing the overall time and cost of the move.

Using a big lorry for long-distance moves minimizes the risk of damage to belongings, as they are securely packed and transported together, reducing handling and transfer points. Overall, when moving home long-distance, utilizing a big lorry provides efficiency, convenience, and added protection for your belongings.

Hiring Removals Lorry Limits And Restrictions

When hiring a removals lorry, it’s important to know the limits and rules to ensure a smooth move. Watch out for weight limits, as exceeding them can pose safety risks and legal problems. Some companies also restrict certain items like hazardous materials or pets. Make sure you’re aware of any restrictions beforehand to avoid issues on moving day. Consider the size of the lorry too, especially for large items or furniture. Providing a detailed inventory helps ensure you get the right-sized lorry. Understanding and following these limits and rules can make your moving day easier and less stressful.

London Width Restrictions

Width And Height Restrictions In London To Consider

When moving around London, one of our main priorities is to assess the traffic and parking conditions for our removal vans and lorries. Narrow streets, low-hanging branches, and old bridges can make manoeuvring difficult. Residential areas often have limited access to large vans due to narrow lanes and restricted parking. Height restrictions are also a concern, especially under bridges and in underground car parks. There are many London roads with 6’6” width restrictions, that will make our drivers trying to find alternative routes. This can increase the overall moving time and can lead to hight moving costs.

What Moving Equipment is Used?

Selecting the right moving equipment is crucial for a smooth process.

  • Furniture dollies for heavy items like sofas and appliances, reducing strain and easing transportation.
  • Moving straps secure items in the van, preventing shifting during transit.
  • Furniture blankets protect against scratches and damage.
  • Packing materials like boxes, tape, and bubble wrap organize and safeguard belongings.
  • Hand truck or moving ramp aids in loading heavy items onto the van.

These tools ensure efficiency and protection throughout the move.

How To Protect Your Furniture Inside Of The Van

Maximize the protection of your furniture inside the van by securely fastening it with moving blankets and straps. Begin by placing moving blankets over your larger items like sofas, tables, and dressers to prevent scratches and dents. Secure the blankets in place with packing tape or straps to ensure they stay in position during transit. For fragile items such as mirrors or glass tabletops, use bubble wrap or foam padding for an extra layer of protection.

When loading the van, position heavier pieces at the bottom and stack lighter items on top to prevent crushing or shifting during the drive. Utilize straps or ropes to secure items to the van’s tie-downs or anchor points, keeping everything stable and reducing the risk of damage. Remember to fill any gaps between furniture pieces with cushions or pillows to prevent them from bumping into each other while on the move.

Tips For Packing The Van Properly To Fit More

Looking to maximize the space in your van for your move? Follow these tips to pack your van properly and fit more of your belongings.

Start by disassembling furniture whenever possible to save space. Utilize moving boxes efficiently by filling them up completely and stacking them neatly from floor to ceiling. Make use of blankets, towels, and clothing to wrap fragile items instead of leaving them loose. Utilize every nook and cranny by placing smaller items inside larger ones and filling gaps with cushions or pillows.

Consider investing in moving straps or bungee cords to secure items in place and prevent shifting during transit. When loading the van, place heavy items at the bottom and distribute weight evenly to prevent the van from becoming top-heavy. Lastly, make sure to pack strategically, placing items you may need first at the front of the van for easy access.

How Many Spaces Do I Need To Reserve For Each Size Van?

To determine the number of parking spaces needed for each size van, consider both the dimensions of your furniture and the size of the van you plan to use. Here’s a general guideline:

  • Short wheelbase van: One parking space should be enough. These vans are suitable for studio apartments or small moves, accommodating a few furniture pieces and several boxes.
  • Long wheel base and Luton vans: As the standard parking space in London is 5m, we will need a minimum of 2 parking spaces to fit the van and to have enough room to load your belongings.
  • Maximover van: This van is about 1m longer than a standard Luton van. Two parking spaces should do the job, but where possible try to reserve 3 parking spaces.
  • 2 Vans or Lorry: A minimum of 3 parking spaces will be required to fit 2 vans or a lorry in front of your home.

Remember to account for any additional space needed for ramps or tail lifts when planning your parking reservations.

What Size Van Do I Need To Fit My Storage Items?

To determine the size of the van we need to fit your storage items, we’ll need to consider factors such as the dimensions of the items, how tightly they can be packed, and any additional space needed for manoeuvrability. Here’s a rough estimation based on the storage size:

  • 25 sq. ft unit: This is typically a small storage unit suitable for storing a few boxes or small furniture items. A small or medium panel van with around 100-150 cubic feet of cargo space should suffice.
  • 50 sq. ft unit: A medium-sized storage unit, capable of storing the contents of a small one-bedroom apartment or a moderate amount of furniture and boxes. A long-sized van with approximately 250-300 cubic feet of cargo space, should be more than enough to fit everything in one go.
  • 100 sq. ft unit: This is a larger storage unit that can accommodate the contents of a one or two-bedroom apartment or a significant amount of furniture and belongings. A Luton 3.5t van typically enough when the storage is not absolutely full. Our Maximover vans on the other hand will be big enough to fit everything and even to have some space left!

Can I Hire And Drive Luton Van On Car Insurance?

If you’re wondering about driving a Luton van on car insurance, you may be interested in understanding the coverage options available to you. When it comes to hiring and driving a Luton van, it’s essential to note that most standard car insurance policies don’t automatically cover you for driving larger vehicles like Luton vans.

However, some insurance providers offer additional coverage options that you can consider to ensure you’re adequately protected while driving a Luton van.

One common option is to purchase temporary van insurance specifically for the duration you plan to use the Luton van. This type of insurance can provide you with the necessary coverage during the rental period without affecting your existing car insurance policy. Alternatively, some van rental companies may offer insurance packages that cover the vehicle and driver during the rental period.

Before hiring and driving a Luton van, it’s crucial to check with your insurance provider or the rental company about the available coverage options to make an informed decision and ensure you have the appropriate insurance protection in place.

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