Parents taking their offspring back to university need to book soon if they are depending on a hire van to make the move, advises VanRental.co.uk.
There are almost two million undergraduate students at UK universities* -- and the vast majority of these will be heading back to their student digs in the next few weeks.
Aside from the surge in beer sales that's expected in towns across the UK as students hit the bars during Freshers' Week, there is another sector that always sees a big surge in demand when students head back to university -- the van hire industry.
In many cases, van hire is the only practical way for today's students to make the move, as the family car will just be too small. What students and their parents may not realise, however, is that van hire can also work out to be an easier, cheaper option.
Don't pay over the odds for van hire
Roland Head, who is the founder of van hire price comparison website VanRental.co.uk, says that it's important not to leave booking a return to university van rental too late.
"August is the busiest month of the year for house moves, as well as being the start of the return to university van hire season. Several of the van hire companies we deal with have warned that availability will become very stretched indeed over the next few weeks."
"Our advice is to use VanRental.co.uk's price comparison system to find the cheapest companies in your area and to book early -- rates don't fall for late availability, so you don't save money by leaving it until the last minute."
Five reasons to hire a van
For parents with offspring heading back to university, van rental offers several big advantages:
- No 'load anxiety' -- the fear that all that 'stuff' just won't all fit in your car.
- Safety -- avoid long, overloaded journeys in ageing family cars that make punctures and breakdowns more likely.
- Using your car as a van causes visible wear and tear to the inside of your car -- reducing its future resale value.
- Share the cost: two students travelling to the same area can share the cost of one van and nominate one parent to drive. This will almost halve the cost of fuel and help cut congestion en-route and on arrival at the university, where parking problems can be legendary at the start of term.
- If your children have left for university and are rarely at home, you may find that the only reason you still own a big car is for the university run. This makes no sense at all, given how much you could save by switching to a smaller, newer car, and hiring a van for load-carrying journeys.
How things change
As a parent, you may have fond memories of travelling back to university by train, with a trunk in the guard's van and a well-appointed, fully-furnished hall of residence bedroom waiting at the other end (full board and bed linen provided, naturally).
However, the reality for most of today's students is that while they own high-tech gadgets that their parents could never have imagined, they usually live in part-furnished 'flats' that are hired out to other occupants whenever the students are on holiday, leaving them no choice but to move out at the end of every term.
Travelling with furniture, fridges, microwaves, computers, televisions and the contents of their wardrobes has become the norm -- meaning that unless they own a car, they will be dependent on their long-suffering parents to assist with their transportation requirements.
*Data from Higher Education Statistics Agency www.hesa.ac.uk
VanRental.co.uk is the UK's leading dedicated van hire price comparison site. Featuring more than 1,000 van rental branches in over 400 UK locations, visitors can compare quotes for van hire and minibus hire and see the branch locations on an interactive map.
VanRental.co.uk also provides a van and minibus hire location search service and a wide range of essential information guides on all aspects of hiring, driving and loading vans.
VanRental.co.uk was originally launched as MyLocalVanHire.co.uk in May 2007 and rebranded as VanRental.co.uk in July 2011.
For more details, visit www.vanrental.co.uk.