What is the cost to rent a refrigerated van?

Refrigerated Vehicles for Hire

Anyone considering adding a refrigerated van to their arsenal will naturally consider the cost of purchasing versus renting this vehicle. But what is the cost to rent a refrigerated van in the UK? We’ll break it down in this ultimate guide to refrigerated van rental pricing. We’ll look at insurance, duration and extras which all increase the cost to rent a refrigerated van. And lastly, we’ll talk you through the process. If in the end, you still have questions, our helpful team is standing by.

1. What is a refrigerated van?

According to Medium, “Refrigerated trucks are designed to carry perishable goods at specific temperatures, so there are a wide range of different vehicles with different specifications to ensure nothing goes wrong. They can be ice-cooled, equipped with a mechanical refrigeration system or utilise a cooling agent like carbon dioxide.” But they work a lot like your refrigerator at home to move heat from inside the space and dissipate it outside the space. (Except these refrigerators are on wheels.) Many have bespoke features that make them tailored for work with frozen food or light goods like fruit and veg better. This includes special types of doors, partitions and shelves. But one thing they all have in common is that central cooling capability.

2. Rent versus buy a refrigerated van

Now, why would you want to rent a refrigerated van instead of just buying one? We’ll there are a lot of reasons. You might have limited cash flow and not have that liquid cash available for a large outlay. Or maybe you only need a refrigerated van for a few weeks or months, so there is no sense making a big purchase then. Or maybe you just don’t want the responsibility for servicing such a serious piece of kit. Lastly, it might be more of an emergency requirement to temporarily replace one of your fleet vehicles while it’s in for repair. In all of these cases, it makes more sense to rent a refrigerated van from a local company. You’ll have lower costs over time than you would if making that big purchase when you have a limited requirement.

3. How are refrigerated van rentals priced?

First, the size of the van largely determines the base price of refrigerated van rentals in the UK. And you’re going to pay a little bit more for your petrol with a bigger vehicle as well. Then the manufacturer could impact the price too. If you’re getting a Mercedes-Benz, it’s going to cost more than a Ford, generally. The number of miles on it matters too. Then you have the type of insulation and cooling system to consider. And lastly, the insurance type and added extra coverage or features you might want will go on top too. Oh, and don’t forget about VAT. It’s rarely included in your refrigerated van rental prices so make sure to add that 20% on top of any figure you’re given – just to be sure. Finally, if you’re a young driver under 25, you may pay more as well.

4. What’s the average price for refrigerated van rentals?

Well, from the section above, you can see there are a lot of factors at play here. But, on average renting a refrigerated van for the short term rental will cost around £375.00 + VAT per week. You could have that rental for a few days up to a few weeks. But for long term refrigerated van rentals, count on the price to fall around £950 + VAT per month. And that’s all largely dependent on the mileage & specification of the exact model that you rent. This is similar to how car and moving van rentals are priced, however. In some territories, there may be added fees for new drivers with little driving history as well. Or you may not be able to rent at all if you’re under 25.

5. What extras can you get?

There is a wide range of extras that you can get on your refrigerated van rental. These include bulkheads or partitions for multi-temperature applications and hope T Bars for rear-end protection. You may want temperature recorders for proof of temperature at the point of delivery. For protection and security, you might want to consider an aluminium kick plate for wheel box protection and aluminium half-round strips for floor protection when pallet loading. If you’re transporting frozen goods, slab side doors and modular rear doors are very helpful. And there is also a load lock rail for load retention & bulkhead security to additionally consider. Lastly, you may want to shelve light items that allow for storage at height with less lifting and bending. Just remember that whatever extra you get will likely come at an additional cost, so speak to your refrigerated van rental company to confirm.

6. How does the van rental process work

Well, you will need a valid driving licence first. Then you’ll need your driving history. This is very similar to renting a car or van anywhere else. According to Hertz, “We also require evidence of any driving endorsements, such as speeding offences, on your licence. For that, you have two options. You can use the government website to print out a copy of your Licence Summary which is valid for 30 days.” There’s also a way to get this using a little code. To avoid a young driver surcharge, you’ll want to be older than 25 in most cases. And you’ll choose your refrigerated van make and model plus any extras you like including temperature recorders, bulkheads and more. Finally, you’ll select your insurance plan and excess. If you don’t want any excess, you’ll pay more.


Overall, for many people, renting a refrigerated van makes more sense. It can help keep your initial outlay down and reduce the chance of costly bills later should it need repair or become involved with a collision. There are many things to consider with the cost of your van rental, but the key factors are size, model and insurance. However, don’t be surprised if extras tack a little more on top. To get your rental, you’ll need a valid license, driving history and be 25 years or older (generally).

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