• Can you hire an automatic van?

Can you hire an automatic van?

Discover a range of automatic vans at Rent Direct

Whether you’re a first-time van driver or have been driving vans for years, you’ll no doubt want to get behind the wheel of a vehicle that is straightforward and simple to drive. 

Automatic vans prove a great choice no matter what your driving experience is. In this article, we highlight the advantages of choosing an automatic van over a manual and how you can hire an automatic van from us here at Rent Direct. Read on to find out more… 

What is an automatic van?

An automatic van is a vehicle that is operated by automatic transmission rather than by manual transmission. This means that there are no gears present and instead the vehicle will change gears automatically - bliss!   

Are automatic vans easy to drive?

By their design, automatic vans are generally easy to drive and are often a preferred choice in favour of a manual gearbox. Read on to find out how to drive an automatic van… 

How do you drive an automatic van?

In place of where the gearstick would usually sit is the automatic lever (sometimes called a selector) that will display the following:

  • 'P' for Park
  • 'R' for Reverse
  • 'N' for Neutral
  • 'D' for Drive

When the van is stationary and the engine is switched off, it should be left in ‘park’ (P) mode. So when it comes to starting the van and pulling away, you’ll need to press your foot down on the brake pedal first before you do anything else. Depending on whether you wish to go forwards or backward, you’ll then select the ‘drive’ (D) or ‘reverse’ (R) modes. 

For the van to start moving, you’ll need to gradually lift your foot off the brake pedal and then move it across to the accelerator pedal to gain momentum and speed. This is where you’ll experience the benefit of an automatic gearbox, as the van will select a gear automatically depending on the speed you’re travelling.

To stop the van, press down on the brake pedal as you would with a manual vehicle until it comes to a complete standstill. While your foot is still on the brake pedal, switch the lever to ‘park’ (P) mode and apply the handbrake button (if applicable) before turning the ignition off.  

When should you use neutral in an automatic van?

‘Neutral’ (N) mode should only be used in an automatic van when you temporarily stop - such as at traffic lights or when queuing - alongside applying the handbrake. 

Does an automatic van have a clutch?

Automatic vans won’t have a clutch pedal as they don’t contain manual gears. This means that in the footwell, there is only a brake and accelerator pedal.    

What are the benefits of driving an automatic van?

So, why should you drive an automatic van? Below we list five key benefits of driving an automatic van:

  1. You won’t waste time changing up and down the gears so there’s less stress when stuck in traffic
  2. You won’t need to worry about using the clutch pedal so there’s plenty of room to rest your left leg
  3. No transition between gears means a much smoother drive and a comfortable in-cabin experience
  4. Tackling traffic is less stressful as you won’t need to keep your foot on the clutch during the stop-start process
  5. With fewer gears and levers to worry about, you can keep both hands on the wheel and focus on the road ahead    

What driving licence do you need to hire an automatic van?

To hire an automatic van, you need a full, valid, UK driving licence that has been held for at least 24 months. If you learned to drive a manual vehicle then you are eligible to operate an automatic van, whereas if you passed your test in an automatic vehicle, then you are unable to drive a manual van.  

Automatic van hire in East Anglia

Find an automatic van for the job at one of our six Rent Direct branches across East Anglia. Whether you’re based in or near the counties of Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, or Suffolk, you can access our fleet of vans to hire which consist of the very best models on the market. 

Many other van hire businesses will only offer manual vans to customers, whereas we appreciate that automatic vans are the ideal fit for your needs. Choose from a selection of car-derived vans, short-wheelbase, and long-wheelbase vans, as well as Luton box vans complete with tail lifts - ideal if you’re moving house.

If you need any more reasons to hire an automatic van, then let us tempt you with what our range of vehicles offers (among other great specs!):

  • Air conditioning
  • Alloy wheels
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Bluetooth
  • DAB radio
  • Cruise control
  • Front and rear parking sensors

View our range of automatic vans by using our online booking tool on the homepage or contact us for more information.