Panel Van Rental

panel vanSometimes, a truck is just too big. If you’re not transporting a large volume of items, and you’re looking for something that’s easier to drive, a panel van might be the better option.

A panel van is essentially a cargo van without rear side windows. It depends a little on where you are, but for the most part panel vans and cargo vans are the same thing.

Avis, Budget, Enterprise, and U-Haul all offer panel vans at a reasonable price.

Budget’s panel vans are the second biggest, offering 239 cubic feet of cargo space. U-Haul’s come in at a close third, with 236 cubic feet of cargo space. Avis comes in a distant fourth, with 200 cubic feet of cargo space.

Then there’s Enterprise, which is saved for last because it’s a bit of a wildcard. Their fleet includes both GM Express vans and Ford Econoline vans. The GM Express vans have 284 cubic feet of cargo space, while the Ford Econoline vans have 309 cubic feet.

Either way, going to Enterprise means that you get a van that has more cargo space than the other guys, but it’s still frustrating to not know exactly what you’re going to get. If those 25 cubic feet of cargo space make the difference, you might want to call Enterprise ahead of time and see if you can’t ask for a Ford Econoline specifically.

There is another panel van rental company that deserves mention, and perhaps a warning: Penske. It may be tempting to try and rent from them if they are close by, but we cannot in good conscience endorse that. They have a 1.2 star rating on Consumer Affairs, and most of the reviews cite the problems you might expect from a bad company: not listening to customers, not properly responding to problems that come up, and setting their prices much too high.

No matter who you choose, make sure to read the contract carefully before you sign it. Better to spot the problems as early as possible!