How Good Cargo Vans Are for Moving, What You Need to Know

In recent years cargo vans have often become the vehicle of choice when people need to move office or home. The cargo van has proven it can hold a large number of objects from queen-sized beds and sofa sets to filing cabinets or kitchen appliances.

Often this means that a cargo van can accommodate all the items which need to be moved.

A cargo van is good for moving because: reasons:

  • They can be loaded either from the side or the rear, making stowing easier.
  • Cargo vans offer plenty of room.
  • They are compact making them easier to drive.
  • Provide the driver with more comfort than a larger van.

You might prefer a box truck as they can carry much more.

If a family or business can utilize a cargo van for their moving needs, they can make huge savings in that move.

Firstly a cargo van is easy to drive, and so no additional experience is needed, it is similar to driving a large SUV. This means no specialist driver isneeded,,which may be the case if a regular removal van is used.

If you are moving a long distance, as a cargo van is more fuel efficient than larger vans, savings in fuel costs can be substantial.

For moves of shorter distances, people have used pick-up trucks as they are also more maneuverable than traditional removal vans and more fuel efficient. However, a pick-up truck may expose your belongings to the elements while a cargo van offers both protection from the weather and better security.

While a cargo van may not hold as much as a traditional removal van, their savings in fuel costs and time may allow you to make two runs for the same cost. Even if this meant loading and unloading more than once, the ease with which this can be done compared to the loading of larger vans will make up that time. This of course would be for moves of relatively short distances when the ease of loading and unloading are significant factors in the overall moving time.

As a cargo van is smaller and easier to drive than a traditional removal van, it can more easily access smaller locations for loading and unloading. This is particularly beneficial when limited parking space is available at either the loading or unloading points.

Traditional removal vans are often limited to how close they can park to where they are actually needed which can add to the effort and time the loading and unloading takes.

However, box vans don’t need a commercial driver’s license and have a lot more space in them, so you might find them even better because you can do the same thing, but with fewer journeys.


Cargo Vans Popularity

It isn’t just when someone needs to move that cargo vans are becoming popular, as they are becoming increasingly popular with businesses both large and small. Although cargo vans are most popular with smaller businesses, large businesses are also finding them beneficial as additions to their fleets.

A cargo van’s popularity though is not restricted to business owners as they are also becoming popular as a family’s personal vehicle.


A Box Truck Has More Space

They have a big box sitting on the truck’s frame and have more space to put stuff in, than a cargo van. However if you use a high roof cargo van, there is a bit less difference in the space between the two.

Their flat sides also give a bit more space than a cargo ban.

There are many sizes of box truck, however if you get a really long one, it could have a gross vehicle weight (GVWR)  above 26 000 pounds and so needs a commercial driving license to drive. Driving a truck this size is much harder than driving a cargo van, even finding a place to park it will be difficult.

A small box truck is a bit harder to drive than a cargo van, but there is not a huge difference.


What is a Cargo Van

A cargo van is defined as a van that has two seats at the front and a cargo area to the rear of them. The seats do not have a wall or partition separating them from the cargo area, making cargo easier to access.

As well as the cargo area being accessible from the front seats they also have a side and rear door making the organization of the load easier.

The cargo area does not have windows, and so the sides are often used for advertising placards for businesses.

The cargo area on a cargo van is highly customizable, allowing owners to add more seats or shelves to better accommodate particular types of cargo.

While a cargo van is very adaptable and therefore can be used for a multitude of tasks, unlike an SUV it does not have 4WD and so is not really suitable for off road driving.

A cargo van has better fuel efficiency than larger vans and better maneuverability. However these benefits came at the cost of power as a cargo van is not as powerful as larger vans but is still powerful enough for highway driving with its maximum load.


Cargo Vans for Large Businesses

Although most large businesses will maintain a fleet of vehicles, usually including large vans for transporting heavy or bulky loads, many are including cargo vans in the fleets.

When a large business has smaller consignments, they have found that using a cargo van can save them on fuel costs as they are more fuel-efficient than their larger vans. Also the cargo van’s smaller size and maneuverability can save time in heavy traffic or when making deliveries in more confined spaces.

The inclusion of cargo vans in a large company’s fleet affords them flexibility in their ongoing struggle to reduce costs and thereby remain competitive.


Cargo Vans for Small Businesses

Many small businesses today are relying on cargo vans as their preferred choice of vehicle. This does not only help reduce their costs by having a fuel efficient van but also reduces time spent traveling on busy highways.

The ability of a cargo van to negotiate and park in smaller spaces also helps to provide speedier results. Often a small business owner will drive the business’s vehicle themselves, and the extra comfort a cargo van affords the driver also makes it a more attractive option.

Many small businesses also use their company vehicle as their personal family vehicle on weekends, and a cargo van can far more easily adapt to this dual purpose than any other larger van.

Cargo vans are extremely versatile, with the ability to be customized for many different uses. It is often this ability to be customized that makes a cargo van an attractive option for a small business as it can be fully customized to their unique needs. These customizations may include clamps to hold ladders on the sides, or an interior which is cooled for carrying temperature sensitive loads.

As the sides of a cargo van have no windows, they are also useful for placing placards advertising a business, a saving in advertising costa.

The fact that the cargo area on a cargo van can be accessed directly from the driver’s seat is also a bonus as drivers do not have to suffer inclement weather whilst looking for what they need.


Cargo Vans as Personal Vehicles

It is no longer only small business owners at weekends using their cargo van as a personal family vehicle as these types of van are now becoming popular as a family’s main vehicle.

What makes a cargo van popular as a family vehicle is the fact that extra seating can easily be added and still leave ample space for any family baggage. With the space, a cargo van provides camping equipment can be accommodated for a family camping trip.

Cargo vans can also be customized to a family’s needs, perhaps transforming it into a camper van or adding enough seats to comfortably seat a large family.



Cargo vans are good for moving and are becoming increasingly popular for that specific task. This is perhaps demonstrated by the fact that companies like U-Haul always ensure they have cargo vans available for people to rent.

A cargo van may not hold as many or as large items as a traditional removal van but are large enough for most people’s moving needs, and don’t need a commercial license to drive because their gross vehicle weight (GVWR) is below 26 000 pounds.

If a cargo van cannot hold all your items they are powerful enough to tow a trailer, with some being able to tow trailers with weights of up to 10,000lbs. This means you can still reduce your moving expenses by only hiring a trailer instead of a larger van.

Although an ever growing number of people now own their own cargo van, those that don’t will find that many vehicle rental companies now have them available to rent. If renting a cargo van is an option you choose for your move, you may want to also check on the price for renting a trailer in case it is needed.

Obviously a cargo van may not be large enough to hold some peoples items but many people are surprised at just how much they can hold when expertly stowed. Plus of course if you are only moving a short distance, two trips with a cargo van may still work out cheaper than one trip with a large removal van.

One last point is that the main aspect of moving is to get your belongs from A to B without getting damaged. Using a pick-up truck will expose them to the weather and using a truck that is too large may allow them to move inside the van, potentially causing them damage. A cargo van will offer your belongings a covered and secure journey and its compact design will not allow for excessive movement while travelling.

Author: Kenneth Graham

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