How-To Guide to Renting a Passenger Van

Renting a passenger van, or sprinter van, is among the safest and most reliable ways to transport smaller groups of people over shorter distances. Passenger van rentals are great for intra-city trips due to their compact size and ability to maneuver in crowded cities where parking and space may be limited. While they may look like cargo vans in appearance, passenger vans are, in fact, commercial vehicles. They’re one of the most commonly-used solutions for group travel, offering travelers an option that’s both wallet and environmentally friendly with their smaller, more fuel-efficient engine.

Passenger van rentals also give people the flexibility of driving their own vehicle or having their trip chauffeured by a vetted driver. Keep in mind that restrictions, however, may apply based on your jurisdiction. Whether you are looking to rent a passenger van with or without a driver, Bus.com can provide you with a number of passenger van options to help you find the perfect vehicle. In this guide, we’ll go through everything you need to know to make the most informed choice when it comes to your rental. From amenities to types of passenger vans and specific use cases, you’ll have all the details you need.

Amenities 

Amenities play an important role when deciding which passenger van to rent for your upcoming trip. Determining your group’s desired amenities before booking is recommended and would make your passenger rental much easier to book.

Sprinter vans come equipped with their own set of amenities and are perfectly suited for transporting between eight to 15 people over shorter distances. The most common types of passenger vans come equipped with basic air conditioning. If you are looking for additional amenities, the Chevrolet Express comes with optional hotspot WIFI, two AUX outlets, and a USB port. Passenger vans also have sufficient space for baggage storage and can fit up to 14 regular-sized bags fitting. 

Though rentals usually come with their own vetted and experienced driver, passenger van rentals give you the option of driving the rented vehicle yourself. Certain restrictions may apply depending on your jurisdiction, so be sure you confirm before renting a sprinter van without a driver.

Types of Passenger Vans 

There are three main types of passenger vans, each possessing its own unique features and amenities. The common denominator is that all these vehicles are designed to safely transport smaller groups of people in a more compact, fuel-efficient way. 

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van seats between eight and 14 passengers depending on the model and is a great option for smaller groups that want a reliable method of transportation. This vehicle is a lightweight commercial van built by Daimler, assembled by Freightliner, and marketed in the US by Mercedes-Benz.

The Mercedes-Benz sprinter van is among the safest options to hit the road with, with all its security features, such as Active Brake Assist, Traffic Sign Assist, Attention Assist, and Blind Spot Assist. This vehicle also comes equipped with ergonomic seats, individual headrests, and lumbar support ensuring your group’s comfort throughout the trip. 

Whether you are planning a weekend getaway or organizing a tour, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van is a high contender for your transportation, as it offers ample baggage storage and plenty of legroom. Like all sprinter van rentals, this vehicle can be rented with or without a driver. However, it is important to note that special licensing is required to drive the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van in Quebec.

Ford Transit Passenger

Often referred to as the Ford T-Series, the Ford Transit Passenger Van has been around since 1965. In fact, over 8 million models of this vehicle have been sold, making it the third-best-selling van ever. 

This Ford Transit is yet another convenient sprinter van rental option, seating between 10 to 15 passengers. This vehicle comes with many of the same comforts as the Mercedes Benz Sprinter Van. And similarly to other passenger van options, this vehicle comes equipped with air conditioning and can be rented with or without a driver. 

Ford has since updated its original model in 2020 to meet stricter sustainability and efficiency requirements. This newer vehicle comes with Ford Co-Pilot 360™ Technologies and all-wheel drive, as well as Ford Telematics for greater connectivity. However, if your group is looking for additional amenities, the Chevrolet Express would be your better bet. 

Chevrolet Express

The Chevrolet Express is a full-sized fan made by American company General motors and is arguably the most luxurious of the three options, offering unique amenities compared to our other two passenger van rentals. This vehicle is renowned for its powerful engine and copious amount of cargo room, making it a popular choice for touring bands. 

This passenger van rental can seat between 12 to 15 passengers and has vehicle-wide air conditioning to ensure a comfortable trip. Much like our other two options, this vehicle can be rented with or without a driver.

Where the Chevrolet Express differentiates itself from the other two passenger van rental options is with its offering of optional WIFI hot-spot, two AUX outlets, and a USB port. Contrarily to popular belief, adding additional amenities to your passenger van rental will not affect your final price significantly. Rather, it is the driver’s time that is the biggest part of any bus rental quote

Renting a passenger van is as great way to affordably transport smaller groups over shorter distances.

Use Cases: When to rent a passenger van? 

Today, passenger van rentals are seen as a popular alternative to ridesharing or carpooling, as they help move people to where they need to be safely. These vehicles are versatile and can be used for almost any trip type, be it field trips, sports teams transportation, or shuttle services. Here are some of their most common uses: 

Employee shuttles

Businesses use passenger vans as a safe, reliable, and cost-efficient way to shuttle their employees to their headquarters. These vehicles are most convenient for trips where there are many stops over shorter distances, while being able to transport between 8 to 15 employees at a time. Passenger van rentals are ideal for employee shuttle services due to their compact size, ensuring faster fill-up and quick turnaround times. 

You can organize your own employee shuttle service by first establishing a convenient pickup location where a fully vetted driver will be there to help move your team. In addition to the typical commute to the office, passenger van rentals can also serve many other different purposes, such as transporting military personnel, TV and news producers, as well as bringing construction workers to the building site

Airport shuttles

Eliminate the stress of finding a taxi or hotel shuttle after you have just landed by booking an airport shuttle beforehand. Passenger van rentals are an excellent solution to put those jitters to ease and help your group get to where they need to be, all together. Vans can also be considered as an alternative to public transit, especially if you have a lot of baggage to lug around.

Larger airports will also rent passenger vans to facilitate airport mobility and offer travellers a convenient way to get to their hotels, event venues, or even gate for their next flight. Airport shuttle services have become increasingly popular as they are a cost-effective way to transport passengers and their luggages safely and reliably without sacrificing comfort. 

Competitive sports teams

Anyone who has played sports understands the importance of team bonding. Renting a passenger van offers you the opportunity to keep your entire team in the same vehicle and build long-lasting memories along the way. Fifteen seats is often the perfect amount of space to transport competitive sports teams to away games or tournaments.

When it comes to amenities, this vehicle also comes equipped with sufficient storage for all your team’s equipment, including 14-regular sized bags. The sprinter van helps sports teams keep their costs streamlined by offering coaches or parents the flexibility of driving the vehicle themselves, if they wish. Plus, the vehicle-wide air conditioning and sufficient legroom will most definitely come in handy after a hard-fought game. If you have any additional questions, you can consult our guide to sports bus rentals for more specific details.

Church vans

Passenger van rentals can double as “church vans” while serving different purposes. These vehicles can be used to transport the elderly and mobility-restricted worshippers to-and-from church services.The passenger van’s flexible rear-step option helps with the unloading of wheelchairs, making it a convenient option for transporting the elderly in a safe manner. Whether it’s the choir that needs a lift, or fellow church-goers, passenger van rentals guarantee comfort and reliability for short travels.

Mall shuttle services 

Larger malls built on the outskirts of major cities are faced with the unique challenge of getting people inside their doors. Passenger van rentals are a great way to remedy this, offering these malls a safe and cost-efficient way to transport their clients with free shuttle services directly to their entrance. 

With its smaller build, the passenger van is ideal for mall shuttle services and is crafted to navigate crowded city areas with minimal fuss. Simply set up a convenient pickup location and drivers will be there to greet and transport your clients. 

Wedding shuttle services 

Passenger van rentals can serve as wedding shuttles, transporting small groups of people safely to-and-from destinations. The passenger van was designed for travelling shorter distances and making various pit stops along the way, making it a perfect vehicle for wedding shuttle services. Whether your wedding guests need to go to the reception or back to the hotel, these vehicles are a reliable solution for group transportation as they come with a vetted driver, so you can keep the party going in all security. 

Passenger van rentals are also great add-ons for bachelor and bachelorette parties by ensuring that your group can make the most of their night while also having a safe way to get home.

Tour groups

Tour groups often turn to passenger van rentals to get around and explore a new city as they help keep costs low.  The passenger van is ideal for tours as it can accommodate for the many pit stops along the way. This vehicle is also more compact than other group travel options, so it can help your group make its way through crowded cities in no time. Unlike larger vehicles, the passenger van is easier-to-park and is fuel-efficient, which makes it the perfect solution for trips in busy locations.

Corporate shuttles

Corporate event planning can be tricky, but it shouldn’t be. The passenger van can serve as a corporate shuttle and can be used to transport employees to trade shows, corporate retreats, and team-building events. Passenger van rentals offer the flexibility to customize your own itinerary and organize seamless transportation in a cost-effective manner. 

Conference shuttles 

Transportation is a fundamental part of planning a conference. Passenger van rentals are great for transporting groups of people safely and reliably to-and-from conferences, ensuring that attendees get to the event on time. If you are looking to reserve hotel rooms alongside your conference shuttle service, Bus.com’s hotel planner can even help you secure accomodations for your group as well, taking one more thing off your list. 

Student groups 

Passenger van rentals are among the safest methods of transportation for student groups and field trips as they help keep groups together. These vehicles offer teachers and supervisors the possibility to have an eye on their pupils and scan the entire group in a moment’s notice. As a result, passenger van rentals eliminate the need for having many chaperones, especially compared to trips by public transit.  

Passenger vans make for efficient and affordable employee shuttles.

Frequently Asked Questions

We hope we answered all of your questions, but in case we didn't, here are some frequently asked questions that will streamline your passenger rental experience and ensure you don’t encounter any surprises along the way.

Why rent a passenger van?

Renting a passenger van is a cost-effective way to transport between eight and 15 people over shorter distances. Due to its smaller build, this vehicle is crafted to navigate crowded areas comfortably as it’s easier to park. A passenger van comes equipped with a number of amenities, ranging from vehicle-wide air conditioning to optional hotspot WIFI, ensuring a comfortable trip for your group.

Is it possible to rent a sprinter van without a driver?

Yes, a passenger van can be rented with or without a driver, offering your group the possibility to drive their own vehicle. Certain restrictions may apply depending on your jurisdiction and you may require special licensing to drive a sprinter van. For more information, please consult our page on Sprinter Vans (No Driver). If you have any additional questions, contact our customer service team — we are more than happy to answer all your questions!

How much does it cost to rent a sprinter van?

Like any vehicle rental, the cost of renting a sprinter van depends on several factors, including region, season, drive times, and vehicle type. However, the average daily cost for a sprinter van ranges from $350 to $700. We recommend booking your passenger van well in advance to avoid limited availability and price surges. Consult our easy-to-use online booking tool to get an estimate for your passenger van rental in under two minutes.

Does the passenger van have enough storage room?

The average passenger van rental can typically fit 14 regular-sized bags comfortably, ensuring ample room for your luggages and personal belongings. There is storage available in the trunk or under the seats. While all our passengers come equipped with ample storage pace, the Chevrolet Express Passenger van is renowned for having copious amounts of cargo space. Contact a booking specialist for more information by calling us at 1-855-428-7266 or emailing us at [email protected].

What is the best time to book a sprinter van?

Bus.com recommends booking your sprinter van as soon as you know your trip date. Typically, six to nine months in advance is ideal, especially if you plan on using the sprinter van during peak season. Booking earlier will ensure your group gets the vehicle it wants and at a better price.