Passenger van rentals are among the most cost-efficient and reliable ways to get your group from point A to B – and back again. These vehicles can accommodate between eight to 15 people depending on the model, and come equipped with a wider range of amenities compared to other bus types. When it comes to traveling, passenger vans put comfort at the forefront with their vehicle-wide air conditioning, reclining seats, ample legroom, armrests, and cup holders.
Also known as “sprinter vans,” passenger vans are popular alternatives to the minibus due to their more compact build. Though smaller in size, this vehicle can be used for both shorter and longer distances, offering you a budget-friendly and fuel-efficient bus rental. This guide will give you a closer look at what goes into the price of your passenger van rental, how to select the right type of van for you, and how to book your rental.
Factors That Might Affect Your Passenger Van Rental Cost
Before confirming your rental, it is important to consider all the potential factors that may affect the price of your passenger van rental. From the time of year, to distance travelled, here are a few key considerations to make before booking your passenger van.
Getting an accurate headcount of your group is the first step to confirming your sprinter van rental. The size of your group will help you determine which sprinter van is right for you, as various vehicles, such as the Mercedes Benz sprinter van, the Chevrolet Express, and the Ford Transit, can help accommodate different numbers of passengers. These vehicles have an average capacity of between eight and 15 people depending on the model. If your group is looking for something slightly bigger, minibus rentals are a more convenient option, as they can seat up to 21 people.
Pro tip: If you are unsure about your group size, it’s always better to account for a few extra seats and opt for a slightly larger sprinter van rental. Those seats can be used for additional baggage storage in the event that they go unused.
Time of Booking
With any type of bus rental, we recommend booking as early as possible. Doing so allows you to secure a better rate as it would not only ensure vehicle availability but also avoid last-minute price surges. An earlier booking also gives you more time to gather all the funds needed from your group.
Time of Year
Time of year also plays an important role in the final price of your sprinter van rental. Considering supply and demand, it’s recommended to avoid booking your bus during peak season. Typically, April, May, and June are the costliest months when it comes to charter bus rentals as groups tend to book transportation for their respective events during that time period. Low seasons generally fall in the Winter months between January and February, as well as during the calmer summer months, such as July since you won’t be competing with school field trips.
Should your event fall during peak season, book as early as possible in order to guarantee that you are able to get the vehicle type that you want, at the best possible price.
Travel Distance and Fuel Prices
Distance travelled and fuel prices will play a part in your estimate. The further your destination is, the pricier your rental will be, as costs include fuel. Fuel prices tend to fluctuate throughout the year, but excluding any major spikes or dips, there shouldn’t be any significant changes to your sprinter van rental.
Pro tip: Before booking, use our online booking widget and input your trip details to get a better idea of the distance that you will be travelling. Alternatively, a quick search on Google Maps should also do the trick. Keep in mind that any additional pit stops will increase the final price.
Driving and On-Duty Time
Driving and on-duty time will have the most significant impact on your bus rental quote. This includes the total drive time from point A to B, in addition to the amount of time the driver is on duty, including pit stops, lunch breaks, and overnight stays. To help keep your costs at a minimum, streamline your itinerary as much as possible and avoid any unrequired pit stops along the way. However, if you opt to drive your passenger van rental yourself, drive time would not necessarily be factored into your price.
Ways to Save Money on a Passenger Van Rental
Designed with a compact, fuel-efficient engine, a sprinter van represents one of the more affordable vehicle options for group transportation. To add to your savings, there are ways to help further reduce your costs, such as driving the vehicle yourself or traveling during the off-season.
Drive It Yourself
Sprinter van rentals offer travellers the unique opportunity to drive their own vehicle. While there are a number of factors that can drive up your rental price, including time of year, availability, and distance travelled, the driver’s overall time is the most important variable in your bus rental estimate.
A regular license is sufficient to drive a sprinter van in all provinces in Canada, but Quebec. In Quebec, a special 4B license is required to operate any vehicle transporting more than eight people. However, be sure to check your own provincial regulations, as rules may differ depending on location. If at any point you have further questions, you can read more about renting a sprinter van without a driver.
Pro tip: Divide the hours that will be spent on the road by the number of drivers in your group, so you can each take turns at the wheel. This is especially important if your group is planning a longer trip and wants to fairly divide the driving time. This ensures that each driver can recharge and refuel on route to the destination.
Book Your Rental Early
Book your sprinter van rental as early as possible to ensure availability and the best possible rate. Typically, individuals or groups will rent sprinter vans as a shuttle service for corporate retreats, conferences, weddings, and other occasions throughout the year. Rather than competing with thousands of events, book your sprinter van rental as soon as you have an accurate headcount and a departure date. We recommend confirming your rental anywhere between six and nine months before the latter.
Map Out an Itinerary
Establishing a streamlined itinerary will not only save you money but will offer you peace of mind while travelling. Before confirming your rental, determine whether your group will be making stops along the way and plan your route accordingly. Keep in mind that making various pit-stops will have an effect on your final price. Once your itinerary is completely mapped out, confirm your bus rental and hit the road!
Pro tip: If your group plans on making stops, add an additional 15 minutes to every pit stop along the way. Boarding the bus can take longer than you think, especially with larger groups. This 15-minute window will account for stragglers, traffic, and any other situation that may arise.
Finding the Right Passenger Van Rental for you
There are three different types of sprinter van rentals, each with its own range of seating and unique amenities. Let’s take a deeper look at each individual passenger van.
Mercedes Sprinter Van
The Mercedez Sprinter Van is among the most commonly rented passenger vans, seating anywhere between eight and 14 people depending on the model. This vehicle is a comfortable option for smaller groups and comes equipped with ergonomic seats, individual headrests, lumbar support, ample legroom as well as baggage storage. A driver is not typically needed to rent this vehicle, but Quebec locals should keep in mind that special licensing is required to drive a Mercedes Sprinter Van in their province, as could be the case for other locations too.
The Chevrolet Express is the most luxurious of the three options, and it offers additional amenities, such as optional WIFI hot-spot capabilities, two AUX outlets, and a USB port. A great choice for smaller groups travelling longer distances, this vehicle can comfortably seat between 12 and 15 passengers while being known for its powerful engine and spacious cargo room.
The Ford Transit Passenger Van is a sprinter van rental ideal for groups of 12 people. Often referred to as the Ford T-Series, this vehicle has many of the same features as other sprinter van rentals, including vehicle-wide air conditioning and sufficient baggage storage. Over the years, this Ford model has been redesigned with sustainability and efficiency in mind, with the introduction of Co-Pilot 360 Technologies and Ford Telematics for greater connectivity, as well as all-wheel drive.
Booking Your Passenger Van Rental
Now that you are aware of all the best ways to save money and keep your trip as streamlined as possible, you’re ready to book. Renting a sprinter van with Bus.com through our convenient online booking system is an easy way to organize your group travel. All you need is to get an accurate headcount for your group and decide on desired amenities.
Once you’ve figured out those details, input all your trip parameters into the booking tool and a quote for your passenger van rental will be generated in less than two minutes. The quote is valid for three days, giving you time to consider all your options and coordinate with your group. If at any point the quote expires, you can always request a new one online or contact our service team for assistance. In addition, our Book Now, Pay Later policy allows you to defer the final payment of your sprinter van rental up until 21 days before your departure date.
Pro tip: Before booking, enter different itineraries in the booking tool in order to view various options and establish the most cost-efficient schedule for your trip.