Chillhire - FAQ's

Chillhire refrigerated van hire

Chillhire Refrigerated Van Hire FAQs

Please click the questions below to see answers.

If you cannot find the question you are looking for, please call us free on 0800 731 2534.


When stationary does the vehicle engine have to be running for the fridge to work?
No, our refrigerated vans have “electric standby”.
This is ideal when the van needs to be stationary while loaded for catering events or parties.

Standby power requirements.

Standard 13-amp domestic supply - sole user socket must not be shared.

Or a 6kVA (minimum) Single Phase Generator - sole user must not be shared.

Only use the Standby lead (20 meters long approx.) we provide and plug into 13-amp domestic mains electricity or a 6kVA (minimum) Single Phase Generator.

* Due care must be taken to check the suitability of the power supply, since low voltage can result in refrigeration equipment failure.

How to operate electric standby when running from 13-amp domestic mains electricity or a 6kVA (minimum) Single Phase Generator:

* Switch vehicle engine off and remove the keys from the ignition.

* Switch cab control panel off before connecting the Standby lead.

* Connect the Standby lead to the van and then connect the Standby lead to the mains power supply or the generator.

*Turn the power on at the mains socket and then switch the cab control panel on.

* Do not extend the Standby lead in any way.
What is the best way to use a fridge van?

Useful tips about loading the vehicle:

* Set the desired temperature on the cab control panel.

* Pre-chill the load space for approximately 15 minutes.

* Switch vehicle engine off and remove the keys from the ignition.

* Switch the cab control panel off before starting to load the van – never load the van with the fridge running.

* Minimise time that doors are open to avoid heat and humidity entering the load space.

* Ideally product should be stored at the right temperature before loading (load cases of drink the day before to achieve suitable chilling).

* Do not block evaporator air intake / outlets.

* Ideally allow space around the product for air circulation.
  • 60 to 80mm between the front bulkhead and the load
  • 200mm from top of load to roof of the van
  • 50mm between floor and load (i.e. on a pallet)
  • 60 to 80mm between the rear doors of the van and the load

* Close doors ASAP after loading.

* Make sure no one is shut inside.

* Check the load temp regularly (displayed on the cab control panel).

* Switch the cab control off when driving the van and the fridge is empty – you will use less diesel.
How long does it take to chill the champagne?
The simple answer is as long as possible but we recommend at least 24 hours.
Our refrigerated vans have powerful refrigeration equipment and the cab control panel should indicate +2c in less than an hour, this will be the air temperature and not the actual product temperature.

There are a number of factors that affect how quickly items loaded at ambient temperature will take to chill such as the packaging, the initial temperature of the champagne and the temperature outside the van.
Cases of wine will give off heat faster if not stacked closely to each other.

Setting the fridge controller to -5c may also help remove the heat more quickly but this may start to freeze bottles on the outside edge of the load after a few hours.
What temperature is suitable for my product?
Product Set Point
Fresh fruit & veg +4C to +6C
Fresh meat & seafood +2C
Chilled drinks & outside catering +2C
Dairy products +2C to +6C
Frozen foods -18C


What qualifications or special licences do I need to drive your vans?
A Standard driving licence is sufficient to drive vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes.
Our largest hire van is 3.5 tonnes.
For full details of entitlement, vehicle categories and minimum ages, click here
What qualifications or special licences do I need to tow a trailer with your vans?
If you passed your driving test before 1st January 1997, you automatically have the right to tow a trailer.

If you passed your driving test on or after 1st January 1997, you need the relevant licence to tow a trailer.

For full details of the driving licence you need to tow a trailer, click here
What documents do I need to bring?
To use Chillhire Self Drive Hire Insurance

We need to see the following documents.

1. Your drivers' licence, both the photo card and the paper counterpart.

2. And any 2 (Two) additional documents from the following list:-
Gas bill
Electricity bill
Water rates bill
Council tax bill
Landline phone bill (not mobile)
Bank statement
Credit card statement
The additional documents must not be more than 3 months old and the address must match the address on the driving licence.
What if I hold a non-UK licence?
We must see the non-UK licence, together with an International Driving Licence.
What if I have points or a conviction on my driving licence?
We allow a maximum of 6 points for speeding / traffic offences; any points above this does not mean you cannot drive our van but we must refer to our insurance company; so you will need to call us with the details.


Is there a mileage limit?
Yes, we offer limited mileage of 300 miles per day for vans with excess charged at 13 pence per mile.
What are the speed limits for the van?
For Goods vehicles not exceeding 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight. (Chillhires' largest hire van is 3.5 tonnes).

Built up areas 30* mph

Single carriageway 50 mph

Dual carriageway 60 mph

Motorway 70** mph

* The 30 mph limit usually applies to all traffic on all roads with street lighting unless signs show otherwise.
** 60 mph if articulated or towing a trailer.
What is the difference between gross vehicle weight and payload?
All goods vehicles are legally limited to a gross vehicle weight. The gross vehicle weight is the total weight of the van and its payload.

The amount of weight that a vehicle can carry (its payload) is therefore the gross vehicle weight LESS the unladen weight of the vehicle.

For example a 4.0 metre 3.5t refrigerated panel van with a larger load space actually carries less weight than a 3.5 metre 3.5t refrigerated van; as the unloaded 4.0 meter van weighs more than an unloaded 3.5 meter van.

Chillhire refer to all refrigerated vans on the hire fleet by their gross vehicle weight.
What is the minimum age for renting a van?
There is a minimum age of 21 providing a valid driving Licence is clean and has been held for a minimum of two years.
What is the maximum age for renting a van?
We have no maximum age, but may need to refer ages over 70 to our insurance company so please call us if you are over 70.
Can I take the van abroad?
No, we only hire vans for use on the UK mainland.

Rigorous servicing and regular testing ensure that our fleet of refrigerated vans are ideal for long distance travel.
Can I tow a trailer with your vans?
Yes, tow bars are fitted to the majority of our vans - please check this when you hire.


What insurance cover is included?
If you are using Chillhire self drive hire insurance, fully Comprehensive Insurance is provided for each vehicle with an excess of 1,500.00.
Are my personal possessions and goods in transit covered?
No, Chillhire insurance does not cover personal possessions or goods in transit.


What happens if I break down?
All our vehicles have breakdown / recovery cover.
Call Chillhire Customer Support free on 0800 731 2534 or 01733 341 066 - 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
If the line is busy please leave a message including your phone number and we will call you back.
In the event of a breakdown you will receive prompt assistance.
What happens if I have an accident or the van is stolen?
Contact the Police.
All our vehicles have breakdown / recovery cover.
Call Chillhire Customer Support free on 0800 731 2534 or 01733 341 066 - 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
If the line is busy please leave a message including your phone number and we will call you back.
In the event of an accident or the theft of a van you will receive prompt assistance.
What happens if I get a parking ticket or a speeding fine?
Your credit card will be debited with the cost of the fine and an administration charge; driver details will be forwarded to the relevant authority.


What time do I have to return the van by?
As per your rental agreement; typically by 9:00 AM on the morning following the end of the hire.
What are your opening times?
Monday to Friday: 8.00 am - 6.00 pm
Any other time Monday to Friday by arrangement.
What happens if I bring the van back late?
If a vehicle is going to be returned late please contact us ASAP, additional hire charges will apply for late return of the Vehicle.
If you are over 60 minutes late you will be charged for a full day.
If you return the Vehicle later than the time specified you will be charged for the additional days that you have had possession of the Vehicle. The charges incurred will be at the usual tariff rate of that Vehicle.
Can I collect or return a van outside normal rental hours?
Yes, subject to prior arrangement.
Does the van come with a full tank of fuel?
Our fuel policy is like for like; 1/2 tank out, 1/2 tank in etc.
Do I need to refuel the van when I bring it back?
Yes, the fuel level that the van is rented with has to be returned at the same level.

Any shortage in the fuel level on returning the van and your credit card will be debited with the cost of the fuel and an administration charge.
Chillhire are a leading online hire company for fridge vans, refrigerated rentals and chiller vans for hire in the United Kingdom. From freezer van hire and refrigerated van hire to refrigerated trailer rentals, our fast, friendly and professional service will meet all the needs of your business. Chillhire low cost affordable services include Freezer Van Hire, Refrigerated Trailer Hire, Fridge Van Hire, Refrigerated Trailer Hire, Refrigerated Van Rental, Refrigerated Vehicles, Nationwide collection and delivery, Short-term rentals, Refrigerated vehicles for sale and Contract fridge van hire. We are providers of refrigerated vehicle rentals to industries including Catering, Florists, Fresh food suppliers, Frozen food transporters, Wedding industry, Hotels, Supermarkets, Grocers, and Event Organisers. We are based in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire on the outskirts of London and supply all of the UK ( England, Wales, and Scotland ) and all its cities including: Bath, Birmingham, Bradford, Brighton & Hove, Bristol, Carlisle, Cambridge, Canterbury, Chester, Chichester, Coventry, Derby, Durham, Dorset, Exeter, Gloucester, Hereford, Kingston-upon-Hull, Lancaster, Leeds, Leicester, Lichfield, Lincoln, Liverpool ,London, Manchester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Preston, Ripon, Salford, Salisbury, Sheffield, Southampton, St Albans, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Truro, Wakefield, Wells, Westminster, Winchester, Wolverhampton, Worcester, and York. Service available to all counties including Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Chester, Cornwall, Cumberland, Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, Durham, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Middlesex, City of London, Harrow, Enfield, Staines, Ealing, Potters Bar, Westminster, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, oxfordshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Sussex, wickshire, Westmorland, Wiltshire, Worcestershire, Yorkshire, North Riding, East Riding, West Riding, York.