5 Reasons Why Your Band Should Rent Rather Than Own a Touring Van

Written by Elite Truck Rental on . Posted in Tips

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If your band is about to hit the road for a tour, you’re definitely considering how you’re going to transport your band and your gear. You may be dreaming of finding a used van you can call your own. However, most experts agree that buying your own band van really isn’t economically wise until your band is touring frequently.

It’s best to rent a touring van until you’re doing shows at least one weekend a month for a year or more. There are five other key reasons why a novice touring band should rent rather than own a band van.

You Truly Can Fit It All

There’s a reason why the Econoline is considered by some to be the official touring vehicle of beginning bands. It hauls a ton, accommodates over 200 cubic feet of gear, and has a healthy 35-gallon gas tank to carry you over desolate stretches of highway when all of the gas stations are closed.

With all of that van space, you can bring the foot pedals, speakers, and backup guitars you need. There’s room for clothes, pillows, and all of the extras that make life on tour bearable. Many commercial rental vans also have plenty of anchor points inside the cargo area, so you can secure heavy items including speakers and amp cases. You won’t find this safety feature in Mom’s soccer van.

Once you fit all of the pieces of your band puzzle into the cargo area, take pictures of each layer as you unpack it again. Then, take more pictures as you pack it back up to confirm how everything is loaded. You can either make a diagram of the arrangement, or print out the pictures of the load process to keep in your important tour document folder. (You do have one of those, right?)

You Blend In With the Scene

If you decide to tour with two of your bandmates’ cars or a friend’s old beater van, you’re going to call the wrong sort of attention to yourselves eventually. First of all, it’s hard to cover up valuable band equipment stacked in the backseat. This gear arrangement attracts thieves who will end your tour fast if you’re not shrewd.

Second, the dual cars with out-of-town tags look suspicious in some areas and open you up to double the problems with breakdowns, law enforcement stops, and parking spaces. If your car is covered in band stickers or otherwise looks “different,” there may be complaints by neighbors when you crash at the kind local fans’ homes.

When you pick up your rental van, it will be clean and look discreet. At the very most, it will advertise the truck rental agency who furnished the van. The vehicle is nondescript enough to keep mum about the value of your gear inside. It doesn’t scream, “This vehicle is full of loud musicians driving valuables around.

You’re Not Responsible for Repairs

When you pick up your rental van, it will be clean and look discreet. At the very most, it will advertise the truck rental agency who furnished the van. The vehicle is nondescript enough to keep mum about the value of your gear inside. It doesn’t scream, “This vehicle is full of loud musicians driving valuables around.

If you go with a company that does nationwide rentals, they’ll provide you with an adequate road assistance plan. This plan will enable you to continue traveling in a new vehicle in the event of a breakdown. You don’t have to arrange for towing, repairs, or other issues because the van is owned by someone else.

This arrangement is a huge money-saver for bands. When you bring your own vehicle, you’re the one paying for new tires, parts, and labor when your ride has a problem. Saving wear and tear on your personal vehicles means you may even make some money on your tour instead of paying it all to a mechanic.

You Easily Acquire Short-Term Insurance

Vehicle and truck rental agencies have a variety of insurance products they can offer you. Depending on the length of the short-term coverage you buy, the rates are reasonable for the protection you receive.

Your own auto insurance provider may balk at providing you with short-term tour insurance if your policy only covers personal use of your car or van. They may determine your band’s use of the vehicle is actually a commercial use. Things can get complicated and expensive, even if you do secure a temporary rider.

You Can Keep Better Records

Remember that document folder mentioned above? Inside your tour van should be at least one waterproof pouch to hold all receipts, contracts, insurance cards, and other important documents you need for accounting, traveling, and tax purposes. The pouch should include the pictures of your loaded gear for the reasons mentioned above—and to prove your losses to insurance companies and police in the event of a theft.

With your rental and gas receipts in hand, you can accurately keep track of your actual travel expenses. When you use your own vehicle to tour, it’s hard to estimate the actual wear and tear that’s happening to personal vehicles. A standard mileage deduction may not cover the actual vehicle-related costs to your band’s bottom line.

At Elite Truck Rental, we have vans, box trucks, and vehicles available for rent in the Chicago area. We also rent 16-and 24-foot trucks with lift gates for hauling heavier stage framing and lighting equipment.

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