This is a little note about crossing by ferry in a splitter van from Holyhead (UK) to Dublin (EU), then driving to Belfast (Northern Ireland) and taking the ferry to Cairnryan.

Remember to pack a hi vis and carry a form of ID!

Assuming you’ve got your carnet sorted (we use ROCKIT Cargo), you’ll want to head to the Holyhead Interim Inland Border Facility (24 hours) to get your carnet stamped out of the UK.

When I visited the area was under construction, so I won’t post any photos incase it looks different in a few months. Head to the front gate and say you’re processing a carnet. Customs took about 20 minutes to process our carnet, it wasn’t very busy. I processed it the night before travel as I was staying in Holyhead overnight to catch the morning ferry.

Parc Cybi, Holyhead LL65 2YQ

When you arrive in Dublin, head to T11 customs office in Dublin Port (24 hours). They’ll stamp your carnet into Ireland.

T11 customs office

9Q4Q+88 Dublin 3, Ireland

For export back to the UK, visit Yard 3 Customs Export. You’re looking for the small cabin next to the entry point. They’ll stamp your carnet out of Ireland

Yard 3 Customs Export

3 Promenade Rd, North Dock, Dublin, Ireland

If you’re travelling to Northern Ireland and then Cairnryan, you have two options on how to process your carnet. Cairnryan doesn’t have a customs facility, so processing is done by customs in Belfast on behalf of Cairnryan.

Option 1 is to visit Yard 3 Customs Export as above to export from Ireland, and then Custom Clearance Belfast to import into the UK.

Option 2 is just to visit Custom Clearance Belfast. They can process your carnet out of Ireland and into the UK (on behalf of Cairnryan as mentioned above) in one stop.

Custom Clearance Belfast

21 Duncrue St, Belfast BT3 9AQ

That’s it! It’s all relatively simple and the customs staff I interacted with knowledgable and friendly. For reference I was travelling on Stena Line regular passenger service.

[Updated 10/01/23]

Looking for splitter van hire in London?

Post Pandemic, a few of the usual characters sadly closed their doors. Here are some of our favourite companies that are operating at the moment in London (and Brighton) that can fix you up with a great splitter van hire for your tour.

If your tour is taking you to Europe, all of these companies can provide European insurance for their splitter vans. Make sure to check out our blog post on carnets and crossing the border from the UK to EU!

Vans for Bands (VFB)

Vans for bands offer a range of splitter vans, and tour busses (nightliners / sleeper busses) to suit your touring budget. Their main office is based in Oxford, You can either pick your van up there (which means a train from Paddington to Oxford, and then a taxi to the site: approximately £80 total) or you can pay to have the van delivered to a location in London, including Heathrow airport (approximately £150).

Their vans are good quality and come with tow hitches. You can also rent trailers from them.

Blacklight Tours

Blacklight tours operate out of Shoreditch, East London. Their splitter vans are great, and the company is very flexible. You can even book a splitter van rental with a driver to take you to and from airports / train stations to your shows or accomodation.

All their splitter vans are ULEZ compliant (saves £12.50 per day in London), and 9 seaters are exempt from congestion charge in central London.

Civilised Car Hire

Civilised car hire operates out of SE5 Camberwell in South London. They have range of splitter vans and cargo vans.


Riverjuke is based in South London and Amsterdam and offers 7 seat splitter vans for £120 / day plus VAT.

Terminal Studios

Terminal studios now offer splitter van rental. They’re located in Bermondsey, South East London.

Oosh Tours (Brighton)

Oosh tours are located in Brighton and have a range of splitter vans, mini splitters and cargo vans. If you’re looking for a van last minute splitter van rental in London and everything is booked up, it’s worth giving Oosh. It’s pretty easy to get to Brighton and back from London.

H&H Van Hire

Based in NW5 North London. H&H do 6 seat splitter van rental, 9 seat minivans and cargo vans of all sizes for a reasonable price.

Stage Drive Touring (Bristol)

Stage drive have luxury and economical 9 seat splitter van rental. Starting at £75 / day + VAT.

If you have any other favourite companies in London for splitter van rental please drop a comment with the name of the company!

While we mostly hire splitter vans in London (as we’re based there!), occasionally we will hire in Europe for a fly date or one off show. Here are some options for splitter van hire in Europe.

If you’re travelling to Europe and need a carnet, make sure to check out our Carnet FAQ’s!

This is accurate as of 30th of May 2022. We updated this when we can!


Dax Vans (Nijmegen)

Dax Vans have 7 and 9 seat MWB and LWB VW Crafters and Mercedes Sprinter splitter van hire available for €100 – €120 / day + VAT.

Pieter Smit (Amsterdam)

Pieter Smit have splitter vans of all sizes, rehearsal studios, nightliners and trucks available.

A luxury splitter is € 145,- per day, € 790,- per week and; € 2465,- per month. (200km free per day and after that; € 0,2 per km) Ex fuel and vat when needed.


Tourbo Drive (Hamburg / Bremen)

Tourbo Drive have a range of 9 seat MWB Splitter vans available, and also rent backline. Vans are €105 / day, trailers €25 / day.


Alternative Loc (Paris)

Alternative Loc have a range of 9, 7, and 6 seater LWB and MWB Vans for hire. A bit expensive compared to UK options with caps on miles / day, but are lovely vans and very nice folks to deal with. Alternative loc also do backline and cover endorsements for many major brands.


Tour Support (Gent)

Tour support rent a range of splitter vans with tow hitches, and trailers. They also do backline and cover endorsements for major brands.

Other (Belgium) (Cologne, Germany)

SubArt Vans (Ljubljana, Slovenia):

  • Van: €80 – €100 Euro / day (Opel Vivaro / Renault Traffic / Peugeot Boxer)
  • Driver €120 – €150 / day

If you have any other recommendations of companies to hire splitter vans from in Europe, please drop a comment below! We’d love to hear from you.

Need a band van hire for your upcoming tour in the USA? Here are some of our favourite companies to rent from.

Some things to note:

  • Liability insurance is compulsory when driving in America. This is included in some USA residents motor insurance, but it might not cover vans used for commercial work. If you don’t have this insurance you’ll need to take out the companies policy, so make sure the company you are using can provide this
  • If you need to tow a trailer, be aware that not all van rental companies will cover towing under their insurance

For tips on touring in the USA, check out our blog post Quick Tips For Touring In The USA

North America


Bandago is on of the best van providers for touring musicians in North America. They have 13 locations in the United States, which is a life saver if you have problems with the van (breakdown, chip in the windshield etc) you’re never too far from an office where they can get you a replacement van.

They have 12 passenger Mercedes Sprinter splitter vans and 15 passenger Ford Transits available. Vans can be fitted with a tow hitch for an additional $10 / day, and Bandago can also provide liability insurance for international drivers.

Green Vans

Green Vans have locations in Philadelphia, Los Angeles and service the Boston & NYC areas including all major airports via delivery.

They have a selection of 15 seat vans (without cargo space) and can be fitted with a tow hitch. They’re great value for money and come out cheaper for a longer tour than companies like Bandago.


U-Haul has hundreds of offices around North America. In our opinion you can’t go wrong with U-Haul if you’re renting a trailer for your tour (about $20 USD / day). They also rent cargo vans.

If you are towing with U-Haul, you may need to purchase a pad lock and a light adapter for the brakes / indicator lights on the trailer. Ask your van rental company if they have any spare light adapters and padlocks for U-Haul trailers. They often have spares and could save you $40 (cost of new parts from U-Haul)


Turo is the worlds largest car sharing marketplace (peer to peer rental). You can find great deals on vans here that will be cheaper that the usual suspects, and Turo also can provide lability insurance for your drivers.

Captain Morgan Touring (New York / Los Angeles)

Captain Morgan Touring supplies backline and vans (15 seater) in New York and Los Angeles. Ben (owner) is awesome and helpful, and can probably do you a better deal than the major players, so worth giving him a call!

Alamo Car Rental

Alamo are good for fly shows when you need to pick up and drop off at an airport. They rent 15 passenger vans, and 7 passenger minivans and can provide liability insurance.

West Coast (California)

Sprinter Rentals (Los Angeles)

Sprinter Rentals in Los Angeles can provide 12 and 15 seat Mercedes Sprinter and Cargo vans.

Slate Van Rental (Los Angeles / Las Vegas)

Slate Van Rental has locations in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. They offer 8, 12, and 15 person passenger vans as well as cargo vans.

Van Rental Center (Los Angeles)

VRC has 8, 11, 12, and 15 passenger and cargo vans available for hire from their offices in Los Angeles. They have weekly and monthly rental prices available on their website.

Los Angeles Van Rentals (Los Angeles)

Los Angeles Van Rentals have Mercedes Sprinters and 8, 12, and 15 passenger vans available for rent.

East Coast (New York)

VTI Van Rentals (Brooklyn, NYC)

VTI have a selection of vans and SUV’s available for hire. They do not support towing.

Sprinter Van Rental NYC (Queens / Manhattan, NYC)

15 Passenger and Mercedes Sprinter vans available for rent in Queens and Manhattan.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas on your next band van hire in the USA! Drop a comment if we’ve missed any of your favourite companies.