Top Tips for Driving a Van for the First Time
You might think that if you can confidently drive a car, driving a van will work in the same way. However, there are some major differences when it comes to van driving that you’ll need to get used to, before strapping in and driving off.
Why You Might Need to Drive a Van
Even if you don’t have a van of your own, you may need to drive a van for many reasons, including for work, or to make life events like moving home that bit easier.
Here Are Some of the Things You’ll Need to Consider
Vans are much larger than standard cars, and for that reason, you’ll notice some differences in the way you handle maneuvers. The turning circle on your van will be bigger than that of a car. In fact, you may have to carry out 5-point turns as opposed to turning around a small car in one move. When performing maneuvers, make sure you take into consideration how large the van is and take it slow. If in doubt about how much room you have, don’t be afraid to pull back and then forward again as many times as required.
Always check your mirrors. A van has many more blind spots in comparison to a car so you need to check mirrors at every turn and ensure you keep an eye out for cyclists or pedestrians.
One of the first things you will notice when driving a van is the lack of a rearview mirror. Your two wing mirrors will be large enough to give you a clear view of everything you need to drive safely, so make sure to check these before switching lanes or slowing down.
Parking always feels slightly different in another vehicle, regardless of its size. Unless used to the size of a van, they can feel more difficult to park, especially in spaces that have been designed for cars. If you need to park your van in an allocated parking space, choose one that has a space in front of it, giving you the room to park across two spaces, without obstructing the road. The extra space in front of you will also provide extra wiggle room to adjust your position in the space, easily.
The weight of a van plays a big part in how you will turn corners, and slow the vehicle down. Take your time on the road to avoid unsteadying the van, and/or unbalancing the load you are traveling with.
Whatever vehicle you are driving, it is never safe to rush on the roads. Please check the maximum speed limits for the vehicle you are driving before setting off, on some rules there are different rules for different vehicles. Remember you will need to round corners much more slowly than you would in a small car, so avoid the rush and begin your journey with plenty of time to spare.
Get used to the mechanisms inside the van, and make sure you know where the wipers, handbrake, and indicators are before you drive away.
If you need a van, chat with our friendly team today. We’ll find the right size van for your requirements, and make sure your journey gets off to a good start. To find out more, call our Oxford branch on 01865 715 500, or our Didcott branch on 01235 819 700.