Driving a van for the first time can be terrifying. You might worry about driving such a large, and perhaps even powerful, vehicle if you’ve only ever driven a car in the past. You might wonder how well you’ll be able to see out of your mirrors in a bigger vehicle, or how you’ll take tight corners. You might even worry about how you’ll pack the van if you are using it for a house move. Or how you’ll park it in regular spaces or outside your home.
But, driving a van might not be as daunting as you think. Using van hire can be a great way to move furniture or other large items, and can save you money. It’s certainly worthwhile if you can get over your anxieties. So, here’s a look at everything that you need to know about driving a van, especially if it’s the first time.
Make Sure You Can Legally Drive It and You Are Insured to Do So
If you’ve got a full driving licence with no restrictions, you should be able to drive a van without worrying. But, if you are unsure, check first. If you are hiring your van, the hire agreement will include details of insurance terms, so read this before committing. If you are borrowing a van, make sure you are covered with the vans insurance, or your own. Ring your insurer if you’ve got any worries.
Packing Evenly is Important
Packing carefully is more important than you might think. Pack your load evenly, distributing the weight across both sides of the van, and strap everything down. This will keep the vehicle balanced and your possessions safe.
Driving an Empty Van Isn’t The Same As Driving a Full Van
When you drive a full car, it can feel a little heavy, and you’ll especially notice the difference when pulling off or driving uphill. In a full van, this difference is much greater, so be prepared. Drive slowly, be careful with gear changes and give yourself plenty of time and space.
Your Blind Spots Will Be Bigger
Blind spots in a van can be much bigger than a car. Adjust your mirrors carefully to improve visibility as much as possible and be mindful of your blindspots all the time you are driving.
Braking is Slower
Your van will take longer to come to a complete stop than your car will. Driving slowly, leaving more space, and being aware of what is happening in front of you will help you to compensate.
Parking Might be Tricky
One of the hardest parts of driving a van is parking, especially at first. Look for big spaces, and don’t take any risks.
You’ll Have a Great View of the Road
When you sit in the cabin of a van, you are much higher up than in a car. Your blind spots might be bigger, but you’ll have a much better view of the road stretching out in front of you, and so more warning of what is coming up.
It’s Actually A Lot Like Driving A Car
Most drivers actually adjust very quickly to driving a van, finding that it’s fairly similar to a car once they’ve gotten used to it. You’ll be fine.