1st Time Van Drivers | Metro Vehicle Hire

1st Time Van Drivers


If you’ve not driven a van before, it’s perfectly understandable you may feel a little apprehensive about taking to the road for the first time especially as most vans are larger than your standard car, however the truth is, most aspects of driving a van are no more difficult than you’d encounter in your car.

To help you feel more comfortable with your first van experience we have gathered a few top tips to help you stay safe on the road – both in avoiding collisions and ensuring you don’t suffer any injury from poor posture.

  1. Sitting in the driver’s seat may feel different to start with compared to your car, but you may find you become accustom to it quickly and prefer the position. The first main difference is most vans have no rear-view mirror, to compensate for this you will notice the door mirrors are larger. Take time to get your seat in the correct position before adjusting your mirrors to obtain the best view of the road behind.
  2. Take time to get accustomed to the controls and features of the vehicle. Just by glancing around for the lights even for a few seconds means you could have travelled the distance of two double decker buses without looking at the road even whilst travelling at 30MPH.
  3. What are the dimensions of the vehicle? Is it a standard or long wheel base? How tall is it? – will you get in to carparks with height restrictions? By knowing the width & height will help reduce stressful situations you may encounter second guessing if you’ll fit in the required space.
  4. When loading the vehicle, it is important to load heavier items at towards the bottom and secure these in place, this will not only stop them moving around damaging other items in transit but also because they could destabilise the vehicle. Remember when you brake vans are set up for full loads so the brakes may appear shaper than that of your car.
  5. Driving in a clam and controlled manner at all times will ensure you have full control of the vehicle at all times – rushing may mean you take unnecessary risks and could result is accidental damages occurring.
  6. Check the weather before travelling, not only will wet weather like in a car increase your overall braking distance but the wind can also destabilise the vehicle, a sudden gust of wind may catch you unaware in turn causing you too sharply correct the direction of travel leaving you weaving across the lanes of traffic on dual carriageways or in to oncoming traffic on single carriageways.
  7. Before you hit the open road be sure to check the speed limits – vans have a different speed limit to that of cars. Single carriageway road with a national speed limit sign shown means 50MPH for vans, on a dual carriageway with a national speed limit set its 60MPH (both 10MPH for vans than cars)
  8. Remember to position your vehicle carefully so you don’t create blind spots for yourself, Being at 90 degrees will give you good vision in all direction – especially if trying to cross a dual carriageway, also when turning left you may wish position your vehicle a little wider to avoid clipping the curb.
  9. The final tip is making a difference to road safety – show other road users how a good van driver behaves. Be patient, courteous and friendly, if another road user seems hesitant give them a little bit more time and space, they might not be as experienced as you are at driving – also remember not all road users have the view of the road you do.
In addition to the above it is imperative that you check your license covers you to drive the category of vehicle you wish to hire.
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