Beginners Guide for Driving a Van

Obviously vans come in all sizes from car sized to Luton Vans and driving them is different from a car. Even driving the smallest ones are slightly different to cars as your central mirror use may have to change. Vans have more limited visibility out if the back, even if they have clear glass and no luggage. A van carrying a fair load or with frosted glass, or no windows means that you will only be able to use your side mirrors. When you are driving forwards that may not seem like an issue, but if you are reversing in a tight space it may be a different thing.

The dimensions of vans are very important and need to be driven accordingly. Drivers need to be a lot more careful of width or height restrictions. They also need to leave a lot more room going around corners to allow the back end to go around without clipping pavements etc. This is especially true of reversing which can be tricky in a large van until you are used to it. Most vans have power steering so they should handle well, but a van with a heavy load will still be a more physical vehicle to drive and handle than a car. A Luton or tall van will feel the wind a lot more than any car, so bear this in mind on any exposed roads or bridges.

Vans have powerful engines that can cope with the expected loads that they can carry. As such it may seem tempting to drive fast. Remember any heavy load will also affect your ability to stop. Drivers must always leave enough space to brake and should err on the side of caution rather than getting to close to the vehicle in front
When it comes to the engine, most vans are diesel rather than petrol and although the differences between the two have become narrower in recent years, it is worth looking out for.

Safety should always come first. Once you have picked the vehicle up, take it nice and steady until you get used to the dimensions, steering, mirrors and brakes. Practice reversing where there is plenty of space before you have to do it in an enclosed space where you might damage another vehicle. Once you are used to it, driving vans are good fun with more visibility than cars so enjoy and drive safely.

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