When you first pick up your new van, it can be very exciting – even if you’ve decided to opt for a second-hand one. But if you’ve never driven a van before, you will probably find that it is a bit different from driving a car. Some people struggle to drive vans, but others pick it up in no time at all. The good news is that it isn’t too tricky, as long as you prepare. Read on to find out some of our top tips for driving a van for the first time.
Check the Law
Before you even think about driving your new van, you must make sure that you are aware of the law surrounding driving vans. Not all licenses in the UK or Ireland will allow you to drive a van so you need to check this out. You might find that you are licensed to drive a certain size of van but if it gets any larger than that, you’ll need to take an additional test. Usually, you can find this information out online or on the back of your driving license. Do not consider driving your van at all until you know that you are licensed to drive it.
In the same way that you need to be licensed to drive your new van, you must also make sure that you are covered by an insurance policy. Van insurance NI is slightly different from car insurance and so you must make sure that you are covered by the right policy. Finding van insurance isn’t too tricky if you look online and compare some quotes, though. It is possible to find plenty of van quotes for Northern Ireland residents so make sure to have a closer look. Check what is covered, compare prices and do not drive that van until you are sure you are covered.
Learn More About the Van
Another top tip that we have for those who are planning on driving a van for the first time is to spend some time learning more about the van. If you are only used to driving cars, then you might not be comfortable with the larger size of the van. You will have different mirrors if there is no back window in the van and the length will be much more extreme. You should learn more about the dimensions of the van so that you can ensure you are not going to get caught under a height-restricted barrier. These will usually state the height limit so if you have this information, you will know when to avoid them.
Try Out the Controls
Just like with any vehicle, you should try out the controls in your new van before you take it for a drive. Some of the controls that you’ll want to check include the lights, the window wipers and the mirrors. You might be able to adjust the outer mirrors from the inside so make sure to check this out. In a van of this size, you will be relying on your side mirrors. Usually, vans will come with manuals that detail the controls. Have a look at this and make sure that you are ready for what you might face on the road.
Check the Limits
Did you know that some vans in Northern Ireland need to adhere to different speed limits than regular cars? This will depend on the size of the van but if your new vehicle falls into this category, you need to make sure that you are aware of this. If you go over a speed limit on the motorway, you could find yourself getting penalty points and a fine. This is something that you’ll obviously want to avoid. If you are unsure, you can find out about the speed limits for vans online. Have a look and make sure that you are prepared before you set off.
We know that you’ll be keen to get out on the road with your new van, but you must make sure that you do everything on this list before you start driving. Driving a van that you are not licensed to drive will cause serious problems and if you don’t have insurance, you could face more serious problems. Make sure that you are comfortable with your van before you set off and check all of the controls so that you don’t have to figure things out when you are on the road.
Hopefully, you’ll be comfortable driving your new van in no time at all. With your van, you could start your own business, help others move home and more so make sure to follow our tips.