We’ve seen time and time again people who need a business van rental to level up their business but are nervous about driving a van for the first time. Although daunting, it’s not that complicated.
With a few of our tips and tricks, you’ll feel confident about driving one of our vans in no time.
First-time van driving tips:
First-time Van Driving Tips:
1. Comfort is key
As much as you may want to get in and go, don’t. Before turning the engine on, take the time to get comfortable. Adjust the seat to suit your height and posture to make you feel most confident at the wheel. Move your mirror and become familiar with what you can and can’t see when driving. Look for where your lights, window wipers and cup holders are. You don’t want to be driving when it starts to get dark, the rain starts pouring, and you don’t know how to turn your lights on or wipe the rain off your window; nightmare.
The last thing we’d recommend you do is to move through the gears and turn the engine on and off to get used to the feeling of the van starting up and turning off. This is also helpful for you to hear the engine sounds to know if something doesn’t sound right.
2. Take your time
You’re used to driving a car, most likely a small or medium-sized car. A van is a larger vehicle that requires you to know its size while driving. You will need extra time to turn corners, get to a certain speed and stop the van altogether—all of which you will pick up within the first drive of your business van rental.
When around other vehicles, we propose more space between the van and the car in front to avoid any avoidable incidents.
3. Check your limits
For larger vehicles, speed limits are often capped. So, you may be driving a route you know like the back of your hand, but if you’ve driven it in a car, the speed limits are likely to be different when you drive it in a van.
Different vans will have different load limits. Load limits refer to the weight your business van rental can hold. At Central Self Drive, we can provide you with the perfect van, depending on your needs.
Be aware and know your limits.
4. Know the route
Before starting your journey, ensure you know where you’re going and how to get there. Planning is the key to confidence when driving any vehicle.
Double-check your route doesn’t involve any low bridges that your van won’t be able to fit underneath. Be aware of any road diversions in place and investigate any roads that might be a tight squeeze, look for alternatives. Organise where you will be parking the van, and you’ll be good to go. Our parking tip is further down in this blog, don’t worry.
5. Blind spots
Unlike a car, a van does not have a rearview mirror or a back window. This means there are spots where you can’t see when driving. Take extra precautions by looking over your shoulder, preventing you from hitting a car, cyclist or pedestrian when merging lanes or pulling over.
Even though the weather isn’t controllable, it is predictable. Look at the weather predictions for when you’ll be driving the van. If the conditions aren’t ideal, i.e., wind, rain or Storm Eunice, you should avoid driving a van for the first time.
With vans being high-sided, driving during high winds can be dangerous, especially if the van is empty. Rain affects any driver if there’s a heavy downpour, as it reduces visibility and creates a slippery surface.
7. Pack well
Your childhood years playing Tetris will come in handy when packing a van. Not only will you need to manoeuvre items in to fit strategically, but it also matters the order you put them in. You may have a few stops along your route, and you don’t want to get to your first stop and have the items you need stuck under everything right at the back.
With no rearview mirror or back window, parking such a large vehicle may seem like a daunting task. Take your time. You may not have a rearview mirror, but you do have larger wing mirrors to help you.
There’s always the option of having your passenger get out to help guide you into the space.
With over 50+years of knowledge, we can ease your mind during the whole process of business van rental.
Set up a business account with Central Self Drive here. Should you quickly need a van for a day or a fleet of maintained trucks, we can help.