Highway Code for LCV DriversFebruary 21, 2017
Although you may know the rules of the road for driving a car, the Highway Code differs slightly for those driving a Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV). In this month’s article, we’ll be looking at just some of the most pertinent aspects of the Highway Code for LCV drivers.
Driving Licence and Vehicle Size
The type of driving licence you have will determine the size of the vehicles you are permitted to drive. If you have a standard licence, or Category B licence, you are permitted to drive vans weighing up to 3,500kg, therefore covering all vehicles classified as LCVs.
However, if your licence was issued after 1997, you may need to undergo additional testing to qualify you to tow a trailer when driving a van.
MOTs and Road Tax
Your van will need to have an MOT once it reaches three years old, just like a car. Where it differs is in the MOT class it will occupy. Goods vehicles up to 3,000kg design gross weight, including car-type vans, are categorised as Class 4, while goods vehicles over 3,000kg and up to 3,500kg are Class 7.
In addition, you will also have to tax your van before you are allowed to drive it on the road.
No matter what vehicle you’re driving on a public carriageway, you will need to have at least third party insurance. To do otherwise is an offence. As with insuring other vehicle types, you will need to inform your insurer of your circumstances in every regard as this will affect your policy. For instance, if you are using your vehicle for business purposes, you will likely have to pay a business rate on your insurance policy. Failure to notify your insurer of issues such as this may void your policy agreement.
The design gross weight is something every vehicle has; it states the maximum weight your vehicle can weigh when it is loaded, which is why it is also often called the vehicle’s ‘laden weight.’ It takes into account the combined total weight of the vehicle itself, any passengers, fuel and anything loaded into the vehicle. The design gross weight must not be exceeded to ensure performance and safety are not compromised. You can find your LCV’s design gross weight on the vehicle identification number (VIN).
You should also take great care when loading your LCV to avoid overloading individual axles. Be sure to space the load out evenly in your vehicle, securing it wherever possible to avoid it moving during transit.
Perhaps the most important aspect of the highway code that applies to LCV drivers is the speed limit. These are as follows:
- In a built-up area, all LCVs, like cars, have to abide by the 30mph speed limit
- On a single carriageway only car-type vans can drive at 60mph, with vans and vans towing trailers having to stick to 50mph
- On a dual carriageway car-type vans are permitted to drive at 70mph, but the others only at 60mph
- On a motorway, the speed limit for car-type vans and vans is 70mph, but vans towing a trailer are limited to 60mph
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