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How to Safely Drive a Hired Van

Posted on by Whitgift Hire Team

Driving a hired van can be a great alternative if you require transportation services on short notice. However, there are also some challenges that will naturally have to be faced. By appreciating the unique aspects of these vehicles, you can rest assured that you will stay safe and drive efficiently during your next excursion…

Initial Concerns

With any hired van service, it is first important to take a look at the vehicle itself. There are certain concerns that you will need to address. Are the brake lights and headlamps functioning properly? Likewise, are the turning lights able to light up when they are activated? While still in a parking lot, place the van in neutral and lightly tap the brakes. Are they responsive or do they feel sluggish or spongy? Also, make certain that the seat can be adjusted and that you have a view through the windscreen that is free from all obstructions.


Driving Techniques for Safety

Operating a hire van on the open road is quite different from driving a car. You will need to account for its extra dimensions and turning radius. There are times when your van may not have any rear windows. In this case, it is critical that you employ the side mirrors for navigation when changing lanes or backing up to park.

Finally, recall that a hire van will take longer to stop during emergency braking than a car would require. Therefore, leave a longer distance between yourself and the car in front of you. Never drive above the speed limit. In rainy or icy conditions, remember that the centre of gravity on the van will be higher, so use caution around turns and always drive well below the speed limit; particularly if the van is loaded.


Rules of the Road

First and foremost, you need to be aware of other drivers on the road. Safety is a paramount concern and should never be taken lightly. When changing lanes, be sure to signal well ahead of time and always check your mirrors to make certain that other drivers are aware of your intentions. It is additionally important to recognise that van parking is limited in regards to urban (and some rural) settings. If you park the unit within an area that is designated for cars alone, you could be hit with a substantial fine. Make certain that all stipulations are clear.

A hire van may be too high for some access points such as tunnels. Determine the height of the vehicle beforehand and remember that regulations may preclude the use of your van on surface streets if you are carrying over a certain amount of weight.

Whitgift Hire are the leading providers of van hire services in the Croydon and wider London area. We operate a fleet of over 400 new and well-maintained vehicles available at low prices, so get in touch today for more information.


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