For First-Timers: Adjusting to Driving a Van

driving vanDriving can get tricky when you’re unfamiliar with the car you’re using – be it a brand new vehicle or a rented minivan. It could be disorienting, especially when you’re highly accustomed to the good old sedan. Nevertheless, it’s possible to easily adjust to driving a van even if it’s your first time. The secret lies in these three factors:

Size difference

The most challenging part of driving a van the first time is the difference in its size from your typical sedan or SUV. As a wider and taller vehicle, vans need some extra caution when driving, especially when you have to pull off a parallel park.

When turning, you have to advance the van a bit further than usual, mainly because of the vehicle’s lack of a nose. Unlike sedans which you can steer to any side right away, vans need more room to turn before you can successfully manoeuvre them in a certain direction.

Drivers must also exercise further caution when entering a multi-storey car park or any other structure with low-lying ceilings and arches.

Weight difference

You also have to factor in some physics when you drive a van. Due to the size difference, this vehicle is naturally heavier than what you usually drive. Therefore, you have to take into account that such an auto would need more distance and time to come to a full stop. Vans also tend to consume more fuel than smaller vehicles because of its weight.

Control difference

Lastly, you have to familiarise yourself with the (slightly) different controls in a van. A common scenario here is with the parking brake. Sedans normally have levers for the hand brake, a mechanism that you simply pull up and down to release and apply. Vans, however, have shafts that you have to twist and push down.

The locations for switches, wipers, and lights may also differ. If you simply rented the van, ask for instructions from the van hire company.

When you factor in these three points, it becomes simpler to adjust your driving skill to a van. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself steering the vehicle effortlessly.