Whatever your reasons for wanting to become a van driver, whether it’s the draw of meeting interesting new people every day or earning a bit of extra cash as a side income, this is an exciting life decision that will see you developing new skills and growing your experience. However, before you make the leap there are a number of things that you should do to ensure you’re as prepared as possible. In this guide, we’ll be bringing you our top tips for getting started as a van driver in the UK.
Understand What License You Need
When you’re getting started as a van driver, you need to know what license you need before you start any training. If you’re planning to apply for delivery driver roles at a parcel company, for example, most drivers in this sphere will drive on a Cat C1 license, which qualifies you to drive vehicles between 3,500 and 7,500kg with a trailer up to 750kg. If you plan to branch out into HGV driving in the future, however, you should take at least a Cat C test, which will allow you to drive vehicles over 3,500kg with a trailer up to 750kg. There are more driving license categories to be aware of, so make sure you do your research!
Undertake High-Quality Training
Before you go out onto the open roads, you should make sure that you’ve done everything you can to set yourself up for success in your new career, and a key part of your journey should be the undertaking of high-quality professional training. Once you know what license you need, take some time to research different training establishments to learn more about what they offer and whether they have positive reviews from previous students. There are different types of van driver training courses on offer, so make sure to pick the option that feels right for your own circumstances and learning style – gov.uk even offers dedicated information for van drivers who want to learn more about staying safe and within the law on the road.
Get the Right Insurance
No matter what you use your van for, be it work or casual driving, you’ll need to have the right insurance before you get out on the road. There are different levels of van insurance that you can choose from:
- Third-Party, Fire, and Theft
- Fully Comprehensive
The level of cover you’ll need depends on how often you’ll be driving, as well as what you use your van for. If you’re a self-employed driver, it’s likely that any companies that you work for will require you to have comprehensive insurance on your vehicle. When you’re searching for van insurance, it’s recommended that you shop around for the best price, as different companies will have different requirements and assessment criteria that influence their pricing.
Whether you’re learning to drive a van as part of a complete career change, or you’re buying a van to support an interest you have outside of work, following this guide means you’ll be safe and well-informed while out on the road. By getting the right license and insurance, you can check the key things off your to-do list and enjoy the next chapter of your life without any additional stress.