Driving a van and keeping to the rules

Traffic JamWhen you’re a van driver on the roads you have a lot to deal with. The weather, your cargo, other drivers being frustrating. One thing you don’t want to have to deal with is legal trouble. In the UK over 60% of business trips are done in a car or van. Across the miles and miles of roads in the country there are laws to follow. However, it’s not just the rules of the road. Your van is your business, or you’re part of a business. There are health and safety issues to worry about, such as Duty of Care. You’ll need to know certain things to avoid getting caught out. Things such as:


Know the rules and the consequences for breaking themlegal documents

Passing your driver’s test means you’ll know how the law works, at least at the time. Laws change and you should try and keep up with them. For older drivers you can drive a van no problem, but for younger drivers a simple car licence isn’t enough. Younger drivers need to pass additional tests if they want to drive a van or tow a trailer.


There’s also the Duty of Care laws that can result in fines.  The maximum a company can be fined for this is £10 million, depending on their size. Even smaller companies (Of around a £2 million turnover) can be fined around half a million, more than enough to kill one. This can come about in various ways, road accidents or crime, low vehicle maintenance or even incorrect loading methods. You could end up in the firing line for such an incident. However there are easy things that can minimise problems, such as:


Obeying mobile phone rulesBreaking the rules of driving while on a phone

We’ve all heard that using your phone while driving can lead to accidents on the road. This of course would make it illegal to do so. It’s not just answering or making calls, but reading texts or emails is also not allowed. Also, you aren’t safe from being stopped if you’re stopped at traffic lights or in a traffic jam. Unless you have a hands-free system, just keep the phone out of reach or turned off.


The penalties for doing this have gone up over the years. Currently, if you’re caught on your phone you could get 6 points on your licence and a fine of 200 quid. If you only passed your test 2 years or less until getting caught you’ll just lose your licence. If you’re reading texts and can’t see the road properly, that’s still 3 points. However, the police can take you to court where you can get a driving ban or a £1000 fine.


Get some insurance

If you’re setting up a transporter business or already have one with a fleet of vehicles you probably already know this. However, it’s still important to make sure every vehicle has the right policy as well as the right insurance for your business. A relatively simple idea but a hugely important thing to do because you can have the vehicle taken off of you and the business closed down. This leads onto the next point:


Don’t let people borrow the vankeys for vans

A lot of car insurance policies allow for other people to drive it. A proper van insurance policy is for one person, the owner. It’s usually specific to the person who has business with the van and only with that specific van. Because of this unless you’re covered in another way it’s probably not best to offer to drive someone else’s vehicle. It’s also definitely not a good idea to let a friend drive it, unless they also have proper coverage for driving van. Unless you follow these rules is followed and they damage the van the insurance won’t pay out and you’ll be responsible for the claim. It’s also a good idea to see if there are any issues with using a company van for personal use.


There’s enough to worry about when driving, and the laws are quite easy to not break. The penalties are tough if you are caught breaking them, The simple advice is that if a rule is easy to follow, don’t take chances. With your van in no doubt good hands start getting jobs for it now on DeliveryQuoteCompare.com

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  1. John Cooper left a comment on 17/11/2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Rule must be obeyed by everyone. Nice post!

  2. Driving Scout left a comment on 27/01/2019 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    What’s the best option in order to keep up to date with the laws as they change? I feel like I only learn by getting a ticket in the post which is a somewhat expensive strategy. Any suggestions?

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