Highway Code Reminders | Go Rentals Blog | UK
In this short post, we’ll do a quick recap on some essential highway code for van drivers, to ensure you stay safe and don’t get any unnecessary parking tickets!
If you have a standard (category B) driving license, you’re ok to drive vans weighing all the way up to 3.5 tonnes (3,500 kg).
With that said, if you passed your test after 1st January, 1997 - then it’s possible you might have to take some additional tests before you can tow a trailer with a van.
Tax & MOT
Just like a car, your van will need to be taxed before you can drive it on the road, and also like a car, will require an MOT after it becomes 3 years old.
For MOTs, your van will be classed as either:
Class 4 - goods vehicles up to 3,000kg design gross weight (this include car-type vans), or
Class 7 - goods vehicles over 3,000kg up to 3,500kg design gross weight
Again, as with cars and motorbikes, your van must be insured in order of you to be able to drive it on public carriageways.
Depending on what your van is used for, i.e. social or business, you’ll need to inform your insurer, as this will affect your policy.
At certain times, vans are subject to slower speed limits than either cars or van-types vehicles.
The table below shows the standard speed limits in the UK…
*Usually applies to all traffic on all roads with street lighting unless signs show otherwise.
Weight limits and loading
Your van has a ‘design gross weight’, which is the maximum weight your vehicle can weigh when it’s loaded. You may also here this referred to as the ‘gross vehicle weight’ or ‘laden weight’.
This weight limit is on the vehicle identification number (VIN) plate in your van.
The design gross weight is the total combined weight of:
driver (and any passengers)
the load and anything the van is carrying
It’s important not to overload your vehicle or its individual axles as it will affect:
You can check your vehicle’s weight at a local weighbridge.
Because not all vans come fitted with a bulkhead, in the unfortunate event you may be involved in an accident, the cargo could potentially end up in the cab.
So to minimise any potential risks, fit a bulk head, and also ensure your goods are spread evenly throughout the cargo area.
Put the heaviest items at the bottom, and remember not to overload the individual axles.
Lastly, try and use appropriate securing restraints like netting or straps.
This is one that constantly catches out even the most well-intentioned drivers!
Look out for vertical yellow lines painted on the kerb, as these are showing you where you cannot load, or if any restrictions apply. If there are restrictions, these will be displayed on a plated sign attached to nearby pole.
Many roads now have dedicated loading bay facilities, shown as a white box on the road labelled ‘loading’, accompanied by a plated sign on a pole giving details of any specific restrictions.
Ok folks – happy driving!
Published on 28 Oct 2016
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