How Old You Have to Be to Drive a Van

Anyone can drive a van at 17-years-old as long as they are a class B license holder. Driving a camper van is slightly more strict as drivers must be at least 21-years-old. If you are renting a van, you may have to be older as renting places have the right to set their own minimum age limitations. 

Despite the differences between a van and a car, there isn’t a big issue with minimum age limitations. Most people can drive a van with a car license at the regular driving age without any issues. 

Driving a van professionally or driving something larger like a camper van comes with slightly different rules, however. So you may have to do a bit of digging. 


You Have to Be 17 to Drive a Van 

If you want to drive a van, you must be at least 17-years-old, this is a rule that you will find in most areas. This is not a very strict rule as many areas allow you to become a licensed driver at 17. 

This does, however, restrict you from being able to drive a van with a learner’s permit holder if you are of that age. Most states allow people to get their learner’s permit at the age of 15 or 16. 

Depending on where you live, you may have stricter restrictions or laxer ones. It will also depend on that state’s age for having a driver’s license. Places like Oregon allow you to get one at 17, while Pennsylvania requires drivers to be 18. 

If you want to drive a van at 17, you will also be required to have a class B driver’s license. This allows the driver to drive a vehicle that is as large as a van. 


You Have to be 21 to Drive a Camper Van 

Driving a camper van has a slightly different set of rules as you are required in most areas to be at least 21-years-old. This is a significant difference from being able to drive a regular van at 17. 

It is also expected for drivers to have a minimum of driving experience while having a driver’s license. This does not have to be a specific license, just one that allows you to be able to drive safely and legally. 

This will, of course, be a bit different depending on where you live, some places may be more strict while others are less so. You will have to ask around, or you can contact your local DMV for the rules surrounding driving a camper van. 

This is most likely due to the size of a camper van and the fact that it is harder to drive, requiring a different level of driving skill. 


You Can Drive Most Vans With a Car License 

To drive most vans that are meant for everyday use and are not considered to be commercial vans, you need to have a class B driver’s license. There are other more technical licenses that you can get, but they are usually specifically for vans or other heavy-duty vehicles. 

A class B driver’s license is the most common kind of license that you can get that will allow you to drive a van legally.  

The most common driver’s license, in general, is the class D license, this is what most drivers have. The good thing is that a class D license can also be used to drive a van. 

These are the two most common types of driver’s licenses that most people end up getting. They are not considered to be specialty licenses but will also allow you to navigate a van nonetheless. 

Some areas may have different rules, however, so it is always a good idea to ask ahead just in case. Your local DMV would have the answer and be able to tell you what licenses are permitted to drive a van in your area. 

You want to make sure that you always double-check since it can be illegal to drive a van with the wrong license. 


There is No Maximum Age Limit for Driving a Van 

Despite the fact that there is an age minimum on driving a van, there is no maximum age limit. In general, there is no known age limit on driving at all, though the requirements do get a bit complicated the older you get. 

You can legally drive a van no matter how old you are, as long as your license is up to date. You will also be required to renew your license more frequently as well as have eye tests done as you get older. 


Driving a Van Can Be Difficult for Beginners 

Even though many vans are designed similarly to cars in how they drive, they can be more difficult for beginners to drive. Especially if you have never had any experience driving anything larger than a car. 

If you want to start driving a van or even buy one, there are a few things that you should consider. Especially if you are fairly new to driving and would still consider yourself to be a beginner. 

Driving a van can sometimes be difficult and require a new set of driving skills that cars don’t necessarily require. Here are some things to consider about driving a van. 


A Van is Large 

Vans are large, that is one of their most defining features when peop[le look at them or consider buying one. Vans are much larger than cars, and even the smallest van will be different to drive. 

This is the main reason why beginner drivers may struggle to drive a van as they are larger and harder to navigate. They take turns differently and can be harder to steer in traffic or in tight neighborhoods. 

They also have larger blind spots that can make it easy to not be aware of what is around you. This could lead to accidents with other vehicles or with bicyclists. 

When driving a van, you have to be more aware of your surroundings and more careful. This is a powerful vehicle, and you have to maintain control at all times. 


It Can Drive Differently 

Because of the size and build of most vans, they will behave differently on the road than an ordinary car will. They are heavier, which will make braking more difficult, which is why you must always maintain good distances. 

In a van, you will have to begin braking sooner in order to stop in time. You never want to slam on the brakes in a van as that will wear the brakes out, but it could also make the van roll as a worst-case scenario. 

A van might also have trouble keeping up to the speed limit if you are carrying a bunch of stuff in the back. You will also want to go slightly slower in order to be able to brake safely. 

These are things to keep in mind that you may not have to worry so much about if you drove a car. 


It is Hard to Park 

A van can be exceptionally difficult to park, mainly, of course, because of its size. Parking spots were mainly designed for the average-sized car, making it difficult to park in a large van. 

This is especially true if you are trying to park in a parking area that is very crowded with other vehicles. A van is not as capable of maneuvering into tight parking spots as a car is. This could make it easier to damage other vehicles or your own as you try to park a larger van. 

Parallel parking is also more difficult as a van has wider blind spots and is generally longer;making it difficult to carefully navigate into a small parallel parking spot. 

If you are still getting used to driving your van, it would be a good idea to practice parking in an empty parking lot. Or parking as far away from other vehicles as you can where you have more room.