Driving a Van Is Not Hard, This Is How & Why

Driving a van is not hard to do, and anyone can do it if they want to. Driving a van is different from driving a car, but it is still very easy to do and can be done by anyone with driving experience. You do not need any special training or even a special driving license to drive a van. 

As long as you have some driving experience, you are perfectly capable of driving a van just like you would any other vehicle. A van is surprisingly easy to drive as long as you are prepared for some of the differences. 

Anyone can drive a van if they have some driving experience under their belt. All it takes is some practice and a little bit of patience to get the hang of it.  


Driving a Van is Not Very Hard 

Driving a van is not nearly as hard as many might think by looking at a van. Many people are intimidated by this vehicle because of how large it seems. 

Though vans can be quite large depending on the kind you are driving, that does not make them overly complicated to drive. Many vans drive just like a car does, they’re just bigger. 

As long as you have the basic principles of driving under your belt, you will be able to drive a van safely. They require the same basic driving principles and take just a little bit of practice to get the hang of. 

Driving a van is going to feel different from driving a smaller vehicle, so that should be expected. But generally, it will not be too difficult, and you will be able to perfect your van driving with just a little bit of practice. 

This will also depend greatly on the type of van you are trying to drive. Some vans are much larger, while others tend to be more compact and similar to a large car. 

If you are very nervous starting out, you may want to gravitate towards a smaller van that won’t be as intimidating. A compact van such as a Ford Transit Connect can be a great place to start and will give you an idea of what it feels like to navigate a larger vehicle such as a Ford Transit, which is a full-sized van. 


Anyone Can Drive a Van 

Anyone can drive a van as long as they have a license and some driving experience to help them out.  

Aside from that, there are no limits to who can drive a van. Anyone can drive a van if they want to, no special experience is required. 

You can drive a van with just the basic knowledge of driving, no special training or skills are required. Though it is advised that people practice driving a van before driving on public roads with lots of other traffic. 

There are some differences to driving a van that do need to be acknowledged. They aren’t huge differences but are large enough to make practice very necessary. 

Even a highly skilled driver should take some time to practice the basics of driving a van to become comfortable behind the wheel. 


You Can Drive a Van on a Car License 

Despite popular belief, you actually do not need a special license to drive a van. Most vans fall under the class B license, which allows you to drive a van with a car license. 

Most people get a class B license when they first get their driver’s license. This is the most common license given out and is more commonly referred to as a car license. 

The good thing is that this license covers more than just cars and covers most vans. This makes driving a van even easier as you do not have to get a special license. 

There are actually very few cases where you would ever need to get a special license to cover driving a van. Most van models can be driven with a simple car license as long as it is a class B license. 

If you are not completely sure what kind of license you have, you can take it to your local DMV. They will be able to identify your license and tell you what you can legally drive with it. 

You should usually be able to see the class B on your license if that is what you have. 


What to Expect When Driving a Van 

Despite the fact that driving a van is much easier than many people think, it does have its differences. Driving a van will not be exactly like driving a car and will require some practice. 

It is very simple to learn to drive a van as they are often built similarly to a car. Making it easier to get the hang of maneuvering such a large vehicle. 

When you first start to drive a van, you will want to be prepared to experience some of the major differences. Once you pick up on these differences, driving a van will feel no harder than driving a car. 

It is important to be fully prepared and know what you are getting into. Don’t jump into a van expecting it to drive exactly like a car because it won’t. 

Give it some time, and you are bound to get the hang of driving a van. 


Vans Brake More Slowly Than Cars 

Using the brakes in a van is a different experience than braking other types of vehicles. They brake slower, so you have to begin braking sooner than you normally would.  

This is mostly because vans are much heavier than many other vehicles, so it takes them longer to fully stop. This is an important detail to drive safely, as you need to get used to braking sooner. 

Because it takes a van longer to come to a complete stop, it is also a good idea to keep more distance behind other vehicles. More distance will give you more space to come to a complete stop safely behind them. 

Maintaining more space behind other vehicles is a good habit to adopt when driving a van. This will make driving safer as you have allowed yourself more room to fully stop without coming too close to another vehicle. 

This is why you will also need to be more alert when driving a van. You should always stay alert when driving any vehicle, but especially when driving such a large vehicle as a van. 


Limited Parking as They Are Larger  

Another thing to keep in mind about driving a van is that you may find yourself with limited parking options. This is due to the fact that a van is larger and cannot fit into just any parking space. 

You won’t be able to squeeze your vehicle into tight parking spots or parallel park in tight areas. You will have to be much more aware of just how large your vehicle really is. 

Most parking spaces can fit a van, but some spaces can be on the smaller size. This can often depend on how the other vehicles are parked as well. 

You may want to drive into an empty parking lot to practice parking your van. Or at least try to park where there aren’t any other vehicles until you get the hang of it. 

This will help to prevent you from accidentally getting too close to another vehicle. Or even worse, actually damaging another vehicle while parking. 


Slower to Accelerate and Harder to Turn 

One detail about driving a van is that you are also going to be met with more resistance. This is because vans are very heavy vehicles and may not respond as quickly as other kinds of vehicles. 

This may make turning and braking a bit harder, as well as getting your van to pick up speed. They are heavy and can require a bit more work on your part to get going on the road. 

This can also come down to the model that you are driving, as some are more user-friendly than others are. Some can be much harder to navigate, while clothes are designed to drive with ease. 

You may want to research this when looking into buying a van. Not all are created equal, and some may be much easier to drive than others. 


They Can Only Do Slower and Wider Turns 

You will also have to adapt to taking turns slower when driving a van as this is very much necessary. Vans are larger and heavier and will need to be navigated accordingly on the road. 

Turns can be especially tricky and are one of the top reasons why people struggle to drive a van. You will need to make wider turns that are also tight and very controlled, keeping an eye on all of the vehicles around you. 

You will need to keep the van’s length in mind and avoid getting too close to any nearby vehicles. This is a skill you will have to perfect through practice before you have really mastered it. 

Driving a van is not too complex, but it does require more thought in regards to safety. This is because a van is so large and needs to be carefully controlled when driving among other vehicles. 

Anyone new to driving a van should be fully prepared for when they need to do turns and know what they need to do to them safely. 


More Blind Spots 

Vans have larger blind spots. The larger the vehicle, the more blind spots you have to consider. 

This is why you will need to get comfortable with checking your mirrors frequently and looking over your shoulder. Especially when you are turning, stopping, or switching lanes. 

This is very important as you do not want to risk having a vehicle hiding out in your blind spot. This is also a very easy place for bicyclists to hide without you ever realizing that they are there. 


Practice to Prepare for Driving a Van 

The most important thing you should do to prepare to drive a van is to practice. There is no real way to practice until you have a van unless you can borrow a van from someone. 

If you cannot borrow a van to practice before buying one, the next best thing is to practice with your new van. Try driving to a secluded parking lot, or you can practice in your drive through if it is large enough. 

Try to practice starting and stopping, making turns, parking, and keeping an eye on your surroundings. This will not perfectly imitate actually driving on the road, of course, but it can help you to become more confident. 

Just an hour or two of practice can help you become much more familiar with how a van runs. This newfound confidence will also help you tackle the actual roads feeling good about your driving abilities. 

Anyone can drive a van; it just takes a little practice and extra awareness on the road.