Becoming a Delivery Van Driver
Van driving requires different driving skills to driving a car, despite the fact that many van drivers only need a car driving licence. Van driving often includes being a delivery van driver, but this is far from the only option available. This article offers advice on becoming a van driver.
Written By: DrivingExpert
Getting a Van Driving Licence
If you passed your car driving test before January 1st 1997, you can drive category C1 vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes (up to 7.5 tonnes with a trailer) on your Category B car driving licence. However, if you passed your car driving test after January 1st 1997, you need to take a separate C1 driving test to get a C1 driving licence. If you want to drive vans over 3.5 tonnes (over 7.5 tonnes with a trailer), you need to get a C+E driving licence.
If you need to get a separate van driving licence, you need to apply for a provisional driving licence. You can do this online on the DVLA website. You will usually need to send documentation with your application form, including your car driving licence. You are usually required to send a medical form (that is at least partially filled in by your GP) that gives background information on your health and any existing medical conditions.
Once you have your provisional driving licence, you can book your theory test. As with the car theory test, this involves multiple choice questions and a separate hazard perception test. You need to pass the theory test in order to take your practical driving test. Once you have passed the theory test, you can start your training. The number of lessons that you need to take to be ready for the practical driving test varies from person to person, but it will take most people at least ten hour-long lessons to be fully ready.
As is the case for all drivers, every van driver is required to inform the DVLA of any medical conditions that may affect his or her ability to be a safe driver. If you are driving for a living, this is even more important, as you have added responsibility. When you apply for your provisional driving licence, you are also required to send off a medical form that states whether you have any conditions that may affect driving, such as epilepsy, diabetes or heart problems.
Eyesight is tested at the beginning of the practical driving test, and failing to meet the necessary standard can result in your practical driving test being abandoned. The contents of the medical form will be taken into consideration, and the DVLA may choose to reject your provisional licence application if they feel that you don’t meet the necessary medical standards for driving.
As well as any existing medical conditions, you are also required to inform the DVLA at a later date if you develop any medical conditions that could affect driving. If they feel that you are no longer fit to drive, they may request that you hand back your driving licence.