27 Aug 2019
Self Drive 6 Seater Minibus

If you have never hired a van before and the time has come when you need one, you are probably wondering whether your licence will be valid. While we would love to say, ‘yes, of course’ it can be a little more complicated than that.  Having said that, in most cases the answer is indeed yes, but it will depend on a number of factors. This month we explore that question in a little more depth to make sure you know what you can hire when you need a van.

Standard driving licence

With a standard driving licence you are able to drive a van up to 3,500kg in weight. That includes small and transit vans, standard-sized refrigerated vans and Luton vans. However, if you want to tow a trailer with the van you may need to check that you can do so. Similarly, if you passed your driving test after 1st January 1997 if you want to drive certain categories of vehicle or a vehicle that weighs between 3,500 kg and 7,500 kg you may need to take some additional tests.

Adding provisions to your licence

For those with a licence issued before 1st January 1997 certain provisions will apply automatically. If you need to add a provision you will need to apply for a provisional entitlement, a process called ‘staging’. You will not be able to apply for any additional provisions unless you have a full driver’s licence. Such provisions are to enable you to drive minibuses, buses, or even lorries. Once you have got approval of the provisional entitlement you can then proceed to take the test for that category.

If you are unsure what your licence allows you to drive you can check it online with the DVLA. This service also allows you to send licence information to a vehicle rental agency should they ask for it. To use it, you will need to have your national insurance number, your driving licence number and the postcode on your licence to hand.

Driving without the right licence can lead to a fine of £1,000 and between 3 and 6 penalty points on your licence.

What else do you need in order to hire a van?

There are a number of other things that are necessary to enable you to drive a van, most of which the rental company should arrange for you. The key things to check that they have got in hand include:

  • Valid insurance for the class of vehicle that you are hiring
  • Tax cover for the vehicle. Failure to have the right tax in place can land you with a fine of £1,000
  • A valid MOT certificate
  • Congestion Charge and Ultra Low Emission Zone fees paid if you are driving into central London. Some rental agencies may not automatically cover this, and you may need to pay it yourself in order to avoid a fine.

Looking for a van to hire? You’ve come to the right place! All our vans have full tax, MOT and insurance and all Central London charges are covered for you. Get in touch with us at CVS Van Hire on 020 8003 2785 and we’ll get you on the road.