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As we move into the new year, we expect to see more van driving jobs being made available. Not only is the economy expanding gradually, but there has been a noticeable increase in companies deciding to purchase new vans rather than larger trucks when upgrading their fleets. We suspect there will be a considerably higher demand for van drivers in 2016.

What we want drivers to know is that van driving does require at least some training for professionals. There are a number of reasons for this, which we will explain here.

The first thing to understand is that anyone who obtained a car licence prior to 1 January 1997 has acquired rights to legally drive a van weighing up 7,500 kg for personal or charitable purposes. Drivers who obtained their car licences after that date are restricted to vans weighing no more than 3,500 kg. Because most commercial delivery vans weigh between 3,500 and 7,500 kg, companies are normally reluctant to hire drivers with Category B licences. They prefer drivers with Category C1 licences.

Training to Get Your Licence

It is not possible to get a Category C1 licence for professional purposes without undergoing at least some training. Why? Because all professional drivers must now undergo a minimum of 35 hours of CPC training to earn their initial Driver CPC qualification card. These 35 hours would be the minimum you would need to be able to drive a van professionally.

We also recommend additional training to prepare drivers to take the theory, driving skills and practical demonstration tests for the Category C1 licence. The tests are not as easy to pass as you might believe. Examiners are trained to put candidates through a very strict testing regimen to ensure that they can safely function as professional drivers. To attempt to take the tests without formal training reduces your chances of passing.

One last thing to note for Category B licence holders with acquired rights: even though you are eligible to drive vans of up to 7500 kg, you would still need to take a CPC driver training course in order to become a professional driver. It may be easier for you to get a job as a van driver if you can find a company willing to put you in an apprenticeship programme that includes the necessary training.

We Train Van Drivers

Here at the HGV Training Centre, we are proud to say we train van drivers. Training for van driving jobs is offered alongside our other programmes for HGVs, PCVs, forklift trucks, and horseboxes. Our training teaches you everything you need to know to pass all of your tests the first time you take them. It is also fast. You can be ready to take your final test in a matter of weeks.

If you are interested in looking for van driving jobs, please contact us to learn more about training and licencing. We would be honoured to be your training partner.

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