Many hire van drivers do not know that the speed limits for their rental van are lower than those for cars, warns van hire website MyLocalVanHire.co.uk.
A significant proportion of drivers who hire vans do not realise that van speed limits are lower than those for cars, warns van hire website MyLocalVanHire.co.uk.
Vans with a maximum permitted weight of between two tonnes and 7.5 tonnes can travel at a maximum of 50mph on single carriageway roads, 60mph on dual carriageways and 70mph on motorways. These speed limits apply regardless of whether the van is loaded or not and almost all vans fall into this weight range.
"The speed limits have been in place for more than 20 years but are not widely known about", says MyLocalVanHire.co.uk founder Roland Head. "I think that the problem is that drivers learn car speed limits and assume that as they can drive vans on their car licence, the same speed limits must apply to vans."
Although it is always the driver's responsibility to be aware of the speed limits for the type of vehicle they are driving, MyLocalVanHire.co.uk believes that van hire companies could do more to educate their customers.
"It would cost very little for van hire companies to put stickers with speed limits in the cabs of their hire vans, or indeed on a notice board in their office reception areas", says Roland Head. "I have hired many vans over the years and have never once been warned about van speed limits."
The only vans to which the lower speed limits do not apply are car-derived vans with a maximum permitted weight of less than two tonnes. Examples of such vans include the Ford Fiesta Van and Vauxhall Corsa Van, but very few other vans meet the twin criteria of being derived from a car body and of having a maximum permitted weight of less than two tonnes.
Ignorance is not an excuse, says MyLocalVanHire.co.uk, and the past few years have seen regular police crackdowns on speeding van drivers, including those in hire vans.
MyLocalVanHire.co.uk is a UK van hire database featuring more than 730 rental branches in over 400 UK locations. Visitors can search for van hire companies in their area and see the branch locations on an interactive map. The site has grown strongly since its launch in May 2007 and now attracts more than 60,000 visitors each month.
MyLocalVanHire.co.uk also provides a minibus hire search service and a wide range of free information guides on all aspects of hiring, driving and loading vans. For more details, visit www.mylocalvanhire.co.uk.
Motor & Transport