Parking Tips for Driving a Large Passenger Van for the First Time

Posted on: 17 August 2016

Whether you're organizing a trip with the sports team that you coach or the church youth group that you lead, renting a passenger van will allow you to travel together and take some of the headaches out of planning the trip. If you haven't previously found yourself behind the wheel of a large passenger van, driving isn't the only thing that can require a bit of an adjustment. You might also find that parking the van feels a little daunting, due to its size and possibly the fact that the van has less visibility than your own car. Here are some things to keep in mind when you park.

Try to Find the Ideal Parking Spot

In general, you may wish to avoid backing up your passenger van into a parking spot. The best way to avoid having to do so is to park where you can pass through one parking spot and park in the next one. This will ensure that no one can park in front of you, which means that you'll be able to exit the parking spot driving forward, which should make you feel more comfortable. If you're in an area in which such a parking spot isn't free, consider just pulling up parallel to the curb in an empty area, provided that you're not blocking any fire hydrants or breaking any parking rules.

Check Your Spacing After You Park

The increased width and length of your passenger van can take some getting used to. After you've parked but before you've turned the vehicle off, hop out and check where you are in relation to the lines around the parking spot. Because your vehicle is longer than your own car, you may notice that your back end is hanging into the space behind you. Checking this situation before you leave the vehicle will allow you to pull forward so that you're fully in your own space.

Ask Your Passengers to Help

Passenger vans often have large windows on each side, but if the vehicle is full of people, it may be difficult for you to have a clear line of sight when you turn your shoulder to look out the windows. Provided that there are adults or responsible children in the van, don't be afraid to ask them to help by letting you know if the path is clear when you're exiting a parking spot. While the responsibility for safe driving still falls on you as the driver, some help in this regard can make the parking process feel less daunting.

Talk to a company like Sensible Car Rental for more advice on how to safely park a large van.