UK Automobile Guide ›› Vans ›› Van Driver Walkaround Check

Van Driver Walkaround Checklist

There are several reasons why van drivers should be checking the condition of their vehicle every day. It helps to ensure its roadworthiness and it highlights any parts that need repairing or replacing.

This step by step guide walks you through the process of conducting the van driver's daily walkaround check and what to do if you find a fault on your vehicle.

What You Need to Check Inside Your Van

Check the driver's door while you open it and reel out the seatbelt so you can examine the webbing (e.g. no cuts or damage).

Plug in the seat belt buckle, see if it retracts over the empty seat, and test that it releases from the locking mechanism.

Make sure the driver's seat and battery compartment underneath (e.g. on electric van models) are both secure.

Then, while sitting inside the van, inspect your view through the front windscreen and in the nearside mirror.

Pro Tip: Anyone who is driving a van (or any other vehicle) should have a clear view through the windscreen and side windows. In other words, the side mirrors should be properly aligned and there should be no stickers or any other items obstructing the driver's field of vision.

Driving Controls and Brakes

Turn on the ignition to establish whether the demister and other driving controls are working as they should. Put your foot on the brake pedal to check for firmness and verify there is no excess travel in the handbrake.

Steering and Horn

Vehicle Lighting

Confirm (all):

Washers and Wipers

Make sure:

Checking the Outside of the Van

The van driver's daily walkaround checks need to include several important areas outside the van. As a general rule of thumb, completing the walk around should take about fifteen (15) minutes.


You must make sure the van's battery is held in place securely using the correct means (not cable ties). Plus, the battery should not be leaking any fluids.

Fluids, Fuel, and Oil

Bodywork and Doors

You should be able to close all doors properly and they should stay secured after you close them. There should be no damage or sharp edges and all body panels should be fixed as intended by the manufacturer (e.g. not loose or falling off).


If your vehicle is a petrol or diesel powered van, you should be making sure the exhaust isn't emitting excessive amounts of smoke.

Wheels and Tyres

While checking the outside of the van, have a look at the tyres and wheels. The law in the United Kingdom states that there must be (all):

Pro Tip: Another help guide explains how to check tyre age because you can get three (3) penalty points on your driver's licence for every unsafe or illegal tyre.

Load, Tow Bar, and Tail Lift

You need to make sure any load that your van is carrying or towing is adequately secure and the rear doors have an effective locking device. Plus, as part of the towing safety checklist, be certain that:

Important: What if you find a fault on the van during the walk around check? You must get dangerous defects fixed before you start your journey. If you become aware of defects during the journey, find a safe place to stop the vehicle and assess the damage. In some cases, you may need to contact a vehicle recovery company.

You might also enjoy...