More than half of van drivers have admitted to making mobile phone calls behind the wheel without using a hands-free device, according to Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

A survey carried out by the firm said 23% of drivers didn’t have a hands-free kit in their car, while 33% have hands-free technology but don’t use it.

Only 27% said their van has a hands-free kit they always use.

According to VW, van drivers spend an average of 35 minutes on the phone every day in their vehicles, making an average of seven calls a day.

One in 10 spend two hours on the phone while driving during the working day.

Since March 2017, driving while using a hand-held phone – including making calls, texting, taking selfies or posting on social media – has been punishable by a £200 fine and six driving licence penalty points.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles head of marketing Sarah Cox said: “Our figures show that many van drivers don’t have or aren’t using a Bluetooth hands-free kit behind the wheel – risking not only a fine and potential ban, which would damage business, but, more seriously, a potentially fatal accident.

“As part of our’ working with you’ promise we ensure all our customers have the right accessories and equipment to make their jobs as easy and safe as possible, whether that’s offering flexible van servicing or something as simple as a hands-free kit as standard.”