If you‘re thinking of buying and insuring a van, then you should probably ensure you‘re legally allowed to drive it or you may get yourself into trouble.
Will My Car Driving Licence Suffice?
For some vans, yes. If you hold a full UK category B driving licence, then you can drive any conventional van or pick-up truck up to 3.5 tonnes in size and carrying up to eight passengers. Anything bigger than this then you may have to take an additional test.
However, this is where things get a little confusing. If you passed your driving test before 1997 you may have a different kind of licence. This means you are able to drive vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes without having to pass another test.
If you passed your test before 1990 and still have a paper only licence, you can find out what your licence ‘groups‘ mean on the government website.
Otherwise to check, simply look at the backside of your card licence or, if you‘re unsure, check the DVLA‘s online database.
What Licence is Needed to Drive Large Vehicles?
There are two main licence categories that you may choose to test for in order to drive larger vehicles. The category C1 will upgrade a modern licence allowing you to legally drive vehicles between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes.
A category C1 E is for vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes with a trailer over 750kg or a combined weight of 12,000kg.
Please note: Although you can drive a small van from the age of 17, drivers must be 18 years of age to apply for a category C licence.
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