Driving Licence Categories

Types of driving licence for different classes of vehicle

Motorcycles

3 or 4 wheeled light vehicles

Cars and small vans, with out without trailer

Medium-sized vehicles

Large vehicles

Minibuses

Buses

Misc

Motorcycles

Type

Category

Minimum Age

Light motorcycle; up to 125cc; power output not exceeding 11kw (16.8bhp)

A1

17

Medium-sized motorcycle; 25kw 25kW(33bhp) and a power to weight ratio not exceeding 0.16kW / kg

A

17

Motorcycles with a sidecar and a power to weight ratio of up to 0.16 kW/kg

 

A

17

Any size motorcycle, with or without a sidecar if you have completed the large motorcycle Direct Access Scheme

 

A

21; or two years after passing the standard test

Moped

P

16


Anyone wishing to ride a motorcycle or moped must first complete Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) and a theory test. Two years after passing these, or on reaching your 21st birthday, if you wish to ride a higher powered motorcycle you must complete the Direct Access Scheme.

3- or 4-wheeled light vehicles

Type

Category

Minimum Age

Motorised tricycles and quad-cycles with an unencumbered weight of no more than 550kg

B1

17


Cars and small vans, with or without trailer

MAM stands for Maximum Authorised Mass, which means the total weight of both vehicle and the load it carries. The MAM can be found in a vehicles manual and will generally be on a sticker or plate fitted to the car. MAM is also known as Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) and permissible maximum weight.

Type

Category

Minimum Age

Cars and vans with a MAM not exceeding 3500kg and under 8 seats; trailer to weigh no more than 750kg

B

17

As above but with trailer weighing more than 750kg, total load of vehicle and trailer not to exceed 3500kg

B

17

As above but with automatic transmission

B Auto

17

As above but with heavier trailer not included in category B

B + E

17

Age exception – Category B, not including B + E, may be attained at 16 if on the higher rate of Disability Allowance

Medium sized vehicles, with or without trailer

Type

Category

Minimum Age

Vehicles weighing between 3500kg and 7500 kg, with or without trailer weighing no more than 750kg

C1

18

As above but with trailer weighing more than 750kg; combined weight of vehicle and trailer must not exceed 1200kg; trailer weight must not exceed that of vehicle

C1+E

21


Age exceptions – Category C1 may be attained at 17 if a member of the armed forces. Category C1 + E may be attained at 18 if you have passed your driving test and Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) initial qualification. You may also drive Category C + E vehicles at 18 if you undergo a national vocational course to get your Driver CPC initial qualification, or if you are taking a test for this category or Driver CPC initial qualification.

Large vehicles, with or without trailer

Type

Category

Minimum Age

Vehicle weighing more than 3500kg; trailer no more than 750kg

C

21

As above but with trailer more than 750kg

C + E

21

Age exceptions – Category C may be attained at 17 if a member of the armed forces. Categories C and C + E may be attained at 18 if you have assed your driving test and Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) initial qualification. You may also drive Categories C and C + E vehicles at 18 if you undergo a national vocational course to get your Driver CPC initial qualification, or if you are taking a test for this category or Driver CPC initial qualification.

Minibuses, with or without trailers

Type

Category

Minimum Age

Minibus with between 9 and 19 passenger seats, with or without trailer weighing no more than 750kg

D1

21

As above but with trailer weighing more than 750kg; total weight of both must not exceed 12000kg; weight of trailer must not exceed that of minibus

D1 + E

21

Age exceptions – Category D1 may be attained at 17 if a member of the armed forces. Categories D1 and D1 + E vehicle may be driven at 18 if you are learning or taking a PCV test or Driver CPC initial qualification. Once a PCV test and Driver initial qualification have been passed you may drive a category D1 vehicle at 18. If a PCV test was passed before 10 September 2008 you may drive category D1 at 18.

Buses, with or without trailers

Type

Category

Minimum Age

Any bus with more than 8 passenger seats, with or without trailer weighing no more than 750kg

D

21

As above but with trailer over 750kg

D + E

21

Age exceptions – Category D1 may be attained at 17 if a member of the armed forces. Categories D and D + E vehicles may be driven at 18 if you are learning to take a PCV test or Driver CPC Initial Qualification. Once these tests are passed you may drive Categories D and D + E vehicles if the route is a regular service and no more than 50km (this rule ceases to apply when driver reaches age of 20); or if you are carrying no passengers; or if you are undertaking a National Vocational Training Course to attain a Driver CPC initial qualification. If you passed a PCV test before 10th September 2008 you may also drive vehicles in these categories at 18.

Miscellaneous categories

Type

Category

Minimum Age

Agricultural tractors

F

17

Road rollers

G

21

Tracked vehicles

H

21

Mowing machine or pedestrian controlled vehicle

K

16

Age exceptions – Two wheeled or four close coupled wheeled tractors less than 2.45 metres wide may be driven at the age of 16. Small road rollers weighing less than 11690kg with metal or hard rollers, which are unable to carry loads and are not steam powered, can be driven at 17. Tracked vehicles with a MAM of less than 3500kg can be driven at 17. 

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