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Vehicle Licence Categories

Vehicle Category Descriptions -
For Driving Tests Passed After 1.1.1997 & Minimum Ages For Driving in Great Britain

In general, the minimum ages for driving on British roads are 16 years for invalid carriages and mopeds, 17 years for agricultural or forestry tractors, small vehicles and motorcycles, and 21 years for medium/large sized vehicles, minibuses and buses.

Listed below is the description of the vehicle and the minimum ages required to drive these vehicles.

All weights refer to Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) unless stated otherwise.

Motorcycles

Description

Category 

Minimum Age

See Note

Light motorcycles with a cubic capacity not exceeding 125cc and  a power output not exceeding 11kW (14.6bhp).

A1

17

 

Motorcycles up to 25kW(33bhp) and a power to weight ratio not exceeding 0.16kW / kg. Motorcycle combination with a power to weight ratio not exceeding 0.16kW /kg.

A

17

 

Any size motorcycle with or without a sidecar. 

A

21

3 or 4 wheeled light vehicles 

Description

Category 

Minimum Age

See Note

Motor tricycles / quadricycles, 3 or 4 wheeled vehicles with an unladen weight not exceeding 550kg. 

B1

17

 2                

Cars

Description

Category 

Minimum Age

See Note

Motor vehicles with a MAM not exceeding 3500kg having  not more than 8 passenger seats with a trailer up to 750kg. Combinations of towing vehicles in category B and a trailer, where the MAM of the combination does not exceed 3500kg and the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen mass of the towing vehicle.                  

B

17

 2

Automatic cars

As cars, but with automatic transmission.

B Automatic

17

2  

Cars with trailers

Combinations of vehicles consisting of a vehicle in category B and a trailer, where the combination does not come within category B.

  B+E

17

 

Medium Sized Vehicles

Description

Category 

Minimum Age

See Note

Lorries between 3500kg and 7500kg with a trailer up to 750kg.

C1

18

 3

Medium Sized vehicles with trailers

Lorries between 3500kg and 7500kg with a trailer over 750kg - total weight not more than 12000kg (if you passed your category B test prior to 1.1.1997 you will be restricted to a total weight not more than 8250kg)

C1+E

21

3

Large Vehicles 

Description

Category 

Minimum Age

See Note

Vehicles over 3500kg with a trailer up to 750kg. 

C

21

 4

Large Vehicles with trailers

Vehicles over 3500kg with a trailer over 750kg.  

C+E

21

4

Minibuses

 

Description

Category 

Minimum Age

See Note

Vehicles with between 9 and 16 passenger seats with a trailer up to 750kg.  

D1

21

 5

Minibuses with trailers

Combinations of vehicles where the towing vehicle is in subcategory D1 and its trailer has a MAM of over 750kg, provided that the MAM of the combination thus formed does not exceed 12000kg, and the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen mass of the towing vehicle.

  D1+E   

21

5

Buses

Description

Category 

Minimum Age

See Note

Any bus with more than 8 passenger seats with a trailer up to 750kg.

D

21

 5

Buses with trailers

Any bus with more than 8 passenger seats with a trailer over 750kg.                       

  D+E   

21

 

Other Categories 

Description

Category 

Minimum Age

See Note

Agricultural tractors                                       

F

17

 6

Road Rollers

G

21

7

Tracked Vehicles

H

21

 

Mowing machine or vehicle controlled by a pedestrian

K

16

 

Mopeds

P

16

 


Notes

Note 1

 Age 21 or 2 years from the date of standard A test pass

Note 2

 Age 16 if you are currently getting Disability Living Allowance at the higher rate.

Note 3

 Age 18 if combination weight is under 7500kg.

Note 4

 

Age 17 if member of armed forces.

Age 18 if member of the Young Drivers Scheme. 

Note 5

 Age 17 if member of armed forces.

Age 18       i. while learning to drive or taking passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) test; or 

ii.  after passing a PC V test when:

·         driving on a regular service where the route does not exceed 50km, or 

·           driving a PCV constructed to carry no more than 16 passengers, and

·         the vehicle is operated under a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operator’s licence or permit.

Note 6

 Age 16 for tractors less than 2.45m wide.  It must only pull trailers less than 2.45m wide with two wheels, or four close coupled.

Note 7

 Age 17 for small road rollers with metal or hard rollers.  They must not be steam powered, weigh more than 11.69 tonnes or be made for carrying loads.

 

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