Drivers are often left in the dark when it comes to which vans they can drive when they van hire in Croydon. This lack of clarity can be incredibly frustrating, as drivers may have passed their driving test but still be unable to drive certain types of vans. Our guide provides all the information you need to know about van categories and how they correspond with your licence type. We’re here to help you understand your driver’s licence and the implications it has for driving a van on UK roads.
WILL A STANDARD UK DRIVING LICENCE ALLOW ME TO DRIVE A VAN?
Category B licence holders can drive vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes with eight passenger seats. You can be as young as 17 to drive certain vans and minibuses with this licence. Larger vehicles will require you to be 18 or older. The date on which you gained your licence will also determine whether it’s valid for these vehicles or not. You may need an additional test to ensure that you have the correct licence for these requirements.
WHAT LICENCE WILL ALLOW ME TO DRIVE LARGER VANS?
If you’re looking to drive a larger van with a weight limit between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes you will need a category C licence. Driving a vehicle with higher weight limits than this will require a C1 E licence. Obtaining one of these licences will also allow you to tow a trailer that exceeds 750kg.
WHY DOES THE DATE I PASSED MY TEST MATTER?
Let us explain – UK law changed on 1st January 1997, meaning that drivers who passed their test after this date would need to take an additional driving test to obtain a category C or C1 E licence for larger vehicles. If you passed your driving test before 1st January 1997, your licence will in all likelihood allow you to drive vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes already, eliminating the need to take an additional test to drive a large van.
HOW CAN I IDENTIFY MY LICENCE TYPE?
Just by looking at your licence you can identity all the vehicle you are eligible to drive, it will list the type of vehicles that are allowed for licensing purposes. You can identify what kind by looking at the information on the reverse side of your licence and noting down which columns display images. There should be a table with four columns:
- Left column – images of different vehicles.
- Central columns – start date and expiry date for your licence, licence type, vehicles you are permitted to drive.
- Right column – codes relating to any additional assistance you require, such as glasses.