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What’s Required To Drive Bigger Vans

March 3rd, 2023

If you’re starting a business that requires you to drive a large vehicle, you may be driving illegally if you are just using your standard driving licence.  This is because there are quite a few different categories of driving licences, which allow you to drive different vehicles. If you check your licence, you’ll find a small table filled with letters and numbers, but with no prior knowledge, they may confuse you.

Here is what is required to drive different types of vehicles.

Codes, Categories & Tables

The numbers and letters that make up your driving licence are divided into two groups. Driving licence categories are given in a combination of letters and numbers that inform which vehicle you can drive. Driving licence codes are given in numbers only and tell the conditions a driver should meet to drive, such as needing glasses.

On the back of your licence, there are a variety of columns. These show the types of vehicles you can drive, the start and end date of the licence and any licence codes.


The most common categories on a driving licence are category B. This is the standard category for regular-size vehicles, allowing you to drive vehicles up to 3,500kg MAM with a trailer up to 750kg if you passed after 1st January 1997. B auto enables you to drive with an automatic transmission while BE appears if the holder has passed a car and trailer driving test. Finally, B1 means you can drive a vehicle with 4 wheels up to 400kg unladen or 550kg if it is designed for carrying goods.

Category C allows you to drive large goods vehicles of over 3,500kg with a trailer of up to 750kg. CE allows you to tow a trailer over 750kg, and vehicle C1 specifically lets you drive vehicles between 3,500 and 7,500kg MAM. The final category C is C1E, which allows you to drive C1 vehicles with a trailer over 750kg, but the combined weight of both cannot exceed 12,000kg.

Category A licence refers to motorbikes. An A licence allows you to drive any bike of any sized engine and is only available to riders aged 24 and over, or 21 and over if you’ve held an A2 licence for 2 years. A1 allows for the driving of light motorcycles while A2 is a step up and allows for more powerful drives.

Vans Of All Sizes From Van Sales UK

The long story short of all this is you can drive a van of up to 3.5 tonnes on a standard car driving licence, but if it is over this you will need to take additional tests.

If you’re in need of a van for your business, shop with Van Sales UK. We have hundreds of diesel and electric vans at great prices, and you can benefit from free, fast delivery nationwide. We have vans of all sizes, including panel, dropside, tipper and Luton vans.

If you have any questions about our vans or want to know more about our finance or part exchange options, give us a call today at 0117 205 1403.


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