Can I drive a truck on my ordinary car driving licence?
If you passed your car driving test before 1st January 1997 you will automatically have "acquired rights" to categories C1, D1 and B+E entitlements which means you can drive goods vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes, towing a trailer up to 750kg, a minibus up to 16 seats towing a trailer and a car towing any trailer. If you passed your test after 1st January 1997 you are allowed to drive vehicles up 3.5 tonnes (Ford Transit or Mercedes Sprinter sized vehicles but check the Gross Weight on the vehicles plate because some "Small vans" are not that small!) towing a trailer up to 750kg (but not exceeding a train weight of 3.5tonnes), a minibus up to 8 seats towing a trailer up to 750kg (not exceeding a train weight of 3.5tonnes) and a car towing a trailer up to 750kgs (again, not exceeding the 3.5 tonnes train weight).
At what age can I learn to drive a truck?
18 for category C1 and 21 for categories C & C+E. As from 10th of September 2009, you can drive a category C and C+E lorry at 18 as long as you have passed the Driver CPC.
Can I learn to drive a truck using my car licence?
No. You will need to apply to the D.V.L.A. for provisional entitlement of the correct category to be added onto your licence.
How can I get this provisional entitlement added to my licence?
By filling in the application pack for vocational driving licences that is available from the D.V.L.A. or our "Contact Us" page. The pack consists of a medical form to be filled in by a doctor after a medical examination. You can go to any doctor for this but many drivers use Cotswold Medicals at www.driversmedicals.com , telephone number 0870 609 1540, who charge less than most GPs. The pack also contains an application form to be filled in by you that includes an automatic up-grade to photo card driving licence if you haven't already got one. Send the completed pack (there's no fee!) to the D.V.L.A. at Swansea - it takes about 10 days for your application to be processed. You can not drive an L.G.V. on the road without the correct entitlement actually being on your licence.
They asked for a "Class 1" driver. Does category C1 mean Class 1?
No. Licence categories changed in the early 1990's to bring the U.K. into line with the rest of Europe. Here are the main categories:
|Old Class||New Category||Description|
|Class 1||Category C+E||Any goods vehicle towing any trailer|
|Class 2||Category C||Any goods vehicle towing a trailer up to 750kgs|
|Class 3||Category C||Any goods vehicle towing a trailer up to 750kgs|
|7.5 tonne entitlement automatically given with car licence gained before 1997 under "Acquired rights"||Category C1||Goods vehicle under 7.5 tonnes towing a trailer up to 750kgs|
I want to drive an artic. Can I go straight from car licence to artic licence?
No. Here is the process from Car (category B) to artic (category C+E):
|1. Category B||(your full car licence)|
|2. Apply for category C provisional entitlement||(you must be over 18 and will have to pass a medical as part of the application process)|
|3. Pass L.G.V. Theory tests (Module 1)||(well done!)|
|4. Pass category C practical test||(well done again! Your licence will be automatically issued to you by the DVLA with full category C entitlement and provisional C+E entitlement)|
|5. CPC modules 2 and 4 (if you are intending to drive professionally)||There is no need for a Driver CPC if you are over 21 and you don't intend to drive professionally|
|6. Pass category C+E practical test||(well done, you've done it - no more tests! Your licence with full LGV entitlements will be sent to you by the DVLA)|
Do I really need a Driver CPC?
If you intend to use your LGV driving licence commercially (for hire or reward) any driver who first passed any category C driving test after 9th of September 2009 must have this new qualification. Drivers who held any LGV driving entitlement before that date have 5 years "acquired rights" to the Driver CPC. The Driver CPC is enforced on the road in the same way as holding an appropriate driving licence and it is an offence to drive without it. There are penalties for drivers and operators who flaunt this new requirement. See Driver CPC page.