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Can I Drive a Van on My Licence

Are you looking to buy a van, but don't know which type you can drive with your driving licence?

We've put together a quick guide below to help you:

What are the Different Categories of Driving Licence?

Below are the current vehicle classifications, revised in November 2013:

A1Small Motorcycle
A2Medium Motorcycle
AFull Motorcycle
B1Four Wheeled Light Vehicle
C1Medium Sized Vehicle
CLarge Goods Vehicle
BECar with Trailer
C1EMedium Sized Vehicle with Trailer
CELarge Goods Vehicle with Trailer
D1EMinibus with Trailer
DEBus with Trailer
pMoped (50cc)
qMoped (25km/h)
hTracked Vehicle
kMowing Machine

If you've passed your driving test, your licence will have additional permissions to driving a car. These are stated on the front at the bottom of your plastic car licence, in a row of letters.

On the reverse, you'll see they're listed again but with start and end dates, indicating when it's valid.

Vans Under 3.5 Tonnes

A standard driving licence will display a category 'B' classification, which allows you to operate the majority of basic vans like the Transit.

When driving a van on a category 'B' licence, it's important to recognise the vehicles Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM). This means that it's total net weight should not exceed 3,500kg (3.5 tonnes). If you get caught operating an overweight vehicle, you could face a hefty fine or even points on your licence.

Vans Over 3.5 Tonnes

Although very few vans exceed this weight, many lighter vehicles may exceed the MAM limit with heavy cargo onboard, so be cautious. If you want to drive a vehicle that weighs a total of 3.5 tonnes or more, including cargo, you will need a higher licence qualification, but this only applies if you passed your driving test after 1st January 1997.

If you passed before that date, you are permitted to drive commercial vehicles up to 8.5 tonnes, but not as part of your job. To qualify to operate them for work purposes, you would need to undertake a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) examination.

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