Buses and lorries you can drive and minimum ages

The rules about the minimum age you can drive medium and larger vehicles. If you gained your licence before 19 January 2013, you will keep the entitlements you got when you passed your driving test(s). The tables below show the full entitlements.

Medium-sized vehicles with or without trailers

Category Description Minimum age
C1 Vehicles weighing between 3,500kg and 7,500kg with or without a trailer - weighing no more than 750kg 18*
C1+E As category C1 but with a trailer over 750kg. The total weight of the vehicle and the trailer together can't weigh more than 12,000kg. The weight of the trailer, when fully loaded, can't weigh more than the unladen weight of the vehicle 21*, **, ***

* Age 17 if you are a member of armed services

** Age 18 if you got your driving licence before 10 September 2009 and the weight of the vehicle and trailer together is under 7,500 kilograms

*** You can drive C1+E category vehicles at age 18 if one of the following apply:

  • you are learning to drive or taking a driving test for this category or Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) initial qualification
  • you've passed your driving test and Driver CPC initial qualification
  • you are taking a national vocational training course to get a Driver CPC initial qualification
  • Driver Certificate of Professional Competence

Example of category C1+E: a vehicle with an unladen weight of 6,000kg and a maximum weight of 7,500kg pulling a fully loaded trailer with a weight of 4,500kg – total weight 12,000kg.

Minibuses with or without trailers

Category Description Minimum age
D1 Vehicles with a minimum of nine and a maximum of 16 passenger seats, with or without a trailer - weighing no more than 750kg 21*, **
D1+E As category D1 but with a trailer over 750kg. The total weight of the vehicle and the trailer together can't weigh more than 12,000kg. The weight of the trailer, when fully loaded, can't weigh more than the unladen weight of the vehicle 21*, **

* Age 17 if member of the armed services

** You can drive these vehicles at age 18 if one of the following apply:

  • you are learning to drive or taking a driving test for this category or Driver CPC initial qualification
  • you've passed your driving test and Driver CPC initial qualification
  • you are taking a national vocational training course to get a Driver CPC initial qualification
  • you passed a Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) entitlement before 10 September 2008

Large vehicles with or without trailers

Category Description Minimum age
C Vehicles over 3,500kg with a trailer up to 750kg 21*,**
C+E Vehicles over 3,500kg with a trailer over 750kg 21*,**

* Age 17 if member of the armed services

** You can drive these vehicles at age 18 if one of the following apply:

Buses with or without trailers

Drivers of category D and D+E (bus entitlement), who wish to drive on a non professional basis must be at least 24 years old. These vehicles can be driven professionally at a younger age if you hold a CPC.

Category Description Minimum age
D Any bus with more than eight passenger seats with a trailer up to 750kg 24*, **, ***
D+E As category D but with a trailer over 750kg 24*, **, ***

* Age 17 if member of armed services

** You can drive these vehicles at age 18 if one of the following apply:

  • you are learning to drive or taking a PCV test or Driver CPC initial qualification
  • having passed a PCV driving test and Driver CPC initial qualification, you can drive under any of the following conditions:
    • driving on a regular service where the route doesn’t exceed 50 km
    • not engaged in the carriage of passengers
  • while undergoing a national vocational training course to get a CPC initial qualification
  • having passed a PCV test before 10 September 2008 and driving under a bus operator's licence, or minibus permit, or community bus permit and any of the following conditions:
    • driving on a regular service where the route doesn't exceed 50 km
    • not engaged in the carriage of passengers
    • driving a vehicle of a class included in sub-category D1

*** Age 20 after passing a PCV driving test and Driver CPC initial qualification.

For further advice you can contact the Driver Policy and Standards team on

  • phone: 0300 200 7861

Driving licence information codes

Your licence may include information codes which show what, if any, restrictions you have.

You can find the full descriptions of the information codes which appear on your driving licence:

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