Driving goods vehicles with a car driving licence

The Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) is the total weight of the vehicle plus the maximum load it can carry. This determines the type of driving licence you need to drive LGVs. Details below.

'C1 and 'C' licences

If the vehicle has a MAM between 3.5 tonnes and 7.5 tonnes then a category 'C1' LGV driving licence is needed, however, if the (MAM) is more than 7.5 tonnes then a category 'C' LGV driving licence is needed.

Exempted large goods vehicles

There are special licensing arrangements allowing you to drive larger vehicles without having to hold the higher Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) driving licence entitlement. Holders of a full category B (car) driving licence may drive any of the large vehicles listed below:

  • goods vehicle propelled by steam, for example; coal or wood burning engines
  • road construction vehicles used or kept on the road solely for the conveyance of built-in road construction machinery, (with/without articles or materials used for the purpose of that machinery)
  • engineering plant (vehicles designed/constructed for the purpose of engineering operations)
  • works trucks (primarily designed for use in private premises or in the immediate vicinity; for example; dumper trucks/forklift trucks)
  • industrial tractors (tractors used mainly for haulage work off the public road, the vehicle mustn't have an unladen weight exceeding 7,370kgs and have a design speed not exceeding 20mph)
  • agricultural motor vehicles which are not agricultural or forestry tractors (primarily used off the public road; for example, crop sprayer/combine harvester)
  • digging machines (vehicles which are limited to travel on public roads only for the purpose of proceeding to/from sites; for example, vehicles with digging buckets/shovels)
  • goods vehicle which isn't used on public roads or, if it is so used during any calendar week, is used only in passing from land in the occupation of a person keeping the vehicle to other land in the occupation of that person and isn't used on public roads for distances exceeding a total of 9.7 kilometres in that calendar week
  • goods vehicle, other than an agricultural motor vehicle, which is used only for purposes relating to agriculture, horticulture or forestry; that is: used on roads only in passing between different areas of land occupied by the same person; in passing between any two such areas does not travel a distance exceeding 1.5 kilometres on roads
  • goods vehicles used for no purpose other than the haulage of lifeboats and the conveyance of the necessary gear of the lifeboats which are being hauled
  • goods vehicles manufactured before 1 January 1960, used unladen and not drawing a laden trailer
  • articulated goods vehicles not exceeding 3.5 tonnes unladen weight
  • goods vehicle in the service of a visiting force or headquarters as defined in the visiting forces and international headquarters (application of law order 1965 (a))
  • goods vehicle driven by a constable for the purpose of removing or avoiding obstruction to other road users or other members of the public, for the purpose of protecting life or property (including the vehicle and its load) or for other similar purposes
  • goods vehicle fitted with apparatus designed for raising a disabled vehicle partly from the ground and for drawing a disabled vehicle when so raised (whether by partial superimposition or otherwise) being a vehicle which is used solely for dealing with disabled vehicles and isn't used for the conveyance of any goods or load other than a disabled vehicle when so raised and water, fuel, accumulators and articles required for the operation of, or in connection with, such apparatus or otherwise for dealing with disabled vehicles and has an unladen weight not exceeding 3.5 tonnes
  • mobile project vehicles - having a MAM exceeding 3.5 tonnes and constructed/adapted to carry not more than eight persons in addition to the driver and carries principally goods or burden consisting of play/educational equipment and articles required in connection with the use of such equipment; articles required for the purposes of display or of an exhibition, and the primary purpose of which is used as a recreational, educational or instructional facility when stationary; drivers must be aged 21 and have held a category B licence for at least two years (a mobile project vehicle may only be driven on behalf of a non-commercial body - however, drivers who passed their car test before 1 January 1997 are not subject to these conditions)

Mobile cranes

A category C1 driving licence is required to drive a mobile crane weighing between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes and category C if over 7.5 tonnes.

Minimum ages

Driving an exempted goods vehicle is determined by its weight. Vehicles with a MAM weighing between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes may be driven at age 18 years. Vehicles which weigh more than 7.5 tonnes can be driven from the age of 21 years.

Vehicle classifications for driver licensing purposes

Categories of vehicles and their descriptions can be found on the link below. Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) can't give legal advice on how vehicles are classified but, generally speaking it depends on the weight of the vehicle or the number of passengers it can carry.

More useful links

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