Minimum ages you can ride or drive vehicles

Rules about the minimum ages you can drive or ride cars, motorcycles and other 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 current full entitlements.

Motorcycles and three or four-wheeled light vehicles

Minimum age
Category Description Minimum age
AM Mopeds - Two or three wheel vehicles with a maximum design speed over 25 km/h but not more than 45 km/h

Light Quadricycles - A four-wheeled vehicle with an unladen weight of not more than 350kg, (not including the mass of the batteries in the case of electric vehicles), whose maximum design speed is over 25 km/h and less than 45 km/h
16*
A1 Light motorcycles with an engine size of up to 125 cc and a power output of up to 11kw (14.6bhp) with a power weight ratio not exceeding 0.1kW (including tricycles up to 15 kW) 17*
A2 A motorcycle of a power not exceeding 35 kW and with a power/weight ratio not exceeding 0.2 kW/kg and not derived from a vehicle of more than double its power 19*
A A motorcycle of a power exceeding 35 kW. A motor tricycle over 15 kW 24 (21 via Progressive Access)*

* You must complete Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) and make sure that your CBT certificate is valid for the relevant motorcycle category.

Learner riders of medium sized (category A2) and large (category A) motorcycles must be accompanied by an Approved Motorcycle Instructor (AMI) at all times when riding on public roads until they have passed both their off-road manoeuvres and on road test.

** Age 24 for Direct Access or age 21 for Progressive Access, in other words, two years from the date of the Standard A2 test pass (not counting any periods of disqualification). Tricycle restriction code 079.

Cars or light vans, with and without trailers

The term maximum authorised mass (MAM) means the total weight of the vehicle plus the maximum load it can carry safely.

Category Description Minimum age
B Motor vehicle with a MAM of up to 3,500kg, no more than eight passenger seats, with or without a trailer - weighing no more than 750kg

or

As above, but with a trailer weighing more than 750kg. The total weight of the vehicle and the trailer together can't weigh more than 3,500kg. The weight of the trailer, when fully loaded, can't weigh more than the unladen weight of the vehicle
17*
B auto As category B with automatic transmission 17*
B96 Combinations of a motor vehicle and trailer where:
  • the tractor vehicle is in category B
  • the maximum authorised mass of the trailer exceeds 750kg
  • the maximum authorised mass of the combination exceeds 3.5 tonnes but does not exceed 4.25 tonnes
17**
B+E Combination of a motor vehicle (being a tractor vehicle in category B) and a trailer or semi trailer where:
  • the combination does not fall within Category B
  • the maximum authorised mass of the trailer or semi trailer does not exceed 3,500kg
17

* Age 16 if you are currently getting Disability Living Allowance at the higher rate (mobility component)

Example of category B with a trailer weighing over 750kg: motor vehicle with an unladen weight of 1,500kg and a maximum weight of 2,000kg towing a fully loaded trailer with a weight of 1,500kg - total weight 3,500kg.

Example of category B+E: motor vehicle with a MAM up to 3,500kg towing a trailer of any weight up to 3500kg.

** Exchange category only

Other categories

Category Description Minimum age
F Agricultural tractors 17*
G Road rollers 21**
Tracked vehicles 21***
K Mowing machine or vehicle controlled by a pedestrian 16
P Moped 16
Q Motor vehicles with less than four wheels which if propelled by an internal combustion engine, has a cylinder capacity less than 50cc and maximum speed not exceeding 25km/h 16

* Age 16 for tractors less than 2.45 m wide. It must only pull trailers less than 2.45 m wide with two wheels, or four close-coupled.

** Age 17 for small road-rollers with metal or hard rollers. They must not be steam powered, weigh more than 11,690 kg or be made for carrying loads.

*** Age 17 if the MAM of the tracked vehicle does not exceed 3,500kg.

Driving licence information codes

Your licence may include information codes which show what, if any, restrictions your driving entitlement is.

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

More useful links

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