UK Drivers License Explained

Uk Drivers License Categories Explained

In United Kingdom , safe and legal driving goes far beyond the highway code. Ever wondered about the different categories on the back of your UK drivers license ? What do they mean? Do they indicate any driving restrictions? For something so familiar that many of us carry around day-to-day, it’s surprising to realize that we don’t even know much about them. This is why we have compiled a list of all those confusing drivers license categories and codes, so you can see what you can and can’t drive once you’ve passed your driving test, as well as which ones you’ll need to take an additional test for.

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Why is it important to know drivers license categories ?

Over 80% of adults in the UK hold a drivers license. That’s a lot of people on the road! With commuting, road trips and long distance journeys becoming more frequent, it’s crucial to keep track of the validity, condition and personal information on your license.If you’re going on a big drive or crossing borders for a holiday, it’s even more important – because it’s likely that your license will be checked.Want to discover more about drivers license codes and categories? We’ve got you covered.

Categories and Codes Of UK Drivers License

Category Type Additional driving test Restrictions
A Motorbikes Yes N/A
AM 2 or 3 wheeled motors Yes Max speed 15.5-28mph
B Cars No Max 8 passenger seats
B auto Automatic cars No N/A
B+E Cat B + trailer No Up to 3,500kg
B1 Light vehicles No Up to 550kg with goods
C Large lorries Yes Max trailer 750kg
C+E Cat C + trailer Yes N/A
C1 Lorries Yes Up to 7,500kg + 750kg trailer
C1+E Cat C1 + trailer Yes Max combined weight 12,000kg
D Bus Yes Trailer up to 750kg
D+E Cat D + trailer Yes N/A
D1 Minibus Yes Length max 8m, trailer max 750kg
D1+E Cat D1 + trailer Yes N/A
F Tractor No N/A
G Road roller Yes N/A
H Tracked vehicles Yes N/A
K Pedestrian vehicles No Self-propelled
Q 2 wheeled motors No Max speed 15.5mph

uk drivers license categories explained

Standard UK drivers license categories

Category AM

This classification means you can drive two- or three-wheeled motors with a maximum design speed between 15.5mph and 28mph. But, you’ll need to pass a compulsory basic training test (CBT) as well.

This classification also includes quad bikes that have a maximum design speed of between 15.5mph and 28mph, weighing no more than 350kg (doesn’t include batteries on electric vehicles).

Category B

To drive any car, Category B is the classification you’ll need; you can drive vehicles up to 3,500kg Maximum Authorised Mass, with up to eight passenger seats.

If you’re over 21, Category B also means you can drive motor tricycles that have a power output higher than 15kW; you also get provisional entitlement to ride category motor tricycles that meet Cat A1 or A requirements (and if you’re physically disabled).

Category F

If your licence has category F on it – all standard ones do – you can drive an agricultural tractor. That’s right, you can hop behind the wheel of a tractor with no restrictions!

Category K

This drivers license category means you can get behind the wheel of a pedestrian-controlled vehicle; in other words, any self-propelled device you walk behind to control. For example, a mowing machine.

Category Q

With category Q, you can drive a two-wheeled vehicle with an engine size of no more than 50cc,and have a maximum design speed of no more than 15.5mph.

License categories you might have

Category B1

If you spot the drivers license category B1, you can drive motor vehicles with four wheels up to 400kg unladen or 550kg if they are designed for carrying goods – this is more common on older drivers license.

Category B+E

If you passed your test before January 1, 1997, you’ll be able to drive a vehicle with a trailer over the usual combined limit of 3,500kg- up to 8,250kg. If you passed your test after this date, you’ll have to take an additional test to tow weights over 3,500kg.

Category B auto

Used instead of a Category B license, this means you are limited to driving automatic cars only and are not allowed to drive a manual car.

Category P

This is an old category that still lingers on some people’s licenses. It refers to two-wheeled vehicles with a maximum design speed of no more than 31mph and an engine size lower than 50cc. On recent licenses, this category is merged with Category AM.

Categories you need to complete an additional test for

Category A

With a catgory A, you can drive motorbikes with a power output more than 35kW or a power to weight ratio more than 0.2kW/kg.

Category A1
With a category A1, you can drive light motorbikes with an engine size up to 125cc, a power output of up to 11kW and a power to weight ratio not more than 0.1kW/kg. This category also includes motor tricycles with power output up to 15kW.

Category AM

This driving licence category means you can drive two or three wheeled motors with a maximum design speed between 15.5mph and 28mph. But, you’ll need to pass a compulsory basic training test (CBT) as well.

This classification also includes quad bikes that have a maximum design speed of between 15.5mph and 28mph, weighing no more than 350kg (doesn’t include batteries on electric vehicles).

<Category C1

After passing the appropriate test, you’ll be entitled to drive vehicles weighing between 3,500kg and 7,500kg (with a trailer up to 750kg).

Category C1+E

This driving licence category gives you trailer entitlement to Category C1, meaning you can tow a trailer weighing over 750kg. The catch? The combined weight of both the vehicle and the trailer cannot exceed 12,00kg and the trailer cannot weigh more than the towing vehicle either.

Category C

To get this driving licence category, you’ll need to complete atest to drive vehicles weighing more than 3,500kg (with a trailer up to 750kg).

Category C+E

Cat C+E gives you trailer entitlement to Category C, meaning you can tow a trailer weighing over 750kg.

Category D1

With the D1 driving licence category, you can drive a minibus with no more than 16 passenger seats and a maximum length of 8 metres, once you’ve passed the relevant test. You’ll also be able to tow a trailer up to a maximum weight of 750kg.

+Category D1+E

With this classification you can drive D1 category vehicles with a trailer over 750kg – provided the combined weight of the trailer and vehicle do not exceed 12,000kg.

-Category D

The Category D code means you can drive any bus with more than 8 passenger seats (with a trailer up to 750kg).

Category D+E

-Category D+E lets you tow a trailer over 750kg on a Category D vehicle.

Category G

If you fancy it, the G driving licence category gives you entitlement to drive a road roller.

Category H

With Category H, you can drive tracked vehicles- and yes, this includes tanks.

Other

You don’t need a drivers license for electric bikes, mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs.

ALL ABOUT DRIVERS CODES

Along with categories covering what vehicles you can drive, your driving license codes add a wealth of other information about you – the holder. Here’s what you need to know.

Why are drivers license codes different to categories?

Drivers license categories dictate the types of vehicles that an individual can drive, whereas drivers license codes tell you what conditions actually apply.

How do I check my drivers license codes?

You can find the drivers license codes that relate to your license by looking under section 12 on the reverse of your drivers license. Ignoring codes can result in big fines, so it’s essential to take note of any restrictions on your license and comply.

Here are some of the common drivers license codes you could find listed under section 12.

Code: 01

This means you need eyesight correction when driving and you’ll need to wear glasses or contact lenses when driving – by law. Failure to do so could result in a fine and penalty points. You'll also need to report any changes to your vision or any corrective surgery.

Code: 02

The 02 drivers license code means that a hearing or communication aid must be worn when behind the wheel. As with eyesight, you must tell the DVLA about any changes to your hearing.

Code: 106

The 02 driving licence code means that a hearing or communication aid must be worn when behind the wheel. As with eyesight, you must tell the DVLA about any changes to your hearing.

Code: 115

Not a restriction per-se, but this driving licence code lets authorities know that the holder of the license is an organ donor.

Click here for a full list of driving license codes and what they mean.

Safe driving tips

For any journey, safe and legal driving should be the priority. Having a handle on what your driving license means is a good way to ensure that you’re clued up on the road.

Looking for tips on how to drive abroad ?

If you’re driving abroad make sure that you know the rules for the country you’re in, such as sign posting, speed limits, directions and general driving laws.

The most valuable safe driving tip is to plan ahead for every journey. Driving conditions change with seasons, and roadworks or road closures are almost guaranteed to delay you at some point. So, schedule in some rest breaks, take your time and don’t get distracted while driving. Got a plane to catch? Get there on time by booking parking in advance.

 

How is it like driving in UK ?

In United Kingdom , safe and legal driving goes far beyond the highway code.

Your drivers license is your ticket to freedom – so, know it well, use it right and enjoy the drive!

uk drivers license categories explained

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