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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Driving larger goods vehicles (LGV) on a car driving licence

There are special licensing arrangements allowing you to drive larger vehicles without having to hold the higher large goods vehicle (LGV) driving licence entitlement. When driving larger vehicles, the maximum authorised mass (total weight of the vehicle plus the maximum load it can carry) determines the driving licence entitlement needed.

Maximum authorised mass

If the vehicle has a maximum authorised mass, which exceeds 3.5 tonnes, but not 7.5 tonnes then a category C1 licence is needed. If the maximum authorised mass exceeds 7.5 tonnes then a category C licence is needed.

Exempted large goods vehicles

Holders of a full category B (car) driving licence may drive any of the large vehicles listed below:

  • goods vehicle propelled by steam eg large vehicles with 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 eg dumper trucks/forklift trucks)
  • industrial tractors (tractors used mainly for haulage work off the public road, the vehicle must not have an unladen weight exceeding 7370kgs and have a design speed not exceeding 20mph)
  • agricultural motor vehicles which are not agricultural or forestry tractors (primarily used off the public road eg crop sprayer/combine harvester)
  • digging machines (vehicles which are limited to travel on public roads only for the purpose of proceeding to/from sites - used for trench digging or any kind of excavating or shovelling work eg vehicles with digging buckets/shovels)
  • goods vehicle which is not used on public roads or, if it is so used during any calendar week:

i. 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

ii. is not used on public roads for distances exceeding an aggregate 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:

i. is used on roads only in passing between different areas of land occupied by the same person

ii. 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 3.05 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

i. is used solely for dealing with disabled vehicles

ii. is not 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

iii. has an unladen weight not exceeding 3.05 tonnes

  • mobile project vehicles - having a maximum authorised mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes and constructed/adapted to carry not more than 8 persons in addition to the driver and carries principally goods or burden consisting of

i. play/educational equipment and articles required in connection with the use of such equipment

ii. 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 2 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 2024 are not subject to these conditions.

Mobile cranes

Category B licence holders were able to drive mobile cranes up until 31 December 1998. From 1 January 2024 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 maximum authorised mass 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.

How are vehicles classified for driver licensing purposes?

Categories of vehicles and their descriptions can be found on the link below.

DVLA cannot 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.

Any queries should be directed to the DVLA on 0300 790 6801. lines are open during the following times:

Driver and Vehicle General lines - Monday to Friday 8.00 am to 7.00 pm; Saturday 8.00 am to 2.00 pm

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