Do I have the correct category on my driving licence to drive a larger vehicle up to 7.5 tonnes?
What about driving a motorhome – do the same rules apply?
C1 Licence (7.5 tonne)
The C1 driving licence allows people to drive vans up to 7.5 tonnes. Drivers who pass the 7.5 tonne C1 test will become entitled to drive C1 rigid vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes with a trailer up to 750kg. If you would like to drive a C1 vehicle with a trailer over 750kgs then you must also pass the C1+E test.
The C1 licence is very useful for those people seeking employment making deliveries for local companies, as many of these local companies use 7.5 tonne vans for their deliveries, which require a C1 licence in order to drive.
The other common role for which a C1 licence is required is to work with the NHS as a paramedic or as A&E Support.
Advantages of the C1 Driving Licence
The C1 driving licence is proving to be the most popular of the LGV driving licences for the following reasons:
- The cost for obtaining the licence is considerably cheaper than obtaining a Category C licence
- You will not require as many hours tuition, as the test need only be taken in a van as opposed to a lorry
- The test will be easier to pass as you will be taking it in a much smaller vehicle
- If you were to fail the test on your first attempt, the cost of a resit is much cheaper compared to Category C
- The pay rates between C1 drivers and Class 2 (Category C) can be negligible
- Many companies (especially for local deliveries) only require their staff to have a C1 licence
C1 Licence Exceptions
Drivers who passed their Category B (car licence) test before 1st January 1997 will benefit from acquired rights (also referred to as grandfather rights). This means that this group of drivers already have the C1 entitlement on their driving licence, and will not need to take any additional tests. This would also mean that you could drive a motorhome using ‘grandfather rights’ rather than having to take the C1 licence/test.
People who took their driving test after January 1997 will not have been granted the C1 licence, and will therefore have to take a separate C1 test to get the C1 licence.
The C1 Driving Test
The C1 7.5 tonne driving test will be taken in the same vehicle in which you do your training in. The test starts off with the examiner asking you some vehicle safety questions, and is immediately followed by the reversing exercise. You then proceed to spend the next 50 minutes – 1 hour driving on the public road, going through the test routes you would have practiced during your training. During this time on the road the LGV examiner will assess your ability to interact with other road users along the way.
Once you have successfully passed your LGV Category C1 practical test, you will then obtain Category C1 on your driving licence which will entitle you to drive any rigid vehicle up to 7.5 tonnes.
Please note that AHD Driver Training doesn’t currently offer C1 driver training.