Driving Licence Entitlements

A driving licence confers the right for individulas to drive vehicles. However, the specific vehicles they can drive depend on their driving licence entitlements.

At its core, a driver’s licence entitlement gives you permission to drive a particular vehicle. Without it, using that vehicle would be illegal—even if you have a standard driving licence.

Read on to know more about the significance of driving licence entitlements and the various types available.

dashboard of company car

Why Do I Need a Driving Licence Entitlement?

A driving entitlement is designed to control the use of vehicles on the road. Authorities issue these entitlements to monitor who exactly uses vehicles on UK roads.

For example, you wouldn’t expect a teenager who just obtained his licence to drive trailers. Neither would it be ideal for an untrained driver to use vehicles that require considerable skill to manoeuvre safely.

As a business owner, your drivers must obtain a driving entitlement to prove their capacity to use the car in question safely. It also signals that they have received the requisite training needed to navigate highways with vehicles without putting others at risk.

Driving a car without an entitlement can land both driver and company in trouble.

Law enforcement officials are strict on driving licence requirements and often hit defaulting drivers with penalties.

Given the various driving licence categories, many find it difficult to know the right entitlements to get. In fact, some road users are using cars they have no licence for!

Below we will explain the various types of licence entitlements. In particular, we will explore the requirements and conditions drivers must meet before they can obtain certain driving entitlements.

What Are the Types of Driving Licence Entitlements?

As promised, we will look at the various types of entitlements and their accompanying requirements.

variety of company cars on the road, different vehicle have different driving licence entitlements

1. Category B

This entitlement permits an individual to drive an eight-seater vehicle if the weight doesn’t exceed 3,500 kilograms.

Drivers with a Category B licence can tow heavy trailers provided that the combined weight of the trailer and vehicle do not exceed 3,500 kilograms.

However, drivers who obtained their licence before 1 January 1997 can tow a trailer whose weight doesn’t exceed 8,250 kilograms.

2. Category B Auto

This driving entitlement permits drivers to use vehicles in Category B. However, the vehicles must be automatic models.

3. Category BE

This allows you to drive any vehicle with a MAM of 3,500 kilograms or lower, along with a trailer.

Those who got licences before 1 January 2013 can use trailers of any size. But drivers who received licences later must make do with trailers that weigh below 3,500 kilograms.

4. Category C1

This licence is required to drive medium-sized vehicles that weigh between 3,500-7,500 kilograms. The driver can add a trailer, but it must not go over the 7500-kilogram limit.

5. Category C1E

This entitlement permits drivers to use Category C1 vehicles along with a trailer. However, you must make sure the total combined weight doesn’t pass 12,000 kilograms.

6. Category CE

With this entitlement, drivers can use Category C vehicles which weigh more than 3,500 kilograms. The size of the trailer can exceed 750 kilograms as well.

Read more: Fleet Management System

7. Category D1

A Category D1 licence is usually required to drive a minibus. The official language dictates that the vehicle’s length must be less than 8 metres and must seat above 16 passengers.

If your drivers will tow a trailer with this licence, the weight must be 750 kilograms or less.

8. Category D1E

A Category D1E licence allows drivers to use all Category D1 vehicles. And they can tow trailers that weigh over 750 kilograms.

9. Category D1

This entitlement is required for drivers of buses with a seating capacity beyond eight passengers. If towing a trailer with the bus, the trailer should weigh around 750 kilograms or less.

10. Category DE

This is for drivers who use Category D vehicles but want to tow trailers above 750 kilograms.

man driving bus requires Driving licence entitlements

What Is Required to Obtain a Driving Entitlement?

Below is a breakdown of conditions to obtain different driving entitlements:

Getting a standard driving licence automatically confers a Category B entitlement on a driver.

However, a driver must fulfil other requirements to get a higher entitlement.

  1. Category B: Driver must pass standard driving test.
  2. Category BE: Driver must pass B+E Practical Test.
  3. Category C1: Driver must be 18 years or older, and must pass C1 Driving Test. However, drivers who passed their standard driving test before 1 January 1997 get this by default.
  4. Category C1E: Driver must have received his licence before 1 January 1997. Otherwise, he must pass C1 tests and the C1E practical.
  5. Category D1: Driver must be above 21 years. Except he received his licence before 1 January 1997, passing the D1 driving tests and practical is required.
  6. Category D1E: Driver has to take the D1 driving tests and the D1E practical. Individuals licenced before 1 January 1997 automatically receive this entitlement.

Note: Individuals who wish to receive any entitlements for Category C1 to Category D1E vehicles must meet Driver CPC requirements.

Whether you’re a business owner or a fleet manager, understanding how driving licence entitlements work is important. This ensures that your drivers have the correct licence(s) so they don’t receive penalties.

Read more: how fleet software can help with operators licence checking

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