Ever wondered about the different categories on the back of your UK driving licence? We’ve compiled a list of all those categories so you can see what you can and can’t drive once you’ve passed your driving test, as well as what ones you’ll need to take an additional test for.
What do the categories on your driving licence mean?
Find out what your currently entitled to drive with your standard UK driving licence.
|Catergory||Type||Additional driving test||Restrictions|
|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|
|Q||2 wheeled motors||No||Max speed 15.5mph|
Classes you can drive with a standard UK licence
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).
To drive a 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.
For those over 21 years old, Category B also means you can driver 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).
You can drive an agricultural tractor. That’s right, you can hop behind the wheel of an agricultural tractor, with no restrictions.
This classification means you can drive a pedestrian-controlled vehicle; in other words, any self-propelled device you walk behind to control. For example, a mowing machine.
You can drive a two-wheeled vehicle with an engine size of no more than 50cc if powered by internal combustion and have a maximum design speed of no more than 15.5mph.
Classes you might have on your licence
You can drive motor vehicles with four wheels up to 400kg unladen or 550kg if they are designed for carrying goods – this is common on older driving licences.
If you passed your test before January 1, 1997, then you’ll be able to drive a vehicle with a trailer over the usual combined limit of 3,500kg, so 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 licence, this means you are limited to driving automatic cars only and are not allowed to drive a manual car.
This is an old category still on some people’s licences. 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 licences this category is merged with Category AM.
Classes you need to complete an additional test for
Once you pass a bike test you’ll be able to drive motorbikes with a power output of more than 47bhp and tricycles with a power output over 20bhp.
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) thanks to Category C1 on your driving license.
Gives you trailer entitlement to Category C1, meaning you can tow a trailer weighing over 750kg. 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.
Complete the relevant additional test and you can drive vehicles weighing more than 3,500kg (with a trailer up to 750kg).
Gives you trailer entitlement to Category C, meaning you can tow a trailer weighing over 750kg.
With the D1 classification 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 of course. You’ll also be able to tow a trailer up to a maximum weight of 750kg.
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 means you can drive any bus with more than 8 passenger seats (with a trailer up to 750kg).
You can tow a trailer over 750kg on a Category D vehicle.
If you fancy it, this gives you entitlement to drive a road roller.
With Category H you can drive tracked vehicles, and yes, this includes tanks.
You don’t need a driving licence for electric bikes, mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs.
ALL ABOUT DRIVING LICENCE CODES
Along with categories covering what vehicles you can drive, your driving licence also includes various codes that add a wealth of other information about the holder. Here’s what you need to know.
Why are driving licence codes different to categories?
Categories dictate the types of vehicles that an individual can drive, whereas driving licence codes tell what conditions apply.
How do I check the codes on my licence?
You can find the codes that relate to your licence by looking under section 12 on the reverse of your driving licence.
Ignoring codes can result in big fines, so it’s essential that we take note of any restrictions on our licence and that we comply.
Here are some of the common codes you could find listed under section 12.
What does this licence code mean: This means you need eyesight correction when driving. 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 will also need to report any changes to your vision or any corrective surgery.
What does this licence code mean: The 02 code mean 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.
What does this licence code mean: If this is specified under section 12, then it’s time to stop using your left foot while driving. Licence-holders with ‘106’ are limited to automatic vehicles only. Anyone who has a full manual licence is also free to drive an automatic without passing an additional test.
What does this licence code mean: Not a restriction, this code lets authorities know that the holder of the licence is an organ donor.
Click here for a full list of driving licence codes and what they mean.