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Vehicles you can drive and how old you must to drive them

In general, the minimum ages for driving on British roads are 16 years for mobility scooters and mopeds, 17 years for agricultural or forestry tractors, small vehicles and motorcycles, and 21 years for medium/large sized vehicles, minibuses and buses.

The basic licence allows you to drive most cars but if you wish to drive vehicles not covered by your current licence, you will need training in the appropriate catagory and may need to take an additional test.

Listed below are vehicle category descriptions for driving tests passed after 1 January 1997 and the minimum ages for driving them. All weights refer to maximum authorised mass (MAM) unless stated otherwise.

Motorcycles

Description Category Minimum age
Mopeds with an engine capacity not exceeding 50cc and a maximum design speed not exceeding 50km/h  AM 16
Light motorcycles with a cubic capacity not exceeding 125cc and a power output not exceeding 11kW (14.6bhp) A1 17
Medium motorcycles up to 35kW(33bhp) and a power to weight ratio not exceeding 0.2kW/kg

A2

19

Motorcycles of unlimited size and power, with or without a sidecar

A

21*

* Age 21 if have held a full A2 licence for more than 2 years. Age 24 if you have not held a full A2 licence for at least 2 years.

3 or 4 wheeled light vehicles

Description Category Minimum age
Motor tricycles/quadricycles, 3 or 4 wheeled vehicles with an unladen weight not exceeding 350kg and a top speed of 45 km/h

AM

16

2 or 3-wheeled mopeds with a top speed of 25 km/h

Q

16

Motor tricycles with a maximum power output of 15 kW

A1

17

Cars

Description Category Minimum age
Motor vehicles with a MAM not exceeding 3500kg having not more than 8 passenger seats with a trailer up to 750kg. Combinations of towing vehicles in category B and a trailer, where the MAM of the combination does not exceed 3500kg and the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen mass of the towing vehicle

B

17*

Automatic cars

As cars, but with automatic transmission

B Automatic

17*

Cars with trailers

Combinations of vehicles consisting of a vehicle in category B and a trailer, where the combination does not come within category B

B+E

17

*Age 16 if you are currently getting Disability Living Allowance at the higher rate (mobility component)

Medium sized vehicles

Description Category Minimum age
Lorries between 3500kg and 7500kg with a trailer up to 750kg

C1

18*

Medium sized vehicles with trailers

Lorries between 3500kg and 7500kg with a trailer over 750kg - total weight not more than 12000kg (if you passed your category B test prior to 1.1.1997 you will be restricted to a total weight not more than 8250kg)

C1+E

21*

*Age 18 if combination weight is under 7500kg

Large vehicles

Description Category Minimum age
Vehicles over 3500kg with a trailer up to 750kg

C

21*

Large vehicles with trailers

Vehicles over 3500kg with a trailer over 750kg

C+E

21*

*Age 17 if member of armed forces
*Age 18 if member of the young drivers scheme

Minibuses
Description Category Minimum age

Vehicles with between 9 and 16 passenger seats with a trailer up to 750kg

D1

21*

Minibuses with trailers

Combinations of vehicles where the towing vehicle is in subcategory D1 and its trailer has a MAM of over 750kg, provided that the MAM of the combination thus formed does not exceed 12000kg, and the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen mass of the towing vehicle

D1+E

21*

Buses

Description Category Minimum age
Any bus with more than 8 passenger seats with a trailer up to 750kg

D

21*

Buses with trailers

Any bus with more than 8 passenger seats with a trailer over 750kg

D+E

21

*Age 17 if member of armed forces
*Age 18

a) while learning to drive or taking a passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) test

b) after passing a PCV test when:

c) not engaged in the carriage of passengers

Other categories

Description Category Minimum age
Agricultural tractors

F

17*

Road rollers

G

21**

Tracked vehicles

H

21

Mowing machine or vehicle controlled by a pedestrian

K

16

Mopeds

AM

16

*Age 16 for tractors less than 2.45m wide. It must only pull trailers less than 2.45m wide with two wheels, or four close-coupled

**Age 17 for small road-rollers with metal or hard rollers. They must not be steam powered, weigh more than 11.69 tonnes or be made for carrying loads



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