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Legal guide to UK motoring, sections for law enforcement, Driver licensing, learner and new drivers, buying and selling, speeding fines, owning a vehicle, wheel clamping, traffic information.

What you can drive


Driving passenger carrying vehicles (PCV) on a car driving licence

There are special licensing arrangements allowing you to drive minibuses and buses without having to hold the higher passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) driving licence entitlement. Drivers of minibuses having 9-16 passenger seats will normally need to hold a PCV licence category D1 or a category D licence to drive larger buses.

Exempted passenger carrying vehicles

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

i.   the vehicle is used for social purposes by a non-commercial body but not for hire or reward
ii.  the driver is aged 21
iii. the driver has held a car (category B) licence for at least 2 years 
iv. the driver is providing the service on a voluntary basis
v.  the minibus maximum weight is not more than 3.5 tonnes or 4.25 tonnes including        any specialist equipment for the carriage of disabled passengers
vi. if the driver is aged 70 or over, is able to meet the health standards for driving a D1 vehicle

When driving a minibus under these conditions you may not receive any payment or consideration for doing so other than out of pocket expenses or tow any size trailer; you may only drive minibuses in this country. Drivers aged 70 or over will need to make a special application, which involves meeting higher medical standards.

Holders of a full category D (PCV) driving licence can also drive a passenger carrying recovery vehicle. This is defined as a vehicle (not being an articulated goods vehicle combination) which:

i.  proceeding to, or returning from, a place where assistance is to be, or has been,    given to a damaged or disabled passenger-carrying vehicle
ii. giving assistance to or moving a disabled passenger-carrying vehicle or moving a damaged vehicle

Minimum age

Drivers of exempted passenger carrying vehicles and any vehicle, which weighs more than 7.5 tonnes can be driven from the age of 21 years.

How are vehicles classified?

DVLA cannot give legal advice on how vehicles are classified for driving licence purposes; they can only give general guidance. The Vehicle Standards and Engineering Division, Great Minster House, 76 Marsham St, London, SW1P 4DR, (0207 944 2064), may be able to help classify a vehicle that falls under, works trucks, agricultural motor vehicles, industrial tractors and engineering plant but only for the purposes of its construction and use.

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