What Vans Can I Drive With my UK Driving License?
We've all been in a situation when our cars just aren't big enough. Whether you've just done a furniture shop, looking to move house, move your children to university or just a huge tip run, we all know the pain where it just won't fit. Thankfully, this is where the trusty van comes into play, offering more space and fewer seats getting in the way.
However, on the back of every driving license, there is a range of categories that can be a little confusing - other than a standard car, what else can you drive? The good news is that many conventional vans can be driven on a standard UK driving license.
Can I drive a van with my UK car driving license?
Yes! As long as the driver holds a full UK driving license (category B), they can drive a conventional rigid-axle van or pickup truck, as long as they weigh less than 3.5 tonnes and have no more than 8 passenger seats. This covers many popular types of vans including the popular Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.
Can I drive an electric van on my UK driving license?
Yes, electric and hybrid vans can be driven on a standard full UK driving license. However, due to their heavier batteries and engines, in 2017 the UK Government increased the weight limit rule for category B license holders to 4.5 tonnes - an extra tonne compared to standard vans. This helps combat the heavier components and still allows drivers to carry a full load without having to apply for a special license.
Does it matter when I passed my driving test?
If you're looking to drive a conventional van, then no, it doesn't matter when you passed your test and you'll be able to drive up to 3.5 tonnes. On the other hand, if you wish to drive a larger vehicle, then it does matter then you passed your driving test.
If you passed your UK driving test before January 1997, you are likely able to drive a vehicle up to 7.5 tonnes - the back of your driving license will tell you for sure.
If you passed your UK driving test after January 1997, you will need to take an additional test to be able to drive a vehicle over 3.5 tonnes, known as a category C1 vehicle.
What vans can I drive with my full UK driving license?
There is a large number of vans that anyone with a full UK driving license can drive, in a range of shapes and sizes. Here are a few of our favourites:
The Ford Transit is a classic and trusty van that has been in production for many years and is still a favourite for many used van buyers. Although it's gone through a few changes since it was first produced in 1965, the Transit van is known for its reliability, efficiency and performance, as well as its comfortable interior and 5-star NCAP safety rating.
Known for its reliability, the Vauxhall Vivaro is a trusty van that is easy and comfortable to drive. Like other models, this van has continued to develop and is even now available in an electric model as well as being run on traditional fossil fuels. Buyers can also choose between 4.9 and 5.3 metre-long versions so you will have the right size for your needs.
Built to last, the Mercedes Sprinter is known for its high-quality build and is one of the largest conventional vans on the market. Its comfortable interior and engineering craftsmanship mean it's a popular choice amongst large van shoppers, especially when they're known to be reliable in the long run.
This medium-sized panel van is not only popular for campervan conversions but also as a great day-to-day option. The Volkswagen Transporter is reliable, stylish and efficient as well as being light and easy to drive. It has a versatile load space and powerful engine options, making it a great choice for used van buyers.
How do I know which type of license I have?
If you're unsure about which type of UK driving license you have, the information is displayed on the back of your photocard driving license. It will display the categories, start and expiration dates as well as any special conditions related to your license.
On the UK Government's website, you can find more information on how to read your driving license. Plus, via the DVLA's online database, drivers can check the type of license they own, including the vehicle categories they are entitled to drive.
Is there an age restriction on driving a van?
If you're looking to drive a vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes, then you can drive a van from age 17, after acquiring a full UK driving license (category B).
If a driver wishes to drive a vehicle up to 7.5 tonnes, they must wait until they're 18 and take the category C additional test.
There is currently no upper age limit on driving a van, as long as the driver feels comfortable and in control.
Find your perfect used van today
If you are looking to find your next used van that can be driven on your driving license, and need more help and advice, contact Carbase today. Our expert team of friendly staff are on hand and is more than happy to help you find your perfect van.