Driving a vehicle larger than your car can be an intriguing and necessary prospect for a variety of reasons, but the rules about licencing can seem complicated and overwhelming. Below are some rules which explain what kinds of larger goods vehicles (LGVs) you can drive with an ordinary car driving licence.
You will probably know that you usually need at least a category C or C1 licence to drive an LGV, but there are several exceptions to the rule that allow you to drive one with your category B (car) licence. They are listed below.
1. You may drive a vehicle which is powered by steam rather than by petrol or diesel – for example, one that is powered by burning coal or wood.
2. If your vehicle is a road construction vehicle, and is intended for transporting a built-in piece of road construction machinery, you only need a category B licence to drive it.
3. You may drive a works truck with your car licence. A works truck is defined in this context as one that will be used in or near private premises (such as a building site), for example a forklift truck.
4. Vehicles related to agriculture (for example, a tractor, crop sprayer or combine harvester) may be driven with a category B licence if they are mostly used off public roads. The tractor must have a laden weight of 7,370kgs and not exceed 20mph.
5. You can drive a digging vehicle to and from it’s intended site.
6. There are specific circumstance in which you can drive certain large goods vehicles – it’s best if you stick to driving them between properties owned by you. For agricultural vehicles you would not normally be allowed to drive, you can only travel a distance of 1.5km or less. For non-agricultural LGVs you could not normally drive, the limit is 9.7km per calendar week.
7. You may drive goods vehicles that were manufactured before 1960, as long as they are unladen.
8. You can also drive any articulated goods vehicle that does not weigh more than 3.5 tonnes.
9. You may be allowed (depending on your occupation) to drive goods vehicles that are intended to remove obstruction to other road users or ones that can raise a disabled vehicle from the ground, and also goods vehicles used for carrying lifeboats.
While the law on driving other vehicles with your car licence can be complicated, the above rules should give an idea of what you can and can’t do.