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DVLA confirms C1 licence rules will remain

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The Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) has reiterated that despite calls to make changes to the licence system for motorhome drivers, it has no plans to introduce a separate motorhome category.

The issue stems from the fact that a C1 licence, which is held by commercial vehicle drivers, is needed by motorhome drivers with ‘vans over 3.5 tonnes.

For drivers who took their test after 1 January 1997 this C1 entitlement was no longer included on their licence. Drivers who took their test prior to 1997 had this entitlement automatically included.

As a result, an increasing number of drivers are facing the prospect of commercial vehicle training, which involves learning to drive a 7.5-tonne lorry, if they wish to drive larger motorhomes.

This has led to calls for a separate category for these motorhomers, which are passenger rather than commercial vehicles. However, the DVLA has ruled this out.

“There are no plans to introduce a motor home specific category,” a DVLA spokesman told MMM. “A motorhome falls within the definition of a goods vehicle, which is defined in Section 3 of The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 as a ‘motor vehicle or trailer constructed or adapted for use for the carriage or haulage of goods or burden of any description’.

“If a trailer has a maximum authorised mass (MAM) between 3.5 tonnes and 7.5 tonnes a category C1 driving licence is needed; if the MAM exceeds 7.5 tonnes a category C driving licence is required. Category C+E entitlement is required for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes with a trailer over 750kg.”

The current rules stem from European legislation.

Provided that motorhome drivers have passed the relevant tests and the vehicle is used in a private capacity then they are exempt from the requirements to use a tachograph or obtain a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) that normally applies to professional drivers of large vehicles.

If you are unclear about licencing, refer to the Get Practical section of the March issue of MMM (for sale on the 10th February).

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14/12/2010 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

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