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Driving a van in the UK is subject to the same laws that apply to any other kind of vehicle – including cars and lorries. There are specific licencing requirements for all van drivers, and additional requirements for those who operate a van for commercial or business purposes. We will cover those regulations in this guide.


For purposes of clarification, a van in the UK is a vehicle that carries only goods in addition to the driver and perhaps one passenger. A similar vehicle intended to carry multiple passengers is known as either an MPV or minibus, depending on seating capacity. That said, some people do drive vans for non-commercial purposes. These vehicles may or may not be loaded with goods.

Driving Licence Requirements

Driving licences in the UK are issued in relation to vehicle weights. The standard Category B licence for passenger cars is all you need to drive a van weighing up to 3,500 kg MAM. This weight limit applies to the weight of the vehicle itself plus its passengers and cargo. If you want to drive anything heavier, or you intend to tow a trailer behind your van, you will need additional licence entitlements unless you obtained your car licence prior to 1 January 1997

Drivers who operate vans of up to 7,500 kg will need a minimum Category C1 licence to do so legally. If those drivers intend to tow trailers heavier than 750 kg, they will need a Category C1+E licence instead.

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Lastly, a van owner with just a single vehicle used for small business transport does not require any additional licences beyond the Category B or Category C1 licence for legal driving. However, if that business owner maintains a fleet of vans numbering two or more, an operator’s licence is needed in addition to the appropriate driving licence. Furthermore, it is the van owner’s responsibility to ensure that all employees who drive company vehicles have the right kind of licence.

Professional Van Drivers

Your average commercial van in the UK exceeds the 3,500 kg weight limit for the Category B licence. Therefore, professional drivers who operate commercial vans will typically need the Category C1 licence instead. To get that licence, a driver needs to pass the theory test for professional drivers as well as the C1 driving test. No formal training is officially required by law, but it is still highly recommended.

The HGV Training Services (HGV Training Centre) offers professional driver training for those looking to earn a van driving licence. Our training covers all of the information and skills you will need to pass your tests. We concentrate on both driving theory and physical skills with full knowledge of what will be required of you by examiners.

All professional drivers in the UK are now required to be CPC certified as well. With the HGV Training Services (HGV Training Centre), you have nothing to worry about. We include initial Driver CPC training in our Category C1 training programme. Upon completion of our programme, you will be awarded a CPC qualification card that is good for five calendar years.

How We Train Van Drivers

Because driving licences in the UK are categorised so specifically, we are able to tailor our training to the needs of each driver. When you train for your van licence, we will not bother trying to teach you things that articulated lorry drivers need to know. In other words, our van training programme is tailored to van drivers. This tailored training approach allows us to get our students through their programmes as quickly as possible.

The HGV Training Services (HGV Training Centre) utilises a very fast-paced and intensive training approach designed to prepare students for their tests without any distraction or wasted time. Where other training companies might put drivers through several long months of training, we can complete the training for a van licence in a matter of weeks. From start to finish the average driver can be done in under a month.

The Process of Obtaining a Licence

One of the things that sets the HGV Training Services (HGV Training Centre) apart from the competition is our individualised help for every student. We stand side-by-side with the student through every step of the process to ensure things go as smoothly as possible. That process starts by contacting us to inquire about obtaining a van licence. Once we hear from you, the process is as follows:

Completing this training process is not terribly difficult for students who commit themselves to learning. In just a few weeks, successful students can have that van licence they need to begin looking for work as professional drivers. As an added bonus, possessing a Category C1 licence allows the driver to operate vehicles in the Category B+E class as well.

Start Your Training Today

It does not take months to earn a van licence when you train with the HGV Training Services (HGV Training Centre). Our fast-paced and intensive training approach can prepare you to take and pass your tests in a very short space of time. We invite you to contact us for more information about pricing, class schedules, and our training locations.

We are proud to say we operate more than four dozen training centres throughout the UK. Because we have facilities in and around every major metropolitan area in the country, there is likely a facility conveniently located to where you currently work or live. Furthermore, the size of our organisation allows us to keep our prices low through the efficient use of resources and personnel.

The HGV Training Services (HGV Training Centre) works with Pay 4 Later to offer a financing option on all of the classes we teach. That means you can earn your van licence right away even if you don’t have the cash to pay for your training upfront. Finance your training now, and then pay for it after you have found work as a professional driver. Class financing is yet another way we make commercial driver training accessible to as many people as possible.

If you drive a van of 3,500 kg or less for personal use, you likely do not need anything but your standard Category B licence. But if you drive heavier vans or you want to drive professionally, you will need the Category C 1 licence. Contact us to learn more about earning your van licence quickly and affordably.

Additional Information on the UK Van Licence

Please find below a list of other articles which may be of interest.


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