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Licence "B"


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Hans - 2021-05-16 1:26 PM


By the end of this month The EEC in brussels conclude a survey. To increase to 4250 Kg or even 4500KG. Instead of 3500 Kg.

I wonder what the result of the survey will be?

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The EC’s ‘initiative’ on a revision of the current Directive on driving licences is described here




An English-language "Inception impact assessment" .pdf file can be downloaded to assist people who wish to provide feedback.


One of the ‘Policy options' described on the .pdf file reads as follws:


Concerning specific objective 2: to establish rules on training and to introduce a framework for accompanied driving, to extend the existing graduated access scheme to other vehicle categories, to review the vehicle categories (eg. minimum age or maximum vehicle weight), to introduce a “back-to-road” action for low-mileage drivers, to introduce actions to improve risk-awareness in training, examination and driving, to facilitate knowledge sharing between examiners and drivers, to support lifelong training, in particular in relation with new technologies, to strengthen the requirements on applicants and examiners and to introduce minimum standards for the exchange of driving licences issued by third countries,


There have been 1734 responses.




I haven’t analysed the feedback statistically, but - although it’s evident that there are plenty of comments about raising the “B” driving-licence vehicle-weight maximum well above 3500kg (with motorhomes often being mentioned) - many other responses do not relate to the “B” driving-icence weight-limit and the EC survey text makes no specific reference to the “B” driving-licence weight-limit.


The EC initiative is just a ‘Have your say’ exercise (feedback rules here)




and not a survey about potentially altering the “B”-licence vehicle-weight limit.


Some forum members may be aware (as it’s been mentioned here before) that UK law was amended in 2018 for 'alternatively-fuelled vehicles’ so that Category B driving licence holders coulld legally drive such vehicles up to a weight maximum of 4250kg. The rules are detailed here




(As a pan-European vehicle-weight restriction of 3500kg for Category B driving licence holders was agreed as a road-safety measure, it seems most unlikely to me that the current limit will be raised by 750kg-1000kg merely because a small percentage of the overall European motoring population wish to drive larger/heavier leisure vehicles, particularly as there’s the option to apply for a C1 entitlement should one so wish. There's been heavyweight (but always fruitless) lobbying about this in the past and I can't see change occurring now.)

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It is possible to drive a vehicle up to 4500kg in AU on a standard car licence. The rule has been in place a long time however it was max 2 tons when I first tested for a heavy vehicle licence back 55 odd years ago. Cheers,
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In Europe it’s gone the other way, with driving-licence entitlements relating to heavier motor vehicles being gradually tightened up over time.


Many European countries allowed motorists who passed a basic ‘car’ driving test to pick up driving-licence entitlements permitting them to legally drive quite heavy vehicles (say up to a 7500kg weight) but such ‘grandfather rights’ have progressively been removed.


France went early in rigidly restricting “B”-licence holders to vehicles with a 3500kg weight maximum (though France still has a unique ‘Code 79’ that allows people who passed a car driving test before 20 January 1975 to drive MOTORHOMES of any weight on a “B” licence). Then the UK and Germany followed suit - which could well be why many of the responses to the EC survey suggesting a weight increase from 3500kg to 4250/4500kg are written in German!


A digression (but you did mention Australian rules ;-) ) it’s interesting how widely the UK’s ‘in the opinion of someone in the DVLA’ rules for towing a vehicle using an A-frame differ from Australia’s regulations and that the latter regulations do not apply to the whole Australian continent.



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Derek, you raise an interesting point identifying the different rules for A frame towing. Each state has it!s own rules re drivers licences.Although very similar the states are responsible not the Federal Govt. It is the same with border restrictions, even though we are supposedly all part of one nation each State Govt can & does impose border constraints from time to time. Another good example is the need to apply for a separate border pass to cross each state border. We have travelled from Sydney (NSW) into Victoria then South Australia now Western Australia all with separate passes all asking a different set of questions. Can you imagine if you lived in Somerset and needed a pass to travel to Devon! Cheers,

PS sorry I did not mean to go off topic.

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