Driving 7.5-tonne trucks: what are the requirements?

George Barrow
August 22, 2017

Can I drive a 7.5-tonne truck on my car licence?

Enter the date that you got your car driving licence to find out whether you have entitlement to drive a 7.5-tonne vehicle.

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Due to the way driving licence entitlements have evolved over the years, there are a number of different driving licences that permit 7.5-tonne trucks to be driven. Commercial Motor explains the requirements.

Which type of driving licence is required to drive a 7.5-tonne vehicle?

The driving licence requirements for a 7.5-tonne vehicle vary depending on when a driver got their car driving licence.

Drivers who passed their category B (car) driving test before 1997 have grandfather rights and are able to drive a 7.5-tonne truck without taking another test. They will have the C1 entitlement on their licence, which covers vehicles from 3.5- 7.5-tonnes GVW.

Those who passed their test before 1997 may also have a C1 + E entitlement on their licence, which will allow them to drive a 7.5-tonne vehicle with a drawbar trailer weighing up to 750kg.

However, drivers who passed their car driving test from 1 January 1997 will have to take a separate C1 test in order to drive a 7.5-tonne truck, or any vehicle weighing in excess of 3.5 tonnes.


Is a Driver CPC required to drive a 7.5-tonne truck?

Even if a driver passed their test before 1997, they will still have to complete 35 hours of Driver CPC training every five years if they want to drive a 7.5-tonne vehicle professionally, unless they are covered by an exemption.

Exemptions to the Driver CPC requirement include:

  • The vehicle has a maximum authorised speed of no more than 28mph
  • The vehicle is operated by the armed forces or emergency services
  • The vehicle is being driven as part of a test or for repair and maintenance purposes
  • The vehicle is new and is not yet in service
  • The vehicle is being driven for non-commercial purposes
  • The driver is carrying equipment for their work, where their work does not mainly involve driving (e.g. glazer, scaffolder).

The driver is only required to complete the Driver CPC if they are driving professionally, and will not need one of they are driving for personal use. A full list of Driver CPC exemptions can be found on the gov.uk website.


Operator advice

Operators of 7.5-tonne trucks should check that their drivers hold the correct entitlement on their driving licence. They should check both the driver’s photocard licence and their licence information on the gov.uk website.


About the Author


George Barrow

George has been writing about nearly anything with wheels for the past 15 years and is the UK jury member of the International Van of the Year and International Pick-Up Award.

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