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Driving Motorhomes, which Licence in N, Ireland and the UK

posted Feb 12, 2013, 4:18 PM by site admin   [ updated Feb 12, 2013, 4:18 PM ]

Are you thinking of buying or hiring a motorhome (motor caravan) to get to your holiday destination? Or maybe you want to import one from another country? Before you decide you'll need to check the entitlement you hold on your driving licence and the size of motorhome you are going to drive.

The entitlement needed on your driving licence

You will need to check that your driving licence gives you entitlement to drive a motorhome. The categories shown on your licence allow you to drive vehicles up to certain weights, known as the maximum authorised mass (MAM).

Category B (car) entitlement

You can drive vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes MAM, together with a trailer not exceeding 750 kilograms. To tow a heavier trailer you will need category B+E entitlement.

Category C1 entitlement

You can drive vehicles over 3.5 tonnes MAM but less than 7.5 tonnes (with or without a trailer up to 750 kilograms). To tow a heavier trailer you will need category C1+E entitlement. 
If you passed the category C1+E test:

  • before 1 January 1997 (shown as C1+E (79) on the licence) you are limited to driving such combinations up to a combined weight of 8.25 tonnes: for example, motorhome six tonnes, trailer 2.25 tonnes
  • after 1 January 1997 you are entitled to drive combinations up to 12 tonnes in weight where the MAM of the trailer exceeds 750 kilograms but doesn't exceed the unladen weight of the towing vehicle

Category C entitlement

You can drive vehicles over 7.5 tonnes MAM. To draw a trailer over 750 kilograms you will need category C+E entitlement. Motorhomes of this weight can't be driven on a standard category B (car) licence, irrespective of when that category B entitlement was obtained.

The size of the motorhome

A motorhome being registered in the UK cannot be more than 12 metres long and 2.55 metres wide, unless it has an Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) certificate. A vehicle with an IVA can have a maximum width of 2.6 metres. There is no height limit but if the motorhome is over three metres tall the height must be on a notice visible to you as the driver.

If there is a need for you to measure the vehicle there are some parts that you don't need included in your measurements.

When measuring the length don't include the:

  • driving mirrors
  • rearward projecting buffers made of rubber or other resilient material

When measuring the width don't include the:

  • driving mirrors
  • lamps
  • reflectors
  • distortion in tyres due to loading
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