PVS talks... Vehicle Licensing

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Who needs a driving licence?

Driving Licences are a legal requirement for any person driving a vehicle on any road or highway, regardless of the land it passes over. Road traffic legislation requires the driver of a vehicle to be correctly licenced to drive that specific vehicle.

Driving licenses gained before 1st January 1997 will show you have the entitlement to drive the following:

  • A motorcycle* (though you are required to complete the Compulsory basic training (CBT) course
  • 4-wheeled motor vehicle
  • A vehicle up to 3,500kg carrying no more than 8 passengers
  • A category B Vehicle with a trailer, when combined weight of vehicle and trailer is over 3,500kg
  • A vehicle between 3,500kg and 7,500kg carrying no more than 8 passengers, with a trailer up to 750kg
  • A vehicle with 16 passengers with a trailer up to 750kg
  • A Vehicle between 3,500kg and 7,500kg carrying no more than 8 passengers with a trailer over 750kg
  • A vehicle with up to 16 passengers with a trailer over 750kg.

*You must take CBT if you want to ride anything larger than a 50cc moped.

After 1st January 1997, these regulations have changed several times, you are now only permitted to drive the below categories with a standard licence:


  • Mowing machine or pedestrian-controlled vehicle.

* To ride a Moped, it is compulsory to complete the CBT course to activate your full moped licence after you pass your car driving test. You can then ride a moped (up to 50cc) without L plates. You do not need to take the full moped test.

Do you regularly check that your employee’s driving licences are valid?

Upgrading your licence

You can apply for additional categories such as large vehicles, buses or minibuses licence by applying for a ‘provisional entitlement’ licence.

You will have to go through the process but if successful, you will be sent a new licence which includes the additional category.

If your driving licence is only for automatic cars, you can upgrade to a manual car if you pass an additional driving test.

Making sure your employees hold valid driving licences is vital for your fleet and not ensuring this can have serious consequences. In 2013, Licence Bureau revealed that after completing a quarter of a million licence checks, the initial failure rate was approximately 1 in 200!

“Over five (5.42) in every 1000 company car, van and truck drivers do not hold a valid licence to legally drive their company vehicle.”– Licence Bureau

The companies allowing those five or six employees to drive a company vehicle are breaking the law and are failing in their Duty of Care responsibilities.

A company that is found guilty of allowing an ‘unlicensed’ or ‘improperly licensed’ employee to drive on its behalf could be liable for a £1000 fine, although, most employers are more concerned about the likelihood of prosecution under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Last year the fine guidelines changed to increase punishments for non-compliant companies.

Are you confident your employees hold the correct driving licence?

It is estimated that UK employees travel more than 12 billion miles a year in grey fleet vehicles alone! (According to EST)

Where are you permitted to drive with a UK driving licence?

Anyone who holds a standard UK driving licence can drive in the following countries; Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK (some countries may have minimum age limits).

At PVS, we are here to assist companies in becoming leaders in the fleet industry by providing advice, guidance and solutions on all things fleet!

Contact us today on 01276 550270 to book your free telephone consultation and see how we can assist in making your fleet one of the best in the business.

Marcus Puddy Managing Director PVS Ltd