minimum age for driving

What is the minimum age requirement for driving lessons in the uk?

Learners section > Minimum age

Vehicles you can drive and how old you must be to drive them

The tables list the vehicle category descriptions for driving tests passed after 1 January 1997 and the minimum ages for driving them. All weights refer to maximum authorised mass (MAM) unless stated otherwise. This is the total weight of the vehicle plus the maximum load it can carry.


Motorcycles

Description Category Minimum age
Mopeds with an engine capacity not exceeding 50cc and a maximum design speed not exceeding 50km/h P 16
Light motorcycles with a cubic capacity not exceeding 125cc and a power output not exceeding 11kW (14.6bhp) A1 17
Motorcycles up to 25kW(33bhp) and a power to weight ratio not exceeding 0.16kW/kg. Motorcycle combination with a power to weight ratio not exceeding 0.16kW/kg A 17
Any size motorcycle with or without a sidecar A 21*

* Age 21 if the rider passed the test for large motorcycles as part of the Direct Access scheme, or two years from the date of test pass if the rider passed the test on a standard A motorcycle (power output up to 25 kW (33 bhp) or a power to weight ratio not exceeding 0.16kW/kg.)

Three or four wheeled light vehicles

Description Category Minimum age

Motor tricycles / quadricycles, three or four wheeled vehicles with an unladen weight not exceeding 550kg

B1

17*

Cars with and without trailers

Description

Category

Minimum age

Motor vehicles with a MAM not exceeding 3500kg having not more than eight passenger seats with a trailer up to 750kg. Combinations of towing vehicles in category B and a trailer, where the MAM of the combination does not exceed 3500kg and the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen mass of the towing vehicle

B

17*

As cars, but with automatic transmission

B

17*

Combinations of vehicles consisting of a vehicle in category B and a trailer, where the combination does not come within category B

B+E

17

*Age 16 if you are currently getting Disability Living Allowance at the higher rate (mobility component)

Medium sized vehicles with or without trailers

Description

Category Minimum age

Vehicles between 3500kg and 7500kg with a trailer up to 750kg

C1

18*

Combinations of vehicles where the towing vehicle is in subcategory C1 and its trailer has a MAM of over 750kg provided that the MAM of the combination thus formed does not exceed 12000kg and the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen mass of the towing vehicle. (If you passed your category B test prior to 1.1.1997 you will be restricted to a total weight not more than 8250kg)

C1+E

21*

*Age 18 if combination weight is under 7,500 kilograms, eg the vehicle weight is 5500kg and the trailer is 1999kg – total weigh is 7499kg.

Large vehicles with or without trailers

Description Category

Minimum age

Vehicles over 3500kg with a trailer up to 750kg

C

21*

Vehicles over 3500kg with a trailer over 750kg

C+E

21*

*Age 17 if member of armed forces or age 18 if member of the young drivers scheme

Minibuses with or without trailers

Description

Category

Minimum age

Vehicles with between nine and sixteen passenger seats with a trailer up to 750kg

D1

21*

Combinations of vehicles where the towing vehicle is in subcategory D1 and its trailer has a MAM of over 750kg, provided that the MAM of the combination thus formed does not exceed 12000kg, and the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen mass of the towing vehicle

D1+E

21*

Buses with or without trailers

Description Category Minimum age
Any bus with more than eight passenger seats with a trailer up to 750kg D 21*
Any bus with more than eight passenger seats with a trailer over 750kg D+E 21

*Age 17 if member of armed services

*Age 18:

1) while learning to drive or taking your passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) test or Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) initial qualification

2) after passing a PCV test and CPC initial qualification, you can drive under any of the following conditions:

  • driving on a regular service where the route does not exceed 50 km
  • not engaged in the carriage of passengers
  • while undergoing a national vocational training course to obtain a CPC initial qualification

3) after passing a PCV test before 10 September 2008 and driving under a bus operator's licence, or minibus permit, or community bus permit any of the following apply:

  • driving on a regular service where the route does not exceed 50km
  • not engaged in the carriage of passengers
  • driving a vehicle of a class included in sub-category D1

Other categories

Description

Category

Minimum age

Agricultural tractors

F

17*

Road rollers

G

21**

Tracked vehicles

H

21***

Mowing machine or vehicle controlled by a pedestrian

K

16

Mopeds

P

16

*Age 16 for tractors less than 2.45m wide, it must only pull trailers less than 2.45m wide with two wheels, or four close-coupled

**Age 17 for small road-rollers with metal or hard rollers, they must not be steam powered, weigh more than 11.69 tonnes or be made for carrying loads

***Age 17 if the MAM of the tracked vehicle does not exceed 3500kg

Driving licence information codes

Your licence may include information codes which indicate what (if any) restrictions your driving entitlement is subject to.

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