Can I drive a motorhome with a car licence? It’s often the first of many more motorhome questions to come. Here, Van Life Matters talks motorhome driving licences, weight and what happens when you reach the age of 70.
To drive a motorhome in the UK, you need the correct and licence and the vehicle must be within the size and weight limits.
The driving licence you need to drive a motorhome depends on your age and the vehicle’s maximum authorised mass (MAM) – that’s the weight of the motorhome plus the maximum load it can carry (we cover motorhome weight here).
Motorhomes under 3,500kg: Anyone with a full UK driving licence can drive this category of motorhome. Motorhomes between 3,500kg up to 7,500kg: If you passed your driving test before 1997 you can drive this category of motorhome until you are 70, after which you'll need to apply to the DVLA to retain your Cat C1 licence. Motorhomes over 7,500kg: You need a Cat C or LGV licence for a motorhome in this category.
Can I drive a motorhome with a car licence?
To drive a motorhome with a MAM of between 3,500kg and 7,500kg, you need a category C1 licence.
If you passed your test before 1st January 1997, you will automatically have category C1 entitlement on your licence.
A C1 driving licence covers all but the largest American RV-style motorhomes.
If you passed your test after 1st January 1997 you can only drive a vehicle up to 3,500kg and tow a trailer up to 3,500kg MAM.
Motorhome manufacturers tend to stick within the 3,500kg weight class so that those drivers who passed their test post-1997 can still buy and drive their vehicles.
Can I drive a motorhome after 70?
When you reach the age of 70 there’s a requirement to renew your driving licence and continue to do so every three years after that.
To do this you’ll need to fill out a D46P application form, which you should receive 90 days before your 70th birthday.
Driving licence renewal is reasonably straightforward, provided you the minimum eyesight requirement.
You must also declare any medical condition or disability that could affect your driving.
Assuming the DVLA deems you safe to continue driving, you’ll be free to plan your next motorhome adventure.
However, if you use the standard renewal procedure you will lose your C1 driving entitlement and you will no longer be able to drive motorhomes between 3,500kg and 7,500kg.
To maintain your C1 driving licence, you’ll need a GP to complete a D4 medial report form.
UK maximum motorhome size
The size of motorhomes is restricted in the UK – it must not be more than 12 metres long and 2.55 metres wide.
The measurements don’t include driving mirrors, rear bumpers, lamps, or reflectors.
There’s no height limit, but if the motorhome is over three metres tall, you must have a notice showing the height where the driver can see it.
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