If you dream of driving motorhomes on the open road, your standard driving licence may not be enough. Obtaining a C1 licence is essential for driving a large motorhome.
There are specific requirements for drivers that want to drive motorhomes or any vehicle in a particular size category. This article covers the entire process of getting your C1 licence to ensure you can drive your motorhome legally.
What Is A C1 Licence, And Why Do You Need It?
A C1 licence is a type of driving licence that permits you to drive vehicles with a maximum load weight of 3,500kg to 7,500kg.
In the UK, you can typically drive a vehicle weighing around 3,500kg with your standard driving licence (Category B).
There is an exception for any driver that passed their driving test (obtained their current licence) before 1 January 1997. They don’t need to get a C1 licence. This is because a pre -97 car licence had the C1 entitlement listed. But keeping this licence means you need to pass the D4, a medical and vision assessment to ensure you can drive a vehicle safely.
There are a lot of motorhomes that are under the weight category of 3,500kg. If you want to drive larger motorhomes, you need to get a C1 licence, which involves an additional driving test.
C1 vs C Driving Licence
C1 vs C Driving Licence
The C1 category licence is an LGV licence that lets you drive large vehicles less than the MAM 7,500kg limit. For drivers under 44, you have to renew your C1 licence after five years. While drivers above 44 need to renew yearly.
Also, before it is issued initially, you are required to submit an examination from an optician and a general health examination from a GP.
The C category licence lets you drive vehicles that weigh over 3,500kg and trailers of up to 750kg. Generally, it is issued for five years, after which you need to follow the standard renewal procedure.
How To Get A C1 Licence For A Motorhome?
To enjoy the experience of driving a large motorhome to places you like, you must start by applying for a C1 licence and then passing the test. It is easy to obtain if you know all the steps.
Make Sure That You Are Eligible (Requirements)
There are some things you need to possess and requirements you must meet to apply for a C1 category licence. As a driver looking to obtain a C1 licence, these are the requirements;
- You have to be 18 years of age or older.
- You need to have a Category B driving licence.
Undergo Medical Assessment
The medical standard for a class B driving licence is not the same as for a C1 category licence. If you want a C1 licence, you need to undergo a separate assessment to be sure that you comply with the medical standards.
This assessment will need to be done by a doctor. You can get a D4 DVLA form from most post offices or simply order it online. There are two parts of the form to fill in – a medical assessment and a vision assessment.
You can either arrange for a private doctor or your local GP. You will be asked questions about your medical history and if any underlying medical conditions might impair you as a driver. An eyesight test is included in the physical assessment.
If your doctor can’t complete the medical history part of the D4 form associated with vision, ask an optometrist or optician to fill it in.
Apply For A C1 Licence
Next up is to get a provisional licence after you are done with your medical. This licence will mean that you are entitled to be the driver of a 7,500kg vehicle.
Applying for a provisional C1 licence involves filling out a D2 form, which you can get from post offices or the DVLA site.
You are expected to send the D4 and D2 forms to the DVLA; you will also need to send in your current licence. The provisional entitlement will then be added to your licence before the DVLA returns it.
After you have obtained your provisional licence, you are eligible to start training to drive 7,500lg lorries or other vehicles in the HGV class. You will need the help of a driving expert that has held a full CE, C, C1E, or C1 licence for up to three years. Their driving licence must have been issued after 1 January 1997.
Book Your Theory Test
If you want to apply and get your C1 licence, three theory tests have to be completed. The three tests you have to pass are a case study, a hazard perception test, and a multiple-choice test.
The case study takes about 75 minutes to complete. It contains seven case studies. You will also be given about 15 minutes to practice and get used to everything. Finally, you will be asked 50 questions; a score of 40 is required to pass.
You will also need to pass the hazard perception test, which will see you watch 19 different one-minute clips based on hazards. There will be one hazard in each clip, except for one particular clip that has two hazards. So, your aim is to point out when there is a developing hazard. To pass this section, you need to score 67 points out of 100.
The multiple-choice test contains 100 questions about driving larger motorhomes and vehicles safely. You need to get 85 points out of 100 to pass.
The law states that before you take your test in Northern Ireland, you need to have lived there at least five months in the last year. If you wish to take the test in Scotland, Wales, Or England, you must have lived there for up to 185 days in the last year.
Book Your Practical Test
The final section in your journey to be able to drive larger motorhomes and HGV vehicles involves booking a practical test. Booking your practical test will cost around £115 and comes in two different parts.
The first part assesses your driving and safety skills. Then comes a practical demonstration portion to prove you can load and unload the vehicle properly and make emergency decisions if needed.
The first part can be passed with 15 minor faults or fewer, but make sure you don’t make any major faults.
How Long Does A C1 Licence Last?
Based on when the licence is issued and the driver’s age, a C1 category licence can last anything from one year to five years.
Age: 44 and under
For drivers aged 44 and below that have passed their driving test and obtained a C1 category licence, they can keep driving their vehicle with the current licence for up to five years before needing to renew it.
Age: over 44
Drivers that are over 44 and have already obtained a C1 category licence need to renew their licence annually.
Age: over 70
Drivers that got their regular driving licence before 1 January 1997 automatically received a C1 category licence.
However, a licence is taken away when a driver gets to 70 and needs to be renewed. In this case, a D4 medical and vision assessment form will need to be sent to the DVLA, which will see that the license is renewed for an additional three years.
What Other Vehicles Can You Drive With A C1 Licence?
As stated above, you can drive vehicles that weigh up to 7,500kg with your C1 licence. With a C1 category licence, you can drive:
- Motorized equipment: You will be able to drive motorized equipment with a weight of up to 7,500kg.
- Trailer: You can tow a trailer with a MAM of 750kg.
- Light lorry: You are entitled to drive light lorries that don’t weigh more than 7,500kg.
Do You Need Any Special Training To Pass All Exams?
You don’t necessarily need access to any form of special training to get your C1 licence. We recommend you hire a qualified trainer to help with training if you lack confidence in your driving skills or have no previous experience. You should learn from someone experienced to make the exams easier.
You can read information online or check to see if there are offers for any driving courses. Licences are not easy to obtain but they come with many advantages.
Do you dream of driving a motorhome campervan, lorry, or other large vehicles? Then you should remember that you need to hold a C1 licence.
Whether you are planning to camp out during a holiday or want to enjoy an exciting road trip, it is definitely more fun when you are in a C1 category B motorhome.
After you pick up your C1 licence, it opens up plenty of opportunities for road trips, allowing you to explore the UK with family or a group of friends.
Or if you want to work a delivery job for local companies, getting this licence is your first step, as they typically use 7,500kg vans for deliveries.
What is the cost of a C1 licence?
The cost of obtaining a C1 licence is around £150-£200. Everything is included with this fee ranging from your driving test to getting your licence.
Do I need a medical for a C1 licence?
As with a standard licence, if you want to add the C1 category to your licence, there are legal requirements and paperwork to be completed, including the D4 medical assessment form.
If you passed your driving test before 1 January 1997, you still need to complete the D4 form once you reach 70 years of age. You can use a private doctor or your local GP for the medical.
How long is the C1 theory test?
The C1 theory test consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. You will receive instructions on how to do the test and guidance on the practical test to familiarise you with the screens and controls. You will have 1hr and 55 minutes to finish it.
Do I need to do a theory test for C1?
Anyone interested in getting a C1 category licence must pass the three theory tests. You need to score 85 out of 100 to pass.
How long does it take to receive your C1 licence?
After completing and passing the practical test, you will need to wait about 10 to 15 days to receive your new C1 driving licence number. Then you can drive your motorhome!