If you have the dream of cruising around the open road in large vehicles like motorhomes, then it might not be enough to just be with your standard driving licence. Obtaining your C1 licence is essential if you want to drive a large motorhome.
There are specific driving licence requirements for drivers that want to handle a vehicle in a particular size category. In this article, we will be going through the whole process of getting your C1 licence to ensure you drive your vehicle safely.
What Is A C1 Licence And Why Do You Need It?
A C1 licence is a type of driving licence that gives you the liberty to drive vehicles with a weight of around 3,500kg to 7,500kg.
Typically, in the UK, you can only drive a vehicle weighing around 3,500 with your standard driving licence (Category B).
There is an exception, if you are a driver that passed your driving test (obtained your current licence) before 1997, then you don’t need to get a C1 licence. This is because a car licence from back then had the C1 entitlement listed. But keeping this licence means that you need to pass the D4, which is a medical and vision assessment.
There are a lot of motorhomes that are under the weight category of 3,500kg, but if you want to drive larger motorhomes, then you need to get your C1 licence.
C1 vs C Driving Licence
The C1 category licence is an LGV licence that lets you drive large vehicles and covers all cars in this range until it gets to the 7,500kg limit. For drivers under 44, you have to renew your C1 licence after five years. While drivers above 44 would need to renew yearly.
Also, before it is issued initially, you are required to submit an examination from the optician and a general health examination.
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 and will need to be renewed for the same time frame.
How To Get A C1 Licence For A Motorhome?
In order to get that 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 can be quite 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 be able 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 be in possession of a Category B driving licence
Undergo Medical Assessment
The medical standard that is needed for your class B driving licence is not up to that of the C1 category licence. If you are going to apply and get your C1 licence, then you are most likely going to undergo a separate assessment to be sure that you are in line with the medical standards.
This assessment will need to be taken by a doctor. You can get a D4 DVLA form from most post offices or you can simply order it online. There are two parts of the form to fill – medical assessment and vision assessment.
You can either opt for a private doctor or you can go to see your local GP. You will be asked questions about your medical history and also if there are any underlying conditions that might interfere with you as a driver. The physical test included in this assessment will test your eyesight.
If for any reason your doctor is not able to properly answer the part of the D4 form associated with vision, you will likely have to meet 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 medicals. This licence will mean that you are entitled to be the driver of a 7,500kg vehicle.
Applying for the provisional licence involves filling out a D2 form, which can be gotten from post offices or from the DVLA site.
For you to get the liberty of driving vehicles that weigh up to 7,500kg, you have to state that you want a C1 licence. Then, before signing the form, there are some other medical questions you will need to answer.
You are expected to send the D4 and D2 forms to the DVLA; you will also need to send in your current license. The provisional entitlement will then be added to your licence before the DVLA return it to you.
After you have obtained your provisional licence, you are now eligible to start learning to drive 7,500 lorries with 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 gotten after 1997, 1 January.
Book Your Theory Test
If you want to apply and get your C1 licence, there are three theory tests that have to be completed. The three tests you have to pass include a case study, a hazard perception test, and a multiple-choice test.
For the case study, you will spend about 75 minutes taking this test as that is the time duration for it. It will contain 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 and for you to pass, you need to get 40 right.
You will also need to pass the hazard perception test, which will see you watch 19 different one-minute clips based on hazard perception. There will be one hazard in each clip, except for a particular clip that has two hazards. So, your aim is to point out when there is a developing hazard. For you to pass this section of the test, you need to score 67 points out of 100.
The multiple-choice test is one that contains 100 questions that covers everything about driving larger motorhomes and vehicles proficiently and safely. You need to get 85 points out of 100 to advance.
The law states that before you take your test in Northern Ireland, you need to have lived there for at least five months in the last 12 months. If you wish to take the test in Scotland, Wales, Or England, then 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 vehicles involves you booking a practical test. So, booking your practical test will cost around £115 and comes in two different parts.
The first part assesses your driving and safety skills. Then a practical demonstration portion to prove you are able to load and unload the vehicle properly and also if you are able to make emergency decisions if needed.
The first part can be passed with 15 minor faults or less, but make sure you don’t make any major faults.
How Long Does A C1 Licence Last?
Based on when the licence was issued and the age of the driver, a C1 category licence can last anything from one year to five years.
If you are 44 years 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 it would need to be renewed.
If you are over 44
Drivers that are over 44 years that pass and obtain a C1 category licence would have their licence validity pegged at one year. So, if you want to keep driving your large vehicle, it would come at the cost of renewing your licence annually.
If you are over 70
Drivers that got their car licence before 1 January 1997, automatically received a C1 category licence.
However, license is taken away as soon as the driver gets to 70 years and needs to be renewed. In this case, a D4 medical and vision assessment form will need to be handed over 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 License?
As stated above, you can drive vehicles that weigh up to 7,500kg with your C1 licence. These are the types of vans and vehicles you can drive with your C1 category licence.
- Motorized equipment: With your C1 category licence, you will be able to drive motorized equipment with a weight of up to 7,500kg
- Trailer: You can tow a trailer without breaking the 750kg barrier
- 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. If you are not too confident in your driving skills or you have no knowledge before now, you might need to hire a qualified trainer to help with your training.
We recommend it as you need to learn from someone experienced to make your exams easier.
So any way you see fit to pass your exams is recommended. You can read up different information or check to see if there are offers for any driving course. Licences are not easy to obtain but they sure come with their advantages.
If you are one of those people that dream of driving a 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 the holiday or you just want to enjoy a nice trip, it is definitely more fun when you are in a C1 category b motorhome.
Now that you have figured out how to pick up your own C1 licence, it opens up plenty of opportunities for road trips, allowing you to explore with a family or a group of friends.
If you have always wanted to work a delivery job for local companies, getting this licence is your first step as they typically make use of 7,500kg vans for deliveries.
- What is the cost of a C1 licence?
The total 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?
Just as it is with a standard licence, if you want to add the C1 category to your licence, then there are legal requirements and paperwork to be met and completed, including the D4 medical assessment.
If you passed your driving test before 1997, you will still need to complete the D4 once you are above 70 years of age. You can either utilize a private doctor or your local GP for the medical.
- How long is the C1 theory test?
The C1 theory test is one where you get to answer 100 multiple choice questions. You will be instructed on how the test will go as well as taking a practical test to be familiar with the screens and controls. You will have 1hr and 55 minutes to finish the test.
- Do I need to do a theory test for C1?
If you are interested in getting a C1 category licence, then you should note that there are three theory tests to take. Passing the multiple choice questions with a mark of 85 out of 100 is required.
- How long does it take to receive your C1 licence?
When you have completed and passed your practical test, you don’t need to wait too much as it will take about 10 to 15 days for you to get your full C1 driving licence number and every other thing that follows.