A category C1 licence will allow you to drive vehicles between 3500kg and 7500kg (with a trailer up to 750kg). The C1-E licence will allow you to drive the same vehicles but with a trailer over 750kg.
In order to begin training, you must be over the age of 18 and hold a full UK driving licence (Cat B). You are then legally required to pass a Heavy Goods Vehicle medical test which can be conducted by your GP or a private doctor. You will have to fund the medical test yourself. Next, you will need to complete a physical exam, testing eyesight and ensuring you are safe to drive. Once both have been passed you may apply for the provisional C1 licence to begin training.
If you’ve never driven a larger vehicle before, you may feel nervous at the start of your training, TDA’s expert instructors will ensure you feel comfortable before making you go out on the road, and will likely take you through safety measures and smaller manoeuvres when you first start. Once you’re ready, you will be able to opt for either the C1 or C1+E course.
The tests themselves will be in similar structure to the standard driving test, testing your knowledge of the Highway Code, hazard perception and manoeuvring ability. Similarly, you will be allowed up to 15 driving faults, whilst one ‘serious’ or ‘dangerous’ fault will result in a fail. If you choose to take the Cat C1+E test, you will be asked to perform all of the standard requirements as well as perform a trailer uncoupling and recoupling exercise
You must pass a driving test in a car before you take a test for either of these categories. If you want to drive lorries you must get category C entitlement. To drive buses you must get category D entitlement. You can apply for both entitlements. To do this you must send us an ‘Application for a lorry, bus or minibus licence’ (D2) together with a ‘Medical Examination Report’ (D4) filled in by an optometrist/optician and a doctor. You must also take and pass a driving test in a lorry or bus.
Eyesight Important –
Have you had your eyesight checked recently? If you haven’t, regular eyesight tests will reassure you that you still meet the legal standards. The legal eyesight standard means that you must be able to read a car number plate from 20 metres. You must not have been told by a doctor or optician that your eyesight is currently worse than 6/12 (decimal 0.5) on the Snellen scale. If you are in any doubt you should discuss with your optician or doctor. If required, you may wear glasses or corrective lenses to meet both of these standards. There are higher eyesight standards for those who drive medium or large vehicles, minibuses or buses. Bioptics (telescope) are not acceptable for use while driving in Great Britain and it is not acceptable to use a bioptic device to meet the visual acuity standard. A bioptic device cannot be used to pass the number plate test. Further information is available on our website at www.gov.uk/driving-eyesight-rules