If you’re new to motorhome holidays and are considering buying your first van, you may not have realised that your driving licence may not actually cover you for driving it. Before you test drive any motorhomes, be sure to check your licence to make sure you can legally get behind the wheel.

The limitations of your driving licence depend on when you passed your test; those who passed before 1997 will be able to drive a heavier van than those who passed after the 1st January of that year. There are also specific rules and limitations for those older than 70.

If you passed your test before 1st January 1997, you will automatically be licensed to drive category C1 vehicles, meaning that you can legally drive vehicles weighing up to 7,500kg. This will be enough to cover almost all motorhomes, with the exception of large, American-style RVs. The exact categories which you can drive will be shown on your licence, either on the back of your photo card licence or the front of your old-style paper licence.

Those who passed their driving test after 1st January 1997 will only be automatically licensed to drive vehicles up to 3,500kg. These vehicles fall into categories B and B1. You will also be allowed to tow a trailer weighing up to 750kg behind your car. Due to the change in driving licences, most UK motorhomes are manufactured to fall within the limitations, but you will need to sit an additional driving test to add category C1 vehicles if you wish to buy an American RV.

Finally, those over 70 need to be particularly careful when it comes to the category limits. When you renew your license aged 70, the category C1 permission will be removed from it. If you wish to drive motorhomes weighing between 3,500kg and 7,500kg, you will need to request a completed form D4 from your GP.

For more information on Lifesure's motorhome insurance, call us for a free quote on 01480 402460.

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