Same licence, bigger van

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The UK Government has made various commitments to reducing pollution and the emissions of greenhouse gasses. Part of this commitment includes encouraging the use of low emission vehicles.

One issue that has been identified as potentially discouraging the take up of such vehicle is the additional weight of the powertrains of alternatively fuelled vehicles and the consequent effect this has on the payloads they can carry.

There are additional regulations that apply to vehicles with a maximum authorised mass above 3,500kg, businesses and individuals that want to operate below this regulatory threshold will face restriction in the size of loads they can transport if they choose an alternatively fuelled vehicle.

Currently a category B driving licence permits a driver to drive cars and vans up to a maximum authorised mass of 3500kg. A category C1 licence is required for lighter goods vehicles over 3500kg and this imposes additional costs.

In 2017 ran a consultation on proposed changed to the regulations affecting such vehicles. The government has now announced the results and their response to this consultation.

The Government is proposing to seek a temporary derogation from the European Union third Driving Licence Directive (2006/126/EC) to allow category B licence holders to operate alternatively-fuelled vehicles up to a maximum authorised mass of 4,250kg. Similar derogations have already been secured for drivers of electric vehicles in France and Germany.

A timescale for introducing these changes has not yet been announced, you can find more information on the GOV.Uk website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/category-b-driving-licence-derogation-for-alternatively-fuelled-commercial-vehicles