Motoring – Check Your Employees Driving Licences

Vehicle Category Descriptions 1

UK Driving Licence Categories

This section highlights the main categories of UK driving licences.

Vehicle categories

This section highlights the main categories of UK driving licences, covering a range of vehicles from motorbikes and cars, to heavy goods vehicles and trailer combinations. These main categories are designated ‘A’ to ‘E’, and have sub-categories defining particular vehicle types. There is also an additional set of vehicle types designated ‘F’ to ‘P’, covering miscellaneous vehicles such as electric vehicles, mopeds, agricultural tractors, etc.

This guide is concerned only with vehicles under 3,500 kg.¹ Appendix A contains an extract from DVLA literature detailing all the vehicle categories listed on a current UK driving licence, along with a brief explanation of the vehicle types covered. This will enable you to use the category coding on a driver’s licence, say ‘B’ or ‘B+E’, to determine which type(s) of vehicle they are eligible to drive.

It is crucial that you check a driver’s eligibility to drive the type(s) of vehicle expected of them for business purposes. This will prevent a situation arising where, for example, an employee is allowed to drive a manual car, although their licence shows a ‘B Automatic’ code. In this case, the driver would be driving illegally and would also be uninsured.²

1Organisations operating large goods vehicles (LGV) must apply for an LGV operating licence, which is outside the scope of this guide. Further details can be found on the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) website at

2 Ensuring eligibility to drive manual cars should be a particular concern if your company frequently has visitors from the USA who wish to drive in the UK. In the USA, the majority of drivers are only qualified, or experienced, in driving automatic cars.

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