Vehicle Licence Categories

Maximum Goods Vehicle Weights

GVW – Gross Vehicle Weight

GTW – Gross Train Weight R

FS – Road Friendly Suspension (air or air equivalent) 2 axle – 18,000kg 3 axle – 26,000kg* 4 axle – 32,000kg outer axle spread at least 6.4m 26,000kg – three axles** 29,500kg – if trailer has only overrun brakes 36,000kg – four axles**40,000kg – five axles** 41,000kg – six axles, driving axles not exceeding 10.5 tonnes, trailer axles have RFS, driving axles over 8.5 tonnes have twin tyres or RFS 44,000kg – intermodal transport on six axles, driving axles not exceeding8.5 tonnes or have RFS or twin tyres Operations at GVWs above 44 tonnes are covered by Special Types Goods Orders. The number of axles does not necessarily indicate the GVW. Check the tax disc and/or plate 26,000kg – 2+1 axles 36,000kg – 2+2 axles 38,000kg – two-axle tractor not over 18,000kg with twin tyres and RFS,plus two-axle trailer with axle weights not exceeding 20,000kg 40,000kg – five-axle combination 41,000kg – six-axle combination; as 41 tonne drawbar 44,000kg – six-axle combination; on intermodal work,three-axle tractor, then as 44-tonne drawbar

Maximum axle weight

  10,000kg – single (non-driving) 11,500kg – single (driving) 19,000kg – tandem (driving) 20,000kg – tandem (non-driving) 24,000kg – tri-axle bogie Note: Maximum axle weights varyconsiderably depending on the number of axles, their spacings, outer axle spreads and the type of tyres and suspension, plus the VED category *Driving axles fitted with twin tyres and RFS or that do not exceed 9.5 tonnes **Distance from rear vehicle axle to front trailer axle is at least 3 metres

Goods Vehicle Driving Licence Categories

GTW – Gross Train Weight (i.e. vehicle and trailer combination)MPW – Maximum Permitted Weight Holders of old Class 2 and 3 licences may have grandfather rights to drive C+E, restricted to drawbar outfits; check driver’s licence for details


A vehicle not over 3.5 tonnes MPW with not more than eight seats (plus the driver). Plus: a trailer where the trailer’s MPW does not exceed 750kg or the GTW of vehicle and the trailer is not over 3.5 tonnes



Category B vehicle with trailer up to 750kg or GTW of over 3.5 tonnes


Vehicle over 3.5 tonnes but below 7.5 tonnes MPW. May draw a trailer of up to 750kg(‘Car’ licences issued before January 1997 have automatic rights to drive up to 7.5 tonnes. Licences issued after then do not allow holders to drive vehicles between 3.5 and 7.5tonnes, which require a C1 test)


Combinations where the primemover is greater than 3.5 tonnes but less than 7.5 tonnes MPW and the trailer exceeds750kg, but not the tractor’s unladen weight, and the combination is below 12 tonnes GTW. (For licences issued prior to 1997, category is restricted to 8.25 tonnes GTW) C Any vehicle exceeding 3.5 tonnes MPW, otherthan those in categories DFGH, including a trailer not over 750kg (i.e. all rigid LGVs – the old HGV Class 2 and 3 licences)


Combinations where the primemover is in category C, but thecombination is not in that category (equivalent to old HGV Class 1; covers all articulated and drawbar trailer combinations)