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Relaxation of C1 driving test should reduce complexity of obtaining private vehicle licence
Published on 02/08/2012

The European Commission has recently circulated a draft amendment to the 3rd Directive on driving licences (2006/16/EC).

One significant change for the motorhome industry is that the driving licence test for vehicles in category C1 will be adapted to suit the characteristics of the significant variety of vehicle types in that category. The aim of this change is to reduce the risk of overloaded category B vehicles being used in preference to category C1 vehicles (so as to avoid the cost of the additional training and testing necessary to drive category C1 vehicles.)

Currently, category C1 includes some commercial vehicles which are driven by professionals when driving is their principal activity, whilst others are driven for business, leisure or personal use i.e. where driving is not the principal activity of the driver.

Recognising that the latter group should not be required to demonstrate knowledge of the rules and equipment applicable to the professional transport sector – for example 561 /2006 / EC (drivers hours) and 3821 / 85 / EEC (digital tachographs) – a separate C1 test (code “97”) will be introduced for drivers of private vehicles.

The significance for the motorhome industry is that such a relaxation should reduce the cost and complexity of obtaining a category C1 licence for private vehicles. This should then reduce the need to limit the MTPLM for some motorhomes to 3500kg with the consequential restriction on user payload.

EU Member states are required to implement the provisions of the amendment before 31 December 2013.

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