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Training to do the kind of professional driving you want to do might not be a one-step process. Instead, you could find that you need to work your way up to the correct level you need to be able to drive certain vehicles. Once you have your car licence, you can add to it with ever increasing licence levels which correspond to the weight of the vehicles you’re allowed to drive.

Here’s how you can work your way through and add more and more things to your licence.

Getting your provisional driving licence

Before you can start your training for any licence, you’ll need to obtain a provisional licence for that category of vehicle first. When you train with us, we can get this for you while we’re training you in your theory test but otherwise, you may need to arrange the provisional licence yourself.

Licensing stages

The process of working your way up to different licence levels is known as ‘staging’. This is because each licence is considered to be a ‘stage’ on the way to being able to drive more and more types of vehicles.

 

How do I know what I’m allowed to drive?

If you’re not sure what you’re currently allowed to drive, take a look at your licence itself. This should say exactly what category of vehicles you can operate legally at your current level. Those with licences issued prior to 1 January 1997 may have higher entitlements for the same licence as those who got their licence later. This is because of changing criteria as tests and licences have been revised over time.

 

Adding lower categories

Once you pass a certain stage of your licence, you may find that lower categories of vehicle are automatically added to your licence. So for example, if you pass your C1+E test and already have your Cat B and Cat C1, you’ll see you get B+E vehicles automatically added to the list of things you’re allowed to drive with your new driving licence.

This is not universally the case for all vehicles below the one you’ve just qualified to drive, but as a rule the following applies: your bus and lorry stages will upgrade your car driving licence. Your bus stages won’t upgrade your HGV licence.

 

What about trailers?

Trailer licences are somewhat different and don’t automatically upgrade with your new stages. So no matter what stage or type of vehicle you get a licence for, you may still need to take a test to drive a lower category vehicle with a trailer.

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