The Government has approved a change to driving licence legislation designed to make it easier for people to use electric vans. The new rule came into force on 24 July 2018 after a consultation a year earlier and is designed to make it easier for manufacturers to sell alternative fuel vans in the UK and take the hassle out of applying for more complex licences.

Essentially, it means van operators can drive a heavier-than-normal van with a conventional driving licence – providing it’s powered by something other than petrol or diesel. It isn’t quite that straightforward, though, and there are some rules to go with the new legislation.

What does the new legislation mean?

Motorists with a Category B licence – the conventional type you get when you pass your car driving test – are already allowed to drive most normal vans that weigh no more than 3500kg; however, the new legislation allows Category B licence holders to drive alternative fuel vans that weigh up to 4250kg.

Normally, motorists are required to obtain a Category C licence – i.e. an HGV licence – if they want to drive a vehicle that weighs more than 3500kg, and they also have to get a medical assessment. The new legislation means you don’t have to do that with vans that fall into this particular category.

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