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How to get a C1 licence for a motorhome

A C1 licence is a special driving category that allows individuals to operate vehicles exceeding certain weight limits. In the context of motorhomes, a C1 licence becomes crucial due to the size and weight of these recreational vehicles.

One thing’s for sure: you’ll need more than just your average licence to hit the open road in a rented motorhome. That’s why we’re here to guide you through how to get a C1 licence for a motorhome

We’ll tell you why exactly you need one, how to apply, and what other vehicles you can drive. 

What is a C1 licence? 

A C1 licence is an extension of your regular driving licence and allows you to drive vehicles weighing between 3,500 and 7,500 kilograms (kg).

A Category B licence (the UK’s standard car licence) permits you to drive vehicles that weigh around 3,500kg. If you plan to rent a vehicle exceeding this, you should start your C1 application immediately. 

However, it’s useful to point out an exception for drivers who obtained their licence before the 1st of January, 1997. On pre-1997 licences, drivers were given C1 entitlement without needing to pass separate examinations. 

Plenty of smaller motorhomes weigh under 3,500kg, so if you don’t want the stress of an additional driving test, choose a lighter vehicle.

Why do you need a C1 licence to drive a motorhome? 

You need a C1 licence to drive a motorhome because these vehicles are much larger and more difficult to operate. 

Driving heavier vehicles requires additional testing and qualifications to ensure you know how to handle them safely on the road.  

How to get a C1 licence for a motorhome

It’s time to make your motorhome dreams come true! Below, we’ve compiled a step-by-step process that details exactly how to get a C1 motorhome licence. 

1.Check if you’re eligible!

To apply for a Category C1 licence, first, you must meet some general criteria. These include: 

  • You must be over 18
  • You must already hold a Category B driving licence

2. Book a medical assessment 

If you plan to get your C1 licence, be prepared to be held to a higher medical standard. 

The size and weight of C1 vehicles require further medical assessment, including a general form about your medical history and a vision test. 

You can download these D4 DVLA forms here. Whether these medical tests are conducted by a private doctor or your local GP is down to you. However, if your doctor cannot perform the vision part of your assessment, visit your optician and ask them to fill it in. 

3. Apply for your provisional C1 licence 

Now that you’ve got your D4 forms in order, it’s time to start the application process! 

To apply for your C1 provisional licence, you must fill out a D2 form, which you can download from the GOV.UK DVLA Forms webpage or from your local post office. 

Once you’ve completed the D2, you’ll need to send this, your D4 form, and your current driving licence to the DVLA in one package. Before the DVLA returns your items, they’ll add a provisional C1 qualification to your licence. 

You’re ready to start practising now that you’ve got your provisional. You can train in any 7,500kg lorry or HGV provided you’re with a qualified driving instructor who has held a C, C1, CE or C1E licence for at least three years. 

4. Book your theory test 

Once you feel confident, next up is booking your theory test. The theory test for a C1 licence comprises three parts: a multiple-choice test, a hazard perception test and a case study. 

In the multiple-choice section, you’ll be asked to answer 100 questions about vehicle safety and driving larger motor vehicles. A score of 85 out of 100 is required to pass. 

The hazard perception requires you to watch 19 one-minute clips: in each clip, there will be one hazard you need to identify once the clip is over (however, in one of these clips, there will be two hazards!). 

Any developing habits will need to be pointed out, and you’ll pass if you receive a score of 67 or above. 

Lastly, you’ll be presented with seven case studies and asked 50 questions. You’ll have 15 minutes to prepare your answers, and a score of 40 out of 50 is required to pass. 

Book your theory test today if you’re ready to tackle the exam. 

5. Book your practical test

You’ve passed the theory test with flying colours: well done! When it comes to your practical test, you’ll need to take everything you’ve learned and apply it in your 1-hour session. 

The C1 practical test is completed in two parts: the first demonstrates your safety knowledge and driving skills. The second part is more practical: your instructor will ask you to load and unload the vehicle, and you will have to show how you would respond in emergency situations. 

You can pass your practical test if you receive less than 15 minor faults. 

What other vehicles can you drive with a C1 licence?

A C1 licence allows you to drive vehicles weighing 3,500-7,000kg. This means you’ll be qualified to drive motorised equipment weighing up to 7,000kg, tow trailers, lighter lorries, and HGVs. 

How long does a C1 licence last? 

A C1 licence can last anywhere from 1-5 years, depending on the driver’s age and when the licence was issued. 

Drivers 44 and under

If you’re 44 and under, you must renew your licence five years after obtaining it. 

Drivers 44 and over

Drivers 44 and over will need to renew their licence on an annual basis.

Drivers over 70 

Once you reach the age of 70, your licence gets revoked until the driver can complete a renewed D4 medical and visual assessment. Then, the licence will be returned to them for another three years. 


How long is the C1 theory test?

Your C1 theory test will last for 1 hour and 50 minutes. 

How long is the C1 practical test?

Your C1 practical test will last between 50 minutes to 1-hour. 

What is the cost of a C1 licence?

The overall cost of a C1 licence will depend on how many practical lessons you take. However, your C1 theory and practical tests will cost: 

Do I need a medical assessment for a C1 licence? 

Yes, a medical assessment is generally required to obtain a C1 licence. You’ll be required to fill out a D4 form that details your medical history and the results of a vision test conducted by a private doctor, GP or optician. 

Do I need to complete a theory test for a C1 licence? 

Yes, passing a theory test is a mandatory requirement for obtaining a C1 licence. The theory test assesses your knowledge of road safety and motorhome-specific regulations.

How long does it take to get your C1 licence? 

How long it takes to obtain your C1 licence depends on your level of experience, how frequently you practice and how many times it takes to pass your theory and practical tests.