From the 19th
of January 2013 new licensing rules affecting drivers in the UK will come into play, which will bring the UK into line with a 2006 EU directive aimed at standardising licensing laws across Europe. Leading car insurance comparison
website Tiger.co.uk investigates.
The new driver licensing laws will affect all motorists, particularly lorry drivers, motorcyclists and drivers who tow trailers. However, motorists who have already been awarded licences will not lose any of the entitlements that they already have.
The motorcycle licence system is undergoing a series of changes. These will affect all riders who pass their test after 19th January 2013 or any riders who need to renew or replace their existing licence after this date. The changes cover amendments to the categorisation of motorcycles regarding their power output and power-to-weight ratio as well as covering the age and previous experience of the driver. For more information on how the new licensing rules will affect moped, motorcycle and tricycle riders, visit Tiger.co.uk to read the Guide To UK Motorcycle Licences.
The changes to large vehicle licences introduce a five year expiry date on new licences issued in categories C, CE, C1, C1E, D, DE, D1 or D1E. Every five years drivers under 45 will need to sign a declaration to show that they still meet the required medical standards. Upon turning 45, drivers who have passed their test in the above categories will need to provide a medical examination report every five years in order to renew their driving entitlement. Drivers who had these entitlements before 19th
January 2013 will only be affected by these rules when they renew their licence.
Finally, there are changes for any drivers that tow a trailer with a small vehicle. From the 19th
of January, drivers who have passed their car and small vehicle test (category B) will still be able to tow a vehicle and trailer combination provided the trailer weighs no more than 750kg or the combined weight of the vehicle and trailer is less than 3,500kg. To tow a trailer which weighs more than 750kg, or when the combined weight of the vehicle and trailer is more than 3,500kg, drivers will need to take another test to obtain “B + E” entitlement. If a driver wants to drive even heavier combinations, a further test will need to be taken that will allow them to drive vehicles and trailers with a combined weight OF up to 12 tonnes.
Andrew Goulborn, Commercial Director of Tiger.co.uk commented: “The new licensing laws bring the UK into line with EU regulations which are aimed at standardising licences across Europe. Whilst licences across the EU will not become completely uniform, the categories will mostly be consistent. For existing drivers the new rules will not take away their entitlement to drive if it was granted prior to the 19th
of January, but they need to be aware that some of the new rules might affect them. For those applying for provisional entitlement or those passing a test on or after the 19th
of January, these rules will be applicable. Motorists who want to find out more about the new licensing laws can go to https://www.gov.uk/newlicencerules