Car enthusiasts who conduct regular car rights may be given permission to drive large trucks without further testing under plans being studied by the government.

Among them is the abolition of previous restrictions imposed by the EU on the maximum weight of a vehicle that a motorist could drive with a standard B1 licence.

The government says the restoration of so-called “grandfather rights” could encourage more people to consider a career in the transport industry.

The proposal could allow motorists to drive 7.5-tonne trucks without special training

Until 1997, anyone who had a driving license (category B) also received a category C1 automatic license, which allowed them to drive vehicles between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes in combination with a trailer weighing up to 750 kg. However, under EU directives, anyone who has passed a car test since 1 January 1997 can have a vehicle and trailer weight of no more than 3.5 tonnes, and a separate test is required to obtain a C1 licence.

As EU rules no longer apply, the government is looking into granting a C1 license to all category B license holders who have passed their test since 1 January 1997. This will allow anyone with a normal driving license to drive large vans and light trucks up to 7.5 tonnes without additional driving tests.

Currently, drivers trying to obtain a C1 license must pass additional practical and theory tests, undergo a medical examination and complete 35 hours of training every five years.

Transport Secretary Carl McCartney said: “Our country has a robust supply chain and our ongoing and unprecedented support for the trucking sector means the number of truck drivers is stabilising.

“We continue to look for ways to make it easier and faster to start a rewarding career in logistics. That’s why we’re asking people for their views on how we can simplify the licensing process and remove any potential barriers – to make the most of our freedoms after Brexit.”

Other options being considered as part of the evidence requirement include publishing passing scores for instructors as part of an official register to raise training standards, and allowing mechanics who already hold a lorry license to operate vehicles such as buses for repairs . .

Britain has faced a shortage of lorry drivers since the Covid pandemic due to a combination of factors including the cancellation of tests, post-Brexit red tape and complaints about working conditions, which have led to a sharp decline in the number of drivers.

Mr McCartney said any changes being considered “need to ensure the continued safe use of our roads and be economically proportionate”, adding: “The Government does not have all the answers and, to be very clear, we have not decided that do something about it.”

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