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  • Writer's pictureMax & Sophie In A Van

Which driving licence do I need for a Mercedes Vario or other 3.5t+ van?

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

Thinking of buying a Mercedes Vario or other 3.5t+ van? You MUST read this blog before you do to understand about driving licences in the UK, otherwise you might not be able to drive your new van! In this blog we will look at the licence categories required to drive a Mercedes Vario!

C1 Driving Licence for Mercedes Vario - Max and Sophie in a Van

Firstly let's look at some of the driving licence categories in the UK*:

  • Category B (Car licence) - This allows you to drive a vehicle up to 3,500kg with up to 8 seats.

  • Category C1 (Medium sized vehicles) - With this licence you can drive a vehicle between 3,500kg and 7,500kg.

  • Category C (Large vehicles) - This allows you to drive a vehicle over 3,500kg.

*We are going to take towing out of the equation.

What we can work out from these licence categories is that with a normal car (category B) licence you won't be able to drive a Mercedes Vario - even an unladen 614D weighs 3,555kg and once you have added everything that makes up your van conversion it will weigh much more!

So to drive a Mercedes Vario you will need a Category C1 or a Category C licence.

Next is where it gets a little complicated but is much easier if you have a photocard style driving licence. If you passed your driving test before 1st January 1997 you may already automatically have the C1 category entitlement. If you have a photocard licence you can look at the rear side at the columns headed '10.' and '11.' which are the 'Valid from' and 'Valid to' sections. If next to C1 (or C) you have dates which we are currently within, you have the correct entitlement.

There is a second way you can check what category entitlements you have. If you go to and enter your driving licence number, national insurance number and postcode you can view vehicles you can drive and vehicles you can provisionally drive.

So if you do not have Category C or C1 entitlement you will need to obtain it before you can drive a Mercedes Vario or other 3.5t+ van. Which one to go for is often controversial - a C1 licence is much easier to obtain with the test vehicle only having to be 4t+ and 5m long where the C licence test vehicle has to be at least 12t+ and 8m long. However the C licence could open up many opportunities in the future with the ability to drive the majority of vehicles on the UK roads.

We decided to go for the C1 licence! Need to get your category C1 licence? Read our 'How to get your C1 Licence' blog here.

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Some of the links in this blog are affiliate links so we do get some pennies (at no extra cost to you!) if you follow the link and make a purchase.

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