Driving license rules for motorhome and caravan
How do you know which motorhome you can drive with your driving license, or how heavy a caravan you can pull behind your car? The short answer is that a regular B driving license can often suffice, but it isn’t enough in all situations. In this article, we go through all the rules you need to be aware of before you hit the road.
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Which motorhome can I drive? What rules apply?
Which motorhome you are allowed to drive, depends on which driving license you have, which country you are driving in, and sometimes also which year you took the driving license. With a regular B-driving license, you can in most countries drive motorhomes that have a total weight of a maximum of 3.5 tons. A C1 driving license is required in many countries, when it comes to heavier motorhomes. But if you have a Swedish driving license taken before 1996, you can also drive heavier motorhomes with your B driving license. Please note that all drivers who plan to drive the motorhome during the journey need a driving license with the correct authorization.
Total weight: The maximum total weight the vehicle is allowed to carry, full load including passengers.
Curb weight: The theoretical weight of the vehicle in running order, including the driver and some basic things such as fuel.
Load weight: The difference between the vehicle’s total weight and curb weight, i.e. what you can pack.
Driving license rules for motorhomes in Sweden
In Sweden, you can drive motorhomes with a total weight of no more than 3.5 tons with a B driving license. If you have obtained your driving license before 1996, you can also drive a heavier motorhome with your B driving license, provided that it is classified as Class II passenger car and not as a truck. Please note that the license may not have been revoked or invalid for any other reason after 1 July 1996. If you obtained the B driving license after 1996, you will need a C1 driving license for heavier motorhomes. With such driving license, you can drive a motorhome that weighs up to 7.5 tons.
I have a Swedish driving license from before 1996 – can I drive a heavy motorhome abroad?
The Swedish driving license rules is that those who have a B driving license from before 1996 can drive a heavy motorhome. In most other countries, a C1 driving license is normally required to drive a heavier motorhome. If you have a Swedish driving license from before 1996, and thus are allowed to drive heavier motorhomes according to Swedish rules, it may be possible to drive in another EU country with reference to the Swedish rules.
To prove that you have the right to drive the vehicle, you need to bring an equivalence table, which you download from the Swedish Transport Agency’s website. Please note that it is not certain that the police who stops you, immediately understands the meaning of the Swedish rules.
Driving license rules for motorhomes in Norway and Finland
In Norway and Finland, you can drive motorhomes with a maximum total weight of 3.5 tons with a B driving license. To drive a heavier motorhome, you need a C1 driving license. Then you can drive motorhomes with a weight up to 7.5 tons, and which are designed to take a maximum of eight passengers in addition to the driver.
Which caravan can I tow behind my car? What rules apply?
Which caravan you are allowed to tow behind your car depends on which driving license you have and on what your towing car weighs. Namely, it is the total weight of the towing car and the caravan together, that determines whether your B driving license is valid.
Driving license rules for caravans in Sweden, Norway and Finland
With a B driving license you can, in Sweden, Norway and Finland, tow a caravan with a total weight of no more than 750 kg, or a caravan that is heavier than that as long as the caravan and the car together do not weigh more than 3.5 tons. With an extended B driving license (B96), the total weight of the car and caravan can exceed 3.5 tons, but not 4.25 tons.
If you have a BE driving license, you can drive a car or light truck with a total weight of no more than 3.5 tons, and connect a caravan that can weight up to 3.5 tons. In Sweden, there is a transitional rule which means that if you obtained your BE driving license before 19 January 2013, you retain the right to connect a caravan without any limitation on the total weight.
Do you need a driving license with higher category?
Do you have a B driving license, but need a driving license with higher category? Here are some variants that may be relevant for you who want to be able to drive a heavier motorhome or tow a heavier caravan:
- B96 – Extended B license: Allows you to tow a caravan that weights more than 750 kg. The total weight of the car and caravan may be a maximum of 4.25 tons. Please note that ”B96” is an extended license that should not be confused with having obtained your B driving license before 1996.
- BE – Passenger car with heavy trailer: Provides the opportunity to drive a passenger car or light truck with total weight of 3.5 tons, with a caravan or trailer. The caravan must not weight more than 3.5 tons.
- C1 – Medium heavy truck: Provides the opportunity to drive cars and medium heavy trucks with a total weight of 7.5 tons. You can also tow a trailer up to 750 kg.
How to get a driving license with new category?
To obtain a new driving license category, you start by submitting an application for a learner’s permit. In Sweden, the application is sent to the Swedish Transport Agency, in Finland to Traficom and in Norway to the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. In order to obtain an approved learner’s permit, there are certain conditions, for example, that you do not have a medical condition that causes driving problems and that you do not have a history of alcohol or drug problems. When application is approved, you can practice driving at a traffic school or privately, and then take the test.
What is an international driving license and when is it needed?
An international driving license is a translation of your driving license, which can be good to bring as a complement to your real driving license if you drive your motorhome or caravan outside the EEA area. The international driving license is issued by various organizations, such as consumer organizations for motorists.
Things to think about driving licenses when you book a motorhome or caravan through Housecar.
You who book a motorhome, campervan or caravan via Housecar need to have the right driving license to drive the vehicle. This means that you need to have a driving license taken within the EEA or the United Kingdom, with the correct category. Note that it is not enough that your husband/wife/partner has the right driving license. Have you made the booking, even though it is another person who has the correct driving license? Contact customer service and you will get help to transfer the booking to the right person!