Full Driving Licence (Category B)

The Full Driving Licence (Category B) allows the holder to legally drive vehicles below 3.5 tonnes in the United Kingdom.

LICENCE Name

Full Driving Licence

AUTHORITY

DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency)

TIME TO GET LICENCED 3 months
COST £700+ (aprox.)
VALID FOR 10 years
ELIGIBILITY 17 years, pass Theory and Practical test
1 Apply for Provisional Licence
£43
2 Pass Theory Test
£23
3 Pass Practical Test
£62
Get Licenced

What is a Full Driving Licence?

full-driving-licence-sample-category-bThe Full Driving Licence enables individuals to drive regular passenger vehicles within Category B (i.e. vehicles below 3.5 tonnes). Having a Driving Licence is an important life skill which gives you the freedom to operate a vehicle when required. The Full Driving Licence is issued by DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) and is valid until you are 70 years old, although you are required to renew the photocard every 10 years. There are many jobs that require a Full Driving Licence such as Real Estate Agents and Delivery Drivers. 

Eligibility

To be eligible for a Full Driving Licence, you must be at least 17 years of age and have passed both the theory test and the practical test. You must also have no medical conditions that will affect your ability to drive safely. To learn more, please see guidance provided by the government. 

How to apply for a Full Driving Licence

Below are a few simple steps you need to follow to apply for your Full Driving Licence (Category B):

Provisional Licence

To begin the process, you must apply for your Provisional Licence by visiting here. It costs £43.

Theory Practice and Test

Next, you need to book and prepare for your Theory Test. This lasts for 90 minutes and has 2 sections. Click here to book. It costs £23. Make sure that you prepare by using practice material. You cannot take your Practical Test without passing the Theory Test.

Practical Practice and Test

Finally, book and pass your practical test! It costs £62. You will need about 45 hours of lessons with an instructor to pass.

Theory Test

You will need to pass the Driving Theory Test to obtain your Full Driving Licence. A Provisional Licence is required to book your Theory Test. The test lasts for under 90 minutes and has two parts: Hazard Perception and multiple choice. You can prepare using books, apps or websites online. You will receive your results on the day of the test. 

You can book your test here.

Please note

You need to pass the theory test before booking your Practical Driving Test. Your theory test result is only valid for 2 years!

Practical Test

Passing the Practical Driving Test is a key part of your Full Driving Licence. You are likely to spend the bulk of your time preparing for this assessment. 

To prepare for the Practical Test, you will need to take instructor led training lessons. Your instructor will teach you the basics of driving safely on the road, as well as how to control a vehicle.

Over time you will gain confidence and feel comfortable driving independently. You will rehearse the following key maneuvers: emergency stop, reverse around a corner, reverse parking and bay parking. Using diagrams and feedback, your instructor will prepare you for the test and ultimately help you acquire a full Driver’s Licence. The DVLA recommends 45 hours of practice before taking the test.

The Practical Driving Test lasts for 40 minutes and has 3 key parts: ‘show me, tell me’ (vehicle safety questions), independent driving and general driving. You will receive your results on the day of the test.

Manual vs Automatic Transmission

Depending on what you find easier, you can choose whether you wish to take a manual or automatic test. You can find an instructor suited to your choice. Note: the manual allows you to drive both types of vehicles, whereas the automatic only allows you to drive automatic cars. 

Theory Test

To take the Practical Test, you will need to have successfully passed your theory test. Please note, this is only valid for 2 years!

Full Driving Licence Cost

Obtaining your Full Driving Licence has many different costs. To begin, you will need to apply for your Provisional Licence. This costs £43. Next, you need to factor in assessment costs: Theory Test fee (£23) and Practical Test fee (£62).

The largest cost is training for your practical test. For this, you will need to hire a professional instructor. The costs can vary depending on the number of Driving Lessons you require and the qualifications of the instructor. The DVLA (licensing body) recommends 45 hours of practice with an instructor. 

FAQs

To acquire your Full Driving Licence, you are not required to take driving lessons. However, it is strongly recommended that you take driving lessons to prepare for the test, as this greatly improves your chances of passing.

Being an experienced driver does not guarantee good performance in the practical driving test. Sometimes being an experienced driver might mean you have picked up bad habits. We advise speaking to a driving instructor and asking them to assess you before booking your test.

You can book your Theory and Practical Driving Tests online. Follow this link.

Category B vehicles are under 3.5 tonnes and have a maximum of 8 passenger seats. Your typical passenger car will be a Category B vehicle. It is also the most common Licence type.  

The number of hours required can vary from driver to driver. The DVSA (the licensing authority) advises 45 hours, but this ultimately depends on you and your driving ability. Remember, you can also drive privately with friends and family, but make sure you are correctly insured!

A Full Driving Licence only has 2 tests, but the preparation period can take some time - even if you are a confident driver! It normally takes at least 3 months. This enures you have plenty of time to complete all the preparation material and necessary road experience.