Nearing 70 years old ? – UK driving licence regulations ( current at March 2013 )

UK DRIVING LICENCE RENEWAL  ( Correct at March 2013 )

 The BODA membership list does not show the ages of the individual members. However, I surveyed a sea of youthful faces in front of me as I gave the FBHVC report to the BODA AGM in October last year. If the attendees at the AGM were representative of the membership as a whole we are indeed a youthful club. Nevertheless, there may be just one or two UK members reading this article who may have an interest in the following. The FBHVC gives guidance on UK driving licence renewal at age 70 years.

What happens to my driving entitlements when I reach 70?

At age 70, driving licences expire and must be renewed every three years thereafter. From 1998, new drivers have been required to pass additional tests for categories B+E, C1, C1+E, D1 and D1+E but existing holders of a general car licence at that date were effectively given ‘grandfather’ rights to the new categories until renewal. These ‘grandfather’ rights, however, are not renewed automatically, so if you wish to retain them after 70, you must ask to do so and will need to provide a medical certificate with the renewal request. (A medical certificate is not required for categories B + E alone).

The new categories mentioned are as follows :


Motor cars and light vans up to 3500kg maximum authorised mass   (MAM) with no more than eight passenger seats. Also allowed to tow a trailer   up to 750kg gross provided the total MAM of vehicle and trailer does not   exceed 3500kg.

B auto

As B, but limited to vehicles with automatic transmission


As B, but with a larger trailer than allowed under B. MAM of   trailer must not exceed unladen weight of towing vehicle and total MAM of   vehicle and trailer may not exceed 3500kg.


Medium sized vehicles between 3500 and 7500kg MAM with no more   than eight passenger seats. Also allowed to tow a trailer up to 750kg gross.


As C1, but with a larger trailer, up to total 12000 kg MAM. MAM   of trailer must not exceed unladen weight of towing vehicle.


Mini buses with minimum of 9 and maximum 16 passenger seats.   Also allowed to tow a trailer up to 750kg gross.

D1 + E

As D1, but with a larger trailer, up to total 12000 kg MAM. MAM   of trailer must not exceed unladen weight of towing vehicle.

( MAM = Maximum Authorised Mass )                                                         

 I have recently replaced my licence and find some of my previous entitlements have been lost: why – and what can I do about it?

In some cases, previously held entitlements have been dropped either when renewing at age 70 (see previous question) or when notifying a change of address. In other cases, the loss of entitlement is usually related to motorcycles and almost invariably results from the holder failing to submit their pass certificate within the relevant time period. At one time, this had to be done within 10 years of the test pass but this generous period of grace was subsequently reduced first to three years and is now two years. If an applicant can provide an old licence showing that an entitlement was valid and properly notified, DVLA will reinstate it. Otherwise, there is no option but to submit to a new test.

BOC members may therefore benefit from the knowledge that some categories of the licence have to be requested upon renewal – or they will be lost.

Whilst on the subject of licencing entitlements, I wondered which types of vehicles I can legally drive on UK roads with my category B  UK driving licence. The FBHVC provides the following answer:     ( For the record, I also have a category A entitlement (unlimited motorcycle) – although my Triumph Bonneville and Norton Commando days are long gone ).

What kind of large (or unusual) vehicles can I drive on a normal car licence?

At the present time, the holder of a full category B licence may drive the following vehicles without seeking further qualification:

Steam vehicles; goods vehicles made before 1960 used unladen; buses or coaches over 30 years old carrying no more than 8 passengers; road construction machinery, digging machines & engineering plant; works trucks; tractors & agricultural vehicles; certain breakdown vehicles.

Dave Dale.   BODA representative to the FBHVC.   1st. March 2013

The material for this article has mainly been gleaned from FBHVC

publications and kindly allowed to be reproduced here by the FBHVC.


National Car Show 2012

This was the first year that BODA had a stand at the Classic Car Show at the NEC.  We were partnered with the BOC on adjacant stands so there was a great gathering of Bristols for the public to feast their eyes on.  Kevin Fee brought his 401 down from Newcastle, Cyril Millward brought his 405 from ‘distant’ Solihull and the team from Brabazon brought the Sir George White 410 from Bristol.


This gave a great spread of cars which really did justice to the mark.  We were supported by Bob Bradbury from Saxon Design who provided the backdrop which did rather raise the whole tone of the stand.  If anyone needs a great exhibition display, do think of Bob and his team.  The stand was supported each day by a wide range of members coming from all parts of the UK.  We were all kept very busy informing people of the real joy of Bristol ownership.

During the 3 days, a number of new members joined the Association, including a new member from Austria and Hungary who has a number of later Bristols.  He had some interesting tales of the period of change in Hungary and the value of having a Bristol,  while the Mercedes and Audis were being stolen within week of arrival, no-one bothered with his Bristols.

Thanks to contacts with a number of other clubs, we were able to source some rare light units for the early  cars while also finding sources of remanufactured light units which also fit some of the V8′s.  We were also able to display some of the parts which we can supply including gaskets, oil pumps, exhaust nuts, throttle linkage plates, door handles among other parts.


We hope to repeat the exercise in 2013, so put the date in your diary and think about coming to help on the stand, all enthusiasts are wlcome.