A new driving licence model was introduced across Europe earlier this year, to guarantee freedom of movement for EU motorists and more importantly, to help reduce fraudulent activity.
The new credit card style licence will replace more than 110 different variants currently in circulation. It will establish standardised rules on the design of the licence, medical examination requirements and will lease the period for which it is valid.
The license will be in a different format to older styles. The expiry date will be shown on the front, with all vehicle categories listed on the back, with dates to show the driver’s entitlement. All new licences will be issued in this format, with existing ones being replaced at the time of renewal or, at the very latest, by 2033.
To harmonise all the licences, there are a number of changes to the rules in Great Britain; these include new towing rules for both cars and small vehicles. They stipulate that drivers with category B licences issued after 19th January 2013 will only be able to tow small trailers, weighing no more than 750kg, or heavier ones where the combined weight of the towing vehicle and trailer is no more than 3,500kg. In order to exceed the 3,500kg limit the driver must pass a mandatory test and get B+E entitlement on their licence.
There are also changes to bus and lorry driver requirements. As well as a new minimum age of 24 to drive a bus, unless holding a Certificate of Professional Competence, driving licences issued to drivers of medium and large lorries, minibuses, buses and coaches will be valid for a maximum of five years.
Bus and lorry drivers will also need to sign a medical declaration to renew their licence, with those aged over 45, requiring to submit a medical examination report, proving that they meet the required standards. These changes came into effect for new drivers passing their test after 19th January 2013, with existing drivers, who typically hold a 10-year licence, coming under the new rules at the earlier of licence or lorry/bus entitlement renewal.
For more information on how this may affect your fleet policy, or for any other motor insurance related enquiries, please call our experienced team of advisors, on 03330 112288.