Posted on 22nd December 2014 By Charlotte McGhie



There are lots of things that you have to consider when you are transporting your horses. Braking and taking corners can be a little more tricky and so it requires a lot more forward planning and then there is making sure that your horses are comfortable for the duration of your journey to name just a few.

During this blog we will look at all there is to know about the types of licence you need for each type of horsebox. There is also the Drivers CPC to consider and whether you need an Operators Licence’s.

The first thing to look at when deciding what licence to get is the size of your horsebox. When we talk about the size what we actually mean is the weight restriction and that is based on the maximum authorised mass or MAM. This is the weight of the unladen vehicle plus the weight it can carry. It is this that will determine what licence that you need to have in order to drive the vehicle in question.


  • Category B – This is the licence that you need to obtain to drive a car and will cover you to drive any vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes MAM.


  • Category C1 – If you passed your car test (Category B) before 1st January 1997 you will automatically have this C1 category on your licence and it allows you to drive any vehicle between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes. If you passed your car test after January 1st 1997, you can do a Category C1 course to obtain the licence. Bear in mind that you will need to do Theory tests as well as practical training and a test. If you later want to go on to drive a larger vehicle you will need to re-take those theory tests and re-train as well as re-take another practical test. It is worth considering going straight to a Category C licence instead.



  • Category C – We have 4-5 day courses available. To take this course you must already have the Category B licence entitlement. With this training course we will provide;
  • A Training Operations Assistant who will guide you through the whole course process from start to finish. They will be on hand just a phone call away to answer any questions that you have and to make sure you know exactly what happens each step of the way
  • Online revision material to make sure you have all the information you need to go on to do your Theory Tests. You Training Operations Assistant will set this up for you and there are mock tests included to help you know when you are ready to sit the tests.
  • We book your Theory Tests and send you all the information of where to be and when to be there as well as what you need to take with you which takes some of the added pressure away from you.
  • Full driver training for 4-5 days is then provided at either our Hook or Chobham training yard. We have the Category C vehicles that you can train in or if you have your own vehicle we can also train you in that!
  • Practical test. We book you practical test and take you over to the test centre after doing some training on the day. Once you have passed you will be able to drive any vehicle over 3.5 tonnes with a trailer weighing up to 750kg


  • Category C+E – We have 4-5 day courses available. To take this course you must already have the Category C licence entitlement so if you do not have that already we can provide you with a back to back course so that you can do one straight after the other. With this training course we provide full driver training for 4-5 days including your practical test. Once you have passed you will be able to drive any vehicle over 3.5 tonnes and with a trailer weighing over 750kg.






You can buy horseboxes in different sizes from 3.5 tonnes, 7.5 tonnes to a HGV horsebox. When deciding which licence to apply for and which driving course to take, it is worth considering your future in transporting horses. For example, if you have a 7.5 tonne horsebox which is fine for now but you are considering upgrading at a later date it would be worth going straight in with the Category C licence to save you time and money.



The Drivers CPC is a government legislation that was bought in to affect in 2009. It is designed to help drivers to continue being safe on the roads after passing there tests and for the duration of their driving.

If you are under 21 or if you passed your Car Test AFTER January 1st 1997 and so do not have grandfather rights on your licence, i.e. if you did not automatically get a C1 licence when you passed your car test, you will need to complete the Initial CPC Requirement. As well as this, all drivers who will be using their Category C1 or higher licence for financial gain will need to complete 35 hours of CPC Periodic Classroom training that is JAUPT approved every 5 years.



The Initial CPC is a requirement that all new drivers need. You are classed as a new driver if you are under 21 or if you passed your car test AFTER January 1997. If you are under 21 there is no exception to this and you will need to complete the course before you can use your C1 or above licence.

There are exceptions if you are over 21 for example;

  • The driver is using the vehicle for purposes controlled by the armed forces, civil defence, fire services or any force responsible for maintaining public order.
  • The vehicle is used to carry equipment needed for work as long as driving the truck is not the sole or main job of the individual.
  • The vehicle is used for non-commercial use and solely used for carrying goods for personal use unless the driver is under 21 years old in which case they are not exempt in this instance.
  • The vehicle is used for the purposes of driving lessons to obtain a licence or CPC
  • The vehicle has a maximum authorised speed of no more than 28 MPH.


Sarah is 27 years old but she didn’t pass her car test until 20th July 2002. Sarah is only using her Category C licence to transport her horses to be groomed and to other fields to ride so she will not be getting paid. Because of these factors Sarah will not need the Drivers CPC.

Sarah then begins to enter her horse into competitions and is hoping to get sponsored. When she gets sponsored she will be classed as using her licence for financial gain. To do this she will need to complete the Initial CPC Requirement as she passed her car test after 1st January 1997. Once she has completed the Initial CPC she then has 5 years to complete 35 hours CPC JAUPT approved training which she will need to then so every 5 years.


The Initial CPC is made up of 2 parts. Module 2 which is a Theory Test and Module 4 which is a Practical Test.

The Module 2 CPC Theory Test

The Module 2 Theory Test will need to be taken at a DSA Theory Test Centre on a computer. You will need to take with you both parts of your driving licence, card and counterpart. The test takes approximately 1.5 hours and consists of seven case studies for you to look at and then to answer six to eight questions on each case study. The questions as a whole are concentrating on vehicle and driver safety and include questions that focus on the following;

  • Fuel Consumption
  • Vehicle Loading Safety Rules
  • Social Environment of Road Transport
  • Regulations Governing Carriage of Goods
  • Risks of the Road and Accidents at Work
  • Importance of Physical and Mental Ability
  • Ability to Assess Emergency Situations
  • Adopting Behaviour to Enhance Company Image
  • Environment and Organisation of Road Haulage



We will set you up with access to an online revision website and you will have a unique log-in which allows you to revise each section as listed above and to then keep up to date with your revision progress. You will also be able to complete mock tests so that you are familiar with the types of case studies you will be asked to look at and also the types of questions you will need to answer.

Once you have gained confidence and you are passing the mock tests online, you can give us a call on the Training Operations number: 01276 536356 so that we can book you in for your Module 2 Theory Test at your local DSA test centre.


The Module Practical Test will need to be completed at a DSA Test Centre and takes approximately half an hour. It involves a “show me, tell me” walk around of the vehicle where you will be asked questions from 5 topic areas by the examiner. You will need to show a good level of knowledge, understanding and ability in these areas;

  • ability to load the vehicle, paying attention to safety rules and using the vehicle properly
  • security of the vehicle and its contents
  • ability to prevent criminality and trafficking in illegal immigrants – for example, what you should do if you have returned to the vehicle after taking a comfort break on a ferry or at a border crossing
  • ability to assess emergency situations
  • ability to prevent physical risk
  • ability to complete a physical, walk round vehicle safety check

You will need to achieve 15 out of a possible 20 points in each of the 5 topic areas and a total of 80% over all to pass.




When you have passed your Module 2 Theory test we will provide you with a training course to prepare you for the Module 4 Practical exam. This will be at one of our training locations with one of our dedicated instructors. The training will last approximately 2 hours and will guide you through all of the topic areas that you will need to demonstrate your knowledge in. You will have the opportunity during your training to ask any questions regarding the Module 4 Test that you are unsure of so that you can attend your test with complete confidence.


On the day of your test you will meet your instructor at the Guildford Test Centre who will have the vehicle you will use. You will need to take with you your driving licence card and counterpart as well as your Module 2 Certificate. The examiner will then ask you to lead them to your vehicle where the test will begin.


Once you have completed the Initial CPC Qualification and have completed your Category C training course, you will receive a Drivers Qualification Card (DQC). This will mean you can start using your licence for financial gain whether that be transporting horses for a living or being sponsored at shows and races! There will be an expiry date on the card which will be 5 years from the date you completed the above. Before this date you will need to complete 35 hours CPC Periodic Training to gain a Drivers Qualification Card for a further 5 years.

Surrey and Hampshire HGV Training is also a fantastic place for renewing your HGV licence



The periodic training is classroom based and does not include a test so you cannot pass or fail. It is purely attendance based. The classroom training can cover a number of modules and will count towards your 35 hours as long as they are approved by the Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training (JAUPT).




Our Periodic Training courses are held in our dedicated classroom at our Chobham location.


On the morning of your training you will need to arrive in plenty time for registration and with your driving licence card and counterpart.

The driving licence you present must be the original, not copies and in date. If you only have an old style paper licence you must also bring your passport as photographic identification which also must be in date. If you have completed the Initial CPC Requirement you must also bring with you your Drivers Qualification Card (DQC). If you are required to complete the Initial CPC and you have not yet done so, you may still sit the course for knowledge but it will not count towards any of your CPC Periodic Training hours. In this instance we will always recommend completing your Initial CPC first.


The training will consist of PowerPoint presentations, videos, demonstrations and discussions. Your trainer will also test your knowledge with a quiz or two but remember you cannot pass or fail so this is purely to aid your learning experience.


We pride ourselves on our training courses being as fun and interactive as possible as we appreciate that not everyone will be thrilled at the idea of attending a compulsory classroom course especially if you have been driving for many years!


There will be refreshments provided in our break out area with a number of breaks throughout the day so that you are not bombarded with facts and have time to take it all in.




If you have any questions about what licence you need for your horsebox or if you’re not sure whether you need the Drivers CPC then why not give us a call on: 01276 537400

You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Get an instant quote

Trust us for local, affordable HGV training.

    Your Name

    Tel. Number

    Your Email

    Post Code

    Yes I consent to my data being stored for the purposes of this enquiry and marketing, in line with our Privacy Policy.