The EU Driver’s Licence directives are of central importance, not only to the German but also the entire European caravanning industry. While Class 3 driver’s licences obtained in Germany before 1999 are protected and thereby authorise holders of such licences to drive vehicles of up to 7.5 t and trailer combinations of up to 18.75 t, the Class B driver’s licence issued since 1999 is much more restricted. Cars or motor caravans, as well as car/trailer combinations, are limited to a total weight of 3.5 t.
In 2011, 80.9 percent of motor caravans registered in Germany could be driven with a Class B driver’s licence. In the case of car/trailer combinations, the Class B driver’s licence led to a more dramatic situation despite manufacturers’ consistent focus on light construction initiatives. Based on information compiled by the CIVD, only 36 percent of the current car-caravan combinations can be used with a Class B driver’s licence.
“B Class driver’s licence with the key number 96” [in short: B 96], which authorises holders to operate heavy combinations of up to a total weight of 4.25 t, will have to be obtained in line with a driver training course. This training may be designed as group training with up to eight participants, conducted on non-public grounds. It will be possible to acquire the B 96 from 19 January 2013.