Driving license: New Commission proposal

The EU Commission has published its proposal for the 4th driving license directive. Its proposals also affect the caravanning industry.

On March 1, 2023, the EU Commission published its proposal for the 4th Driving License Directive. Among other things, the draft includes fundamental changes for the B driving license and the applicable weight limits.
The EU Driving License Directive provides the common legal framework for the recognition and issuance of driving licenses in the EU. It plays a decisive role in improving road safety and facilitating the free movement of citizens within the EU.

The draft of the new driving licence directive of the EU Commission for downloading

Download the new draft of the driving licence directive as a PDF now.
With regard to the extension of the B driving license from 3.5 t to 4.25 t, which is important for the caravanning industry, the following applies:

1. The Commission proposes the expansion for vehicles that have alternative drives. The B driving license extended to 4.25 t is to be linked to two years of previous possession of the B driving license. A trailer may then no longer be towed. In the motor caravan sector, there are currently only very few van-based vehicles that have such an alternative drive system. It will be several years before chassis manufacturers can supply suitable base vehicles with alternative drives for the broad mass of motor caravans. From the point of view of the caravanning industry, urgent attention must be paid to the existing fleet and the extension to 4.25t must be possible for all vehicles.

2. Germany, France, Bulgaria and Finland support the extension of the B license to 4.25 t across all vehicle types. The Netherlands supports the extension to 4.25 t specifically for motor caravans and for electric vehicles.

3. The Commission sees an environmental benefit from the link to alternatively powered vehicles. Furthermore, it has been argued by stakeholders (including Member States not mentioned) that increasing the B license by 750 kg to 4.25 t will increase the risk of accidents and that negative effects on road safety could follow.

• The investigations of the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) on the accident behavior of motor caravans ( now 2 investigations, from 2000 to 2010 and 2010 to 2020) have repeatedly emphasized that accidents with motor caravans do not represent an urgent problem area of road safety, both when considering the absolute number of accidents and when considering the mileage-related accident risk. An examination of the international accident occurrence (based on a smaller database) of motor caravans also shows a similar picture to that in Germany: despite a sharp increase in numbers in some cases, the accident frequency remains unchanged.

You can download the current study by the Federal Highway Research Institute here:

Download the current BASt study as PDF now.
4. What are the next steps?
First, the draft goes to the European Parliament for a first reading and to the Council. If the positions are not far apart, the conclusion of the legislative process as announced by the Commission is possible in 2023. It is not yet clear when the new legislation will come into force: Implementation as of 2025 is possible. However, a gradual implementation is also possible in theory.

5. The European umbrella association of the national caravanning associations, the European Caravan Federation (ECF), will coordinate the representation of interests in Brussels.

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