Vehicle category

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A vehicle category classifies a land vehicle for regulatory purposes.

UNECE categories[edit]

Information from Consolidated Resolution on the Construction of Vehicles (R.E.3),[1] Revision 2.[2]

Some categories has further sub classes. See Consolidated Resolution on the Construction of Vehicles (R.E.3)[2] for further information.

Vehicles in the table listed within parentheses are examples of the vehicle in that category, e.g. (Bus).

§ Category Description
2.1 L Motor vehicles with less than four wheels
2.1.1 L1 A two-wheeled vehicle with an engine cylinder capacity in the case of a thermic engine not exceeding 50 cm³ and whatever the means of propulsion a maximum design speed not exceeding 50 km/h.
2.1.2 L2 A three-wheeled vehicle of any wheel arrangement with an engine cylinder capacity in the case of a thermic engine not exceeding 50 cm³ and whatever the means of propulsion a maximum design speed not exceeding 50 km/h.
2.1.3 L3 A two-wheeled vehicle with an engine cylinder capacity in the case of a thermic engine exceeding 50 cm³ or whatever the means of propulsion a maximum design speed exceeding 50 km/h.
2.1.4 L4 A vehicle with three wheels asymmetrically arranged in relation to the longitudinal median plane with an engine cylinder capacity in the case of a thermic engine exceeding 50 cm³ or whatever the means of propulsion a maximum design speed exceeding 50 km/h (motor cycles with sidecars).
2.1.5 L5 A vehicle with three wheels symmetrically arranged in relation to the longitudinal median plane with an engine cylinder capacity in the case of a thermic engine exceeding 50 cm³ or whatever the means of propulsion a maximum design speed exceeding 50 km/h.
2.1.6 L6 A vehicle with four wheels whose unladen mass is not more than 350 kg, not including the mass of the batteries in case of electric vehicles, whose maximum design speed is not more than 45 km/h, and whose engine cylinder capacity does not exceed 50 cm³ for spark (positive) ignition engines, or whose maximum net power output does not exceed 4 kW in the case of other internal combustion engines, or whose maximum continuous rated power does not exceed 4 kW in the case of electric engines.
2.1.7 L7 A vehicle with four wheels, other than that classified for the category L6, whose unladen mass is not more than 400 kg (550 kg for vehicles intended for carrying goods), not including the mass of batteries in the case of electric vehicles and whose maximum continuous rated power does not exceed 15 kW.
2.2 M Power-driven vehicles having at least four wheels and used for the carriage of passengers
2.2.1 M1 Vehicles used for the carriage of passengers and comprising not more than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat. (Passenger car)
2.2.2 M2 Vehicles used for the carriage of passengers, comprising more than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat, and having a maximum mass not exceeding 5 tonnes. (Bus)
2.2.3 M3 Vehicles used for the carriage of passengers, comprising more than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat, and having a maximum mass exceeding 5 tonnes. (Bus)
2.3 N Power-driven vehicles having at least four wheels and used for the carriage of goods
2.3.1 N1 Vehicles used for the carriage of goods and having a maximum mass not exceeding 3.5 tonnes. (Pick-up Truck)
2.3.2 N2 Vehicles used for the carriage of goods and having a maximum mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 12 tonnes. (Commercial Truck)
2.3.3 N3 Vehicles used for the carriage of goods and having a maximum mass exceeding 12 tonnes. (Commercial Truck)
2.4 O Trailers (including semi–trailers)
2.4.1 O1 Trailers with a maximum mass not exceeding 0.75 tonnes.
2.4.2 O2 Trailers with a maximum mass exceeding 0.75 tonnes, but not exceeding 3.5 tonnes.
2.4.3 O3 Trailers with a maximum mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes, but not exceeding 10 tonnes.
2.4.4 O4 Trailers with a maximum mass exceeding 10 tonnes.
2.5 Special purpose vehicle[Cat 1]
2.5.1 Motor caravan,[Cat 2] also Campervan, Motorhome.
2.5.2 Armored car (VIP), Armored car (valuables)[Cat 3]
2.5.3 Ambulance[Cat 4]
2.5.4 Hearse[Cat 5]
2.6 T Agricultural and Forestry tractors[Cat 6]
2.7 Non-road mobile machinery[Cat 7]
2.8 G Off-road vehicles[Cat 8][Cat 9]
2.9.2 Special purpose vehicles (M1)
2.9.2.1 SA Motor caravan: see paragraph 2.5.1.
2.9.2.2 SA Armoured vehicle: see paragraph 2.5.2.
2.9.2.3 SA Ambulance: see paragraph 2.5.3.
2.9.2.4 SA Hearse: see paragraph 2.5.4.

Category Notes[edit]

  1. ^ A vehicle of category M, N or O for conveying passengers or goods and for performing a special function for which special body arrangements and/or equipment are necessary.
  2. ^ A special purpose M1 category vehicle constructed to include accommodation space.
  3. ^ Vehicle intended for the protection of conveyed passengers and/or goods and complying with armour plating anti-bullet requirements.
  4. ^ Motor vehicle of category M intended for the transport of sick or injured people and having special equipment for such purpose.
  5. ^ Motor vehicle intended for the transport of deceased people and having special equipment for such purpose.
  6. ^ A power-driven vehicle, either wheeled or track laying, which has at least two-axles, whose function depends essentially on its tractive power, and which is specially designed to pull, push, carry or actuate certain implements, machines or trailers intended for use in agriculture or forestry. Such a tractor may be arranged to carry a load (E.g.: Forwarder) and attendants.
  7. ^ Any mobile machine, transportable industrial equipment or vehicle with or without body work, not intended for the use of passenger- or goods-transport on the road, in which an internal combustion engine is installed.
  8. ^ Off-road vehicles are considered to be the vehicles of categories M and N.
  9. ^ Symbols M and N may be combined with symbol G. For example, a vehicle of category N1 which is suited for off-road use may be designated as N1G.

EU classification[edit]

See also: UNECE

In Europe, the classifications for vehicle category are defined by:[3]

  • Commission Directive 2001/116/EC of 20 December 2001, adapting to technical progress Council Directive 70/156/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the type-approval of motor vehicles and their trailers.[4]
  • Directive 2002/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 March 2002 relating to the type-approval of two- or three-wheeled motor vehicles and repealing Council Directive 92/61/EEC.[5][6]

The EU general classification of vehicle categories is:[7]

  • Motor vehicles with at least four wheels:
    • Category M: used for the carriage of passengers
      • Category M1: no more than eight seats in addition to the driver seat
      • more than eight seats in addition to the driver seat:
        • Category M2: having a maximum mass not exceeding 5 tonnes (11,000 lb)
        • Category M3: having a maximum mass exceeding 5 tonnes
    • Category N: used for the carriage of goods
      • Category N1: having a maximum mass not exceeding 3.5 tonnes (7,700 lb)
      • Category N2: having a maximum mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 12 tonnes (26,000 lb)
      • Category N3: having a maximum mass exceeding 12 tonnes
  • Category O: trailers (including semi-trailers)
    • Category O1: maximum mass not exceeding 0.75 tonnes (1,700 lb)
    • Category O2: exceeding 0.75 tonnes but not exceeding 3.5 tonnes (7,700 lb)
    • Category O3: exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 10 tonnes (22,000 lb)
    • Category O4: exceeding 10 tonnes
  • Symbol G: off-road vehicles
  • Special purpose vehicles

EU driving licenses[edit]

There are also a different category classification for driver licensing purposes.

The table below shows a translation of Vehicle categories to Driving Licence Categories indicating what vehicle class can be driven on which category of licence.

Vehicle Category European Driving Licence Notes
M1 B
M2 B, C1 For mass over 3.5 tonnes Cat C1 only.
M3 C, C1 For mass over 7.5 tonnes Cat C only.
N1 B
N2 C, C1 For mass between 7.5 and 12 tonnes Cat C only
N3 C
O1 B, C, C1, D, D1
O2 BE, CE, C1E, DE, D1E
O3 CE, C1E, DE, D1E
O4 CE, C1E

National classification of EU countries[edit]

Czech Republic[edit]

In the Czech Republic, land vehicle categories are defined by the act No. 56/2001 Sb. and the ordinance No. 341/2002 Sb. Categories M (including M1, M2, M3), N (including N1, N2, N3), of-road symbol G of M and N vehicles (M1G, M2G, M3G, N1G, N2G, N3G) and the category O (including O1, O2, O3 and O4) are defined according the EU directive. Moreover there are defined categories:

  • Category L: light motor vehicles
    • Category LM: bicycles with auxiliary motor (volume of cylinder not exceeding 50 ccm, design speed not exceeding 25 km/h)
    • Category LA: two-wheeled mopeds (generally, volume of cylinder not exceeding 50 ccm, design speed not exceeding 45 km/h)
    • Category LB: three-wheeled mopeds and light four-wheelers (generally, volume of cylinder not exceeding 50 ccm or motor power not exceeding 4 kW, design speed not exceeding 45 km/h, mass of empty vehicle not exceeding 350 kg)
    • Category LC: motorcycles (two-wheeled, with one or more parameters exceeding the LA category)
    • Category LD: motorcycles with sidecars (with one or more parameters exceeding the LB category)
    • Category LE: tricars and four-wheelers (with one or more parameters exceeding the LB category), four-wheelers of mass not exceeding 400 kg (or 550 kg in case of freight vehicle) motor power of four-wheeler not exceeding 15 kW
  • Category T: forestry and agricultural tractors
    • Category T1: standard tractors (a gauge exceeding 1150 mm, mass of empty vehicle exceeding 600 kg, ride height not exceeding 1000 mm
    • Category T2: mass of empty vehicle exceeding 600 kg, a gauge less than 1150 mm, ride height less than 600 mm
    • Category T3: vehicle mass less than 600 kg
    • Category T4.1: ride height more than 1000 mm
    • Category T4.2: extra wide tractors
    • Category OT1: tractor trailer, maximum mass not exceeding 1.5 tonnes
    • Category OT2: tractor trailer, maximum mass exceeding 1.5 tonnes but not exceeding 3.5 tonnes
    • Category OT3: tractor trailer, maximum mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 6 tonnes
    • Category OT4: tractor trailer, maximum mass exceeding 6 tonnes
  • Category S: movable industrial machines
    • Category SS: self-propelled industrial machines
    • Category SP: trailer industrial machines (SP1 up to 3 tonnes, SP2 up to 6 tonnes, SP3 over 6 tonnes)
    • Category SPT: tractor trailer industrial machines (SPT1, SPT2...)
  • Category R: other vehicles (contains human-powered and animal-powered vehicles like bicycles and carts, wheelchairs, motor vehicles without carriage body, caterpillar vehicles, one-axle tractors etc.)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Consolidated Resolution on the Construction of Vehicles (R.E.3)". 
  2. ^ a b "ECE/TRANS/WP.29/78/Rev.2: Consolidated Resolution on the Construction of Vehicles (R.E.3)". 
  3. ^ "Scadplus: Technical Harmonisation For Motor Vehicles". Europa.eu. Retrieved 2012-04-09. 
  4. ^ "EUR-Lex - 32001L0116 - EN". Eur-lex.europa.eu. Retrieved 2012-04-09. 
  5. ^ "Directive 2002/24/EC - Automotive - Enterprise and Industry". Ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 2012-04-09. 
  6. ^ "EUR-Lex - 32002L0024 - EN". Eur-lex.europa.eu. Retrieved 2012-04-09. 
  7. ^ "ACEA - European Automobile Manufacturers' Association". Acea.be. Retrieved 2012-04-09. 

External links[edit]

  • 49 C.F.R. 571.3, U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, Definitions