From the type of car, you want to drive, you have to take the exam for a category of driving license. To enlighten you on this subject, we have written this article presenting the different categories of the Swiss driving license.
Swiss driving license for Motorcycles (Category A) (new rules from April 1, 2016).
If you want to be able to legally drive a large-displacement motorcycle, it is necessary to apply for a student driver's license for category A, so that you will be able to drive motorcycles with a power of at least 40kW and a power-to-curb weight ratio of more than 0.20kW/kg. To be able to drive this type of vehicle, you must be at least 25 years old. If you do not meet the condition, you will be limited to the vehicle with a maximum power of 35kW and a power-to-curb weight ratio not exceeding 0.16kW/kg. If you want to drive a motorcycle from the age of 16, you will need to apply for permit for subcategory A1. The vehicle cannot exceed 50cm3 and a power of 4kW. From 18 years old, the 50cm3 restriction will be removed and you will be able to drive vehicles not exceeding 125cm3 and with a maximum power of 11kW.
Swiss driving license for the car (Category B).
The second category of Swiss driving license is B. The Swiss driving license B will allow you to drive a motor car as well as a motor tricycle, the total weight of which does not exceed 3,500 kg and the number of seats does not exceed eight (excluding driver's seat). This category is broken down into three sub-categories called B, BE and B1. If you want to tow a trailer behind your vehicle, it must not exceed a total of 750kg or the vehicle plus trailer combination must not exceed 3,500kg. In this second case, the weight of the trailer must not be greater than the unladed weight of the vehicle towing it. If you want to tow a trailer and you do not meet these conditions, you will need to pass the Swiss BE driving license. Finally, to be able to drive a motor quadricycle or motor tricycle weighing no more than 550 kg, you will need to pass the Swiss driving license B1. The minimum age for taking the exam is 18 years old.
Swiss driving license for the transport of goods (Category C).
The third Swiss driving license category is C. If you want to be able to drive a motor vehicle with a total authorized weight greater than 3,500 kg, the corresponding Swiss driving license category is C. Swiss driving license category C, the minimum age required to take the exam is 18 years. This category is broken down into four sub-categories called C, CE, C1, C1E. For this, category B must be obtained beforehand. The Swiss driving license C also allows you to tow a trailer whose total weight does not exceed 750 kg. If you wish to tow a load of more than 750 kg, you must obtain the CE license having previously obtained category C. The C1 license category will allow you to drive a car whose total weight exceeds 3,500 kg without exceeding 7,500 kg. You can also tow a trailer whose total weight does not exceed 750 kg. Finally, the C1E category of the Swiss driving license will give you the opportunity to drive a category C1 vehicle and a trailer whose total weight may exceed 750 kg. Be careful, however, that the total weight of the set does not exceed 12,000 kg.
Swiss driving license for the transport of people (Category D).
The fourth category of the Swiss driving license concerns motor vehicles used for the transport of people and having more than eight seats. This category, D, gives you the option of towing a trailer whose total weight does not exceed 750 kg. The Swiss Category B driving license is required to obtain this license. The minimum age requirement for this set of categories is 21 years old. If you wish to tow a trailer whose total weight exceeds 750 kg, you will need to pass the DE category for this, and this after having obtained the D. In the particular case where you wish to drive a motor vehicle of the D category but this vehicle does not have more than sixteen seats (excluding the driver's seat), you can pass the D1 license. The prerequisite for obtaining this license is to have the B license. With this type of Swiss driving license, you will be able to tow a trailer not exceeding a total weight of 750 kg. If you want to be able to tow a total load of more than 750 kg, without however exceeding 12,000 kg for the whole weight of the convoy, you will need to obtain the D1E permit.
Swiss driving license for Other vehicles (Category G / M / F).
From the age of 14, it is possible to obtain a certain category of Swiss driving license G / M / F. The G license gives you the possibility of driving an agricultural motor vehicle or a work whose maximum speed does not exceed 30 km / H. If the speed of the vehicle exceeds this limit without exceeding 45 km / h, you will have to wait until your 16 years of age to be able to pass the F license. Other vehicles in this category require a minimum age of 18 years. The Swiss driving license M will allow you to drive mopeds. To obtain all of these driving license categories, it is compulsory to take first aid courses, unless you have already obtained a Swiss driving license of another category less than six years ago.