Can you drive a tank on public roads?

Tank driving experiences are all the rage these days amongst imaginative gift buyers or those looking for an unusual stag or hen weekend or corporate event. But how does it work if you just fancied hopping into your Chieftain and nipping around to the shops?

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If, for example, you live in the centre of Nottingham tank driving wouldn’t be the most usual means of picking up a pint of milk. But could you actually take to the road in a Challenger and trundle to the corner shop, if you wanted to?

The answer is yes, you could, but there are plenty of provisos. First of all, you would need to hold a special licence (category H). If you hold a normal car licence, you actually have your provisional licence to drive a tracked vehicle already. This means that if your tank only has a single seat, you could stick L plates on it and be on your way. If it has more than one seat, you’ll need a H license holder with you. Information about driving licence categories can be found at

Get on the road

Once you’re licensed, you’ll need a road registered tank to drive. It’s a lot easier to buy one already registered to avoid a minefield of legislation. Obviously, it’s much simpler to just book a tank driving experience, through companies like If you do want to own you own tank, the CVR Sabre and the FV432 Armoured Personnel Carrier are surprisingly easy to find.

Best of all, most of the ex-military tanks you’re likely to find are quite old, meaning that you won’t have to have an MoT. Some of them are even road tax exempt. You also won’t have to pay the congestion charge, if you take to the streets of central London in a tank.

Insuring your tank

You might think that insuring a tank is going to be expensive, but it can actually be very reasonable. An annual policy might cost around £200. You might also be surprised at how low the price for buying a tank can be. A working FV432, for example, might only set you back £4,000. The running costs may not be as affordable, however, given that the fuel tank could hold 400 litres.