Go Karting

Congratulations on taking your first steps into Motorsport UK permitted kart racing

Motorsport is one of the most exciting, diverse and enjoyable sporting activities on the planet. You are one step closer to joining an exclusive community of 45,000 competitors who hold a Motorsport UK competition licence.


The beauty of this sport is that it offers something for everyone. Very few activities allow men and women to compete against each other on a level playing field, regardless of their age, background and physical abilities. The sport itself is as diverse as its competitors; there are many types of motorsport, all with two things in common: four wheels and an engine. More information on these different ‘disciplines’ can be found later on in this booklet.


You are also joining a sport that is rich in history. The world’s oldest venue still in use, Shelsley Walsh in Worcestershire, ran its first events way back in 1905, and the first ever purpose-built venue, Brooklands in Surrey, opened in 1907. As this suggests, the UK is widely considered not just to be the world leader in the sport but also its spiritual home. This extends all the way up to Formula 1; Silverstone hosted the first world championship grand prix in 1950, and since then the UK has produced a record ten F1 champions – over three times more than the next most prolific nations, Brazil, Finland and Germany, which have each had three.


Furthermore, more British drivers have won the 24 Hours of Le Mans than those of any other nation, including France, and over the decades we have also celebrated world champions in sportscars, touring cars, endurance racing, rallying and more. However, the vast majority of competitors are not looking to become professionals. Most are amateur drivers with modest budgets who are just getting out there every weekend to have fun on four wheels.


In the UK around 5,000 events take place every year, from national down to club levels, organised by the 720 motor clubs that bring an estimated 100,000 like-minded enthusiasts together all over the country. The British motorsport industry is also a thriving hub; most of the F1 teams are based in the UK, along with many of the leading race and rally outfits. There are a further 4,300 companies in the industry – mainly clustered around the Silverstone area in a region commonly referred to as Motorsport Valley –employing around 41,000 people.


So, by joining the ranks of UK competitors you are becoming part of an incredible success story, not to mention a thrilling sport that will deliver motorised pleasure for many years to come.


So, what next?


  1. Read up and watch the film


Follow the links below to view our online guides which cover the basics of what you will need to know to obtain your first competition licence.


The Motorsport UK Yearbook, commonly known as the Blue Book, details all the regulations governing the sport to ensure safety and fair play. Please familiarise yourself with its contents; the greater your knowledge of the regulations, the more you will be able to enjoy the sport.



      2. Choose your ARKS school or Club Examiner and book your test


In order to gain your kart race competition licence, you need to attend a course, which are run by members of the Association of Racing Kart Schools (ARKS) and Motorsport UK registered Kart Clubs. At the end of the course there will be a test which you need to pass.


      3. Vision test and medical report requirements


For short circuit karting, a vision test or medical is not required regardless of the applicant’s age. For Long Circuit karting (Superkarts), applicants aged 16 to 59 will need to have a vision test before applying for their licence, which are easily available from an optician.


If you are aged 60 and above, a doctor’s medical report (including a vision test) is required. Bear in mind that your application for a competition licence must be submitted within three months of your vision test or medical.


     4. Complete and return the licence application form


An application form for a competition licence is provided in your starter pack. Fill in all the relevant sections.


For Long Circuit licence applications only, ensure that an optician has completed section 4A, or if appropriate, a doctor has completed sections 4A and 4B. Tick to show that you want a Kart Inter Club licence. Once completed, post the form back to the Motorsport UK Membership Services Team in the envelope provided.


We will normally process this in three working days, meaning you should receive your licence within a week, but we advise that you make you application as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the week before your first event!


    5. Get your licence


Once you hold a Motorsport UK competition licence, you are eligible to compete in the relevant Inter Club level events or championships of your choice. As you gain experience you will acquire upgrade signatures that will allow you to apply for a Kart National licence, opening up more events and championships to you. Further information on licence upgrades can be found in section H of the Blue Book.



Our Membership Team are on hand if you have any questions about any of the above steps. Just give us a call on 01753 765000 and we can talk you through it.



Watch the video

Karting Yearbook




Good luck!