If you’re looking for a new profession and an HGV career is catching your eye, then you’re most likely interested in the potential earnings you can make.

Our experts, with many years in the industry, have produced a helpful guide explaining the ins and outs of everything you need to know about HGV driver earnings.

Keep reading to find out just how profitable the wonderful world of professional driving is!

HGV driver salary explained - HGV Training Network

What is the average HGV driver’s salary?

In the UK, HGV drivers can expect to earn an average salary of £30,000, which works out to around a handsome £15.47 per hour – but, this differs between regions and companies.

Not bad for a job that offers super-high job satisfaction and plenty of travel opportunities for you to enjoy, right?

What’s more, this figure doesn’t include potential benefits, such as health insurance, or bonuses from generous employers who always look to reward staff for high work performance.

Do HGV driver earnings rise in line with inflation?

As discussed, driver earnings vary depending on the employer, however, trans.info reports that some drivers working for major companies such as Heinz have experienced pay rises in recent months. 

Given the demand for drivers, employers are having to keep up with rising inflation to ensure their HGV operators can live comfortably and prevent strikes.

HGV driver salary explained - HGV Training Network

Other high-paying HGV driver locations

There are several other great paying HGV driver locations across Britain, including:

  • The West Midlands
  • Yorkshire
  • The North East
  • Scotland

How much can HGV drivers earn?

Ultimately, the amount an HGV driver can earn is subject to several factors like location and hours worked – it’s also important to remember that salaries aren’t standard across the board.

Firstly, as mentioned earlier, location plays a role in how much money you can expect to make per year. Like most jobs, London wages are often the highest, however, this is often concerning the high cost of living there compared to other parts of the UK.

Secondly, if you have a full-time job, you will typically receive more money than a part-time driver working fewer hours. 40-45 hours per is the standard for a full-time HGV driver position, so annual salaries are usually based on this.

Lastly, the type of HGV you drive will also determine how much you can earn, which we’ll explore more in the following section.

HGV driver salary explained - HGV Training Network

Which HGV drivers make the most money?

1. ADR vehicle drivers

At the top end of the scale and making the most money are ADR drivers – this type of HGV driver is responsible for transporting tankards across the UK that contain dangerous and toxic substances, such as fuel.

These driver jobs can earn beyond £45,000, depending on your experience, location and employer.

To become an ADR driver, you must earn an ADR Training Certificate to show you know how to handle the transportation and distribution of flammable and corrosive substances.

2. Class 1 HGV drivers (Category C+E)

A driver of an articulated vehicle weighing between 7.5 tonnes and 44 tonnes can earn a similar mouthwatering salary, sometimes beyond £40,000 for specialist long-haul roles.

These vehicles are the long HGVs you come across on the motorway that have long detachable trailers.

Those driving Class 1 HGV vehicles are usually employed by distribution companies, such as Royal Mail, or manufacturers and retailers as part of their supply and logistics chain.

3. Class 2 HGV drivers (Category C)

Perfect for new drivers entering the industry, those qualified to drive rigid HGVs can earn a sizeable wage up to £40,000 for a 45-hour driving week.

This type of lorry weighs over 7.5 tonnes, without exceeding 32 tonnes – jobs that involve driving category C vehicles include delivering goods from supplier to client, such as warehouses to stores or hospitals.

4. 7.5 Ton – (Category C1)

Also known as a final mile heavy goods vehicle, a category C1 truck is one weighing up to 7.5 tonnes – jobs that involve driving these smaller lorries can expect salaries up to a delightful £30,000.

As usual, when it comes to HGV driving, your wage will depend on the hours you work per week, your location and the company you work for.

As a Category C1 driver, you can apply for jobs including delivering food orders from supermarkets to customers, or furniture removals if you’d prefer.

HGV driver salary explained - HGV Training Network

Where pays the most for HGV training?

Certain regions across the UK pay more than others for HGV drivers and their skill sets – this may be due to HGV drivers being scarce in the area, and where there’s high demand, there are higher wages.
Or it can result from a greater need for lorry drivers in the region due to more industry or logistics chains in the area.

According to NimbleFins, the place that offers the highest HGV driver salaries is the East Midlands, which pays £30,496 on average – this figure takes into account the cost of living in the region too, otherwise, London would take the top spot at £31,110.

Do HGV drivers earn more in major cities?

Typically, HGV drivers in big cities have higher incomes than those in other parts of the nation, but this is usually to meet the high costs of city living.

But it’s regions with a better cost of living ratio (the greater the better) that enable you to bring more disposable income home, as you don’t pay as much for necessities and housing costs.

Such regions include the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire and the North East, as mentioned earlier.

HGV driver salary - HGV Training Network

What expenses are covered when working away?

Drivers who work long days away or overnight typically have their out-of-pocket expenses reimbursed by their employer if the costs meet a set allowance. 

Such costs include meal allowances and overnight stay fees.
According to GOV.UK, if you sleep in your sleeper cab, you can usually claim up to £26.20 per night. If you stay in a hotel, you can claim up to £34.90 per night – however, these totals also cover the cost of food.

Day shift vs night vs weekend

Night and weekend driving hours tend to pay more as they’re classed as unsociable hours – but this could vary between companies.

So, it’s best to check with your potential employer if pay will increase during these hours.

Start your rewarding driving career today with HGV Training Network

Are high wages and the chance to travel simply too good to resist? To enter the fulfilling industry of supply and logistics, you’ll need to embark on a professional HGV training course to become a fully qualified HGV driver.

Our seasoned instructors have helped hundreds of people earn their HGV licence and kickstart their HGV driving careers. Plus, with over 50 modern HGV driving training centres across the UK, you’re sure to find a facility near you!

To begin your professional driving journey or to simply speak to one of our friendly team, call us on 0800 254 5007 or fill in our enquiry form and we’ll get back to you.