Any professional job requires a person to be fit and in good health – and HGV drivers are no different.
As such, to qualify as a professional HGV driver, you must first undergo a detailed medical examination.
But why do drivers need an HGV medical test and what does it involve? Read on to find out everything you need to know!

What do you need to know about the HGV medical test?
While the name ‘medical test’ can invoke feelings of worry for some, the whole process is very simple. It’s conducted by doctors and other medical professionals and is used to improve safety on UK roads.

What do you need to know about the HGV medical test?

While the name ‘medical test’ can invoke feelings of worry for some, the whole process is very simple. It’s conducted by doctors and other medical professionals and is used to improve safety on UK roads.

HGV medical - HGV Training Network

What an HGV medical involves

Before undertaking specific training and acquiring the desired HGV licence, the UK government requires all HGV drivers to take a detailed medical test at an approved medical clinic. 

After the test, once the physician has given you the all-clear and signed the forms to tell the DVLA, drivers will then be considered safe to go onto the road and can start their journey to qualification. 

But what will your appointment look like? 

You will arrive at your pre-booked appointment with a doctor, taking a D4 medical form, photographic identification, and a recent prescription for glasses (if applicable).

During your appointment, your medical professionals will then test the driver for several medical conditions, all of which can affect your ability to drive.  

  1. The first part of the exam comprises of a discussion between the doctor and the candidate in which their medical history and any past illnesses that could hinder a driver’s ability to work safely, are discussed. 
  2. In the second part, the actual medical examination is performed to check for specific illnesses. The doctor will discuss many conditions with you in the strictest of confidence, including:
  • Neurological and psychiatric conditions or illnesses, such as blackouts, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and strokes. 
  • If you have had brain surgeries. 
  • You will also discuss your mental health and addiction issues, including drugs or alcohol.
  • General health concerns, such as diabetes, heart conditions, and any sleep disorders that might prove to be dangerous on the road.

The last phase of the appointment includes checking your eyesight – which is why you need to bring your glasses prescription if you wear glasses or contact lenses. 

All HGV drivers must meet the eyesight requirements set by the DVLA, so you may need to read letters or numbers from a chart and have your eyes examined to prove your capability. 

No matter the results of the HGV medical examination, the doctor will then fill out the D4 form, which is then submitted to the DVLA. 

HGV medical - HGV Training Network

How long does an HGV medical last?

The entire HGV medical examination shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes and could be completed quicker if you are free from health or medical concerns and don’t wear glasses. 

How often do you need an HGV medical?

HGV medical checks will need to be completed by all prospective HGV drivers before they can begin their training – irrespective of their age. 

If they pass, these drivers will then not need to take a further HGV medical test again unless their health deteriorates, or they reach the age of 45. 

After your 45th birthday, you will need to pass the HGV medical assessment every 5 years until the age of 65, when the frequency of this medical assessment increases to once per year. 

This ensures that, as you age and your health needs change, you are still safe on the roads and will not be a hazard on the road – to yourself or others. 

How much does an HGV medical cost? 

The DVLA doesn’t have a set fee for carrying out an HGV medical test and the cost is usually set by individual doctor’s surgeries. 

Some surgeries do not charge a fee, but most will likely ask you to pay for an extended appointment time – which means you are essentially just paying for the doctor’s time.

Most appointments can vary between £49.99 – £80.00 plus VAT, but the exact cost of your HGV medical assessment will change depending on which medical practitioner you go to see. 

Where to get an HGV medical? 

There are many possible providers for HGV medical assessments, some of whom specialise in providing medical tests for jobs. 

If you are unsure about who can help you, why not contact an HGV training centre near you? Chances are they will be able to offer you the assistance you need and can even book the appointment and handle all communication with the DVLA on your behalf – a real benefit if you are busy or find paperwork overwhelming. 

HGV medical - HGV Training Network

What happens if you fail an HGV medical? 

Put simply, if you fail an HGV medical, you most likely will not be able to drive professionally in the UK. 

If this is the case, it’s worth bearing in mind that while it may not feel it at the time, the results of the HGV medical are not personal and are not a judgement on you – they are simply legal parameters that must be met. 

However, it is worth discussing your medical assessment results with your medical professional at the time, as your individual circumstances may be able to be improved with treatment or medication. 

Book your HGV medical assessment via HGVTN

To some, taking a medical exam might seem inconvenient, especially when you are completing the paperwork and booking all appointments yourself. 

However, these medical examinations are highly necessary legally binding steps that ensure that only the most capable drivers are in charge of the largest vehicles on our roads. 

Weighing at least 3,500kg – the average weight of a male rhinoceros – the damage that can be done by poor HGV driving can be immeasurable. 

If you would benefit from help getting your HGV licence, training, and medical assessment started, our friendly, experienced team are perfectly placed. To get started, call us on 0800 254 5007 or fill in our contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.