How to Obtain a HGV License in the United Kingdom
If you can see the enormous benefits of being a HGV driver in the United Kingdom & are considering a career change, HGV Training Network can assist you.
We provide a comprehensive selection of high-quality HGV training courses to assist you earn your licence as quickly & efficiently as possible.
And our courses provide all the necessary skills and knowledge for success.
Watch our free HGV training video developed to assist you through the process to learn more.
Then to discuss in detail, please simply call 0800 252 5007.
At HGV Training Network, your dream career is now within your reach. We offer high-standard yet affordable HGV training courses that help you land rewarding, well-paid employment. We also offer a ‘Train Now, Pay Later’ program whether you’re new to the industry or working your way up the ranks of your career.
Large goods vehicle (LGV) drivers, also known as HGV drivers, transport and deliver goods and raw materials across the UK and overseas. They move everything from foodstuffs to fuel. You can earn great money doing something you love, with the average salary in some areas of the UK being as high as £55,000 per year.
This is not your standard 9-5 job. With flexible hours and a limit to how many hours you have to work, there are not many better industries to be in. If you enjoy working by yourself, want a job that makes use of your driving skills, has huge earning potential, and one that can take you all over the country, this career could be for you.
Current Driver Shortages
There is currently a huge demand for LGV drivers across the country as the industry looks to replace drivers who are approaching retirement. Estimates range from 80,000 to 100,000 drivers that are desperately needed right now.
The increase in demand for distribution during the pandemic has also contributed to the number of drivers required. With the average age of lorry drivers currently sitting at 53 years old, we are losing nearly 4,000 drivers a year to retirement.
Class 2 - (Cat C)
The category C licence is the most commonly used HGV within the UK and Europe as it is very versatile. This licence allows drivers to drive rigid vehicles (cab and trailer permanently fixed) above 3.5T but must not exceed 32T.
The category C licence is probably the best licence to start with if you only currently hold a car licence, as nearly all industries rely on deliveries done in class 2’s. Drivers of this vehicle can earn a very generous wage with an average salary of up to £30k per year for a 40 – 45 hour driving week.
Class 1 - (Cat C+E)
The Category C+E licence, also known as the Class 1, is more commonly used for larger loads and longer distances. This licence will allow you to drive lorries with trailers attached to them, with a max weight limit of up to 44 tons.
The category C+E can only be obtained once you already have a Cat C licence, so experience as a driver is normally recommended before you go for the largest licence you can obtain. Drivers of Class 1s can expect the highest wages in our industry, with an average wage of £40k per year, and the more specialist jobs averaging at around £50k per year.
7.5 Ton - (Cat C1)
The Cat C1 licence is often referred to as the lorry that delivers the “Final Mile”. They are smaller than a Class 2 lorry which makes them perfect for doing deliveries in built-up areas. This licence is also normally required by ambulance drivers and people that drive horse boxes. This licence allows drivers to drive rigid vehicles (cab and trailer permanently fixed) above 3.5Tons but must not exceed 7.5Tons.
The Cat C1 licence is ideal if you’re just venturing into professional driving and want to start out with smaller trucks. Once you have this licence, you can build on it and drive larger and larger vehicles as you work your way through the licence levels, eventually reaching the highest paid jobs. Drivers of this vehicle can earn a very good wage with an average salary of up to £24k per year for a 40 – 45 hour driving week.
7.5Ton + Trailer (Cat C1 + E)
The Cat C1+E is a standard 7.5 Ton licence with a trailer on the back. These vehicles are more commonly used by workmen, gardeners and road workers. This licence will allow you to drive 7.5 ton lorries with trailers attached to them.
This licence is ideal for current Cat C1 licence holders who are looking to increase their earning potential as it gives you a wider choice of job options. As The category C1+E can only be obtained once you already have a Cat C1 licence
Drivers of this vehicle earn an even better wage than a normal 7.5 ton driver. With an average salary of up to £28k per year, for a 40 – 45 hour driving week.
Finance Available – Train Now and Pay Later
The effects of Covid 19 have hit nearly everyone’s budget. Spread the cost of your training and make it even easier to get started straight away. Find out within minutes if you are eligible, and get a decision instantly.
Over 50 centres across the UK
We have the largest network of high-quality training sites in the UK – our training centres cover nearly all major towns and cities across England, Scotland and Wales.
Get a job after you pass!
With the driver shortage currently sitting at 100,000 drivers, we have established an exclusive partnership with Blue Arrow, one of the UK’s largest specialist staffing companies. Blue Arrow hire drivers for some of the biggest companies in the UK.
Benefits of HGV Driver Training
Choosing a career is something most people do at some stage in their lives. Some even change careers a few times throughout their working lifetime. The logistics industry is one of the most important sectors worldwide, ensuring goods arrive safely at destinations within the UK and beyond. This helps ensure manufacturing continues and supermarket shelves remain stocked, to name but two key areas. If you want to become an HGV driver, you’ll need to undergo HGV training to gain the relevant licence. But is it worth it? Here are some of the benefits if this is a route you’re considering:
- The Abundance of Work and Jobs
If you acquire your HGV licence, an abundance of work and jobs will become available to you, not least because, as noted, HGV drivers are in huge demand right now. Learning to drive these vehicles is a good career choice for anyone looking to capitalise on future demand, especially in the logistics industry.
- Excellent Salary
Drivers have a responsibility to deliver their goods safely and punctually. You can expect to earn a rewarding salary if you meet the criteria. Drivers typically earn between £25,000 and £40,000 at entry-level, with wages rising to £55,000 a year or more based on experience, distances driven and the type of goods they are carrying.
- Job Security
Because the demand for drivers is so high at the moment, and because logistics is an industry that will always be necessary, aspiring HGV drivers can expect outstanding job security in their new roles. With shortfalls throughout the industry, there will also be plenty of opportunities to move between companies for career advancement. In short, at present and for the foreseeable future, the benefits of working in logistics and other areas lie mainly with the driver rather than the employer.
- Transferable Skills
Even if you decide in a couple of years that this is not the career for you, an HGV licence opens plenty of doors to future roles within logistics and other industries. With the right training, you can acquire a range of highly transferable skills, from driving large vehicles to organisational skills, spatial awareness, approachability and more. You’re likely to be much in demand in an increasingly competitive jobs market.
As mentioned above, HGV Training Network can help you through our finance programme to pursue your career if you’re currently short on cash. We also offer a host of training courses, including:
HGV Training Network is one of the UK’s largest providers of HGV courses, with over 50 HGV training centres across the country.
We offer specialist lessons for HGV training, LGV training, PCV training, Driver CPC training and Ambulance Driver training. If you are interested in any of our services, call us on 0203 869 9001, and our customer service representatives will be happy to help you.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to train as an HGV driver?
Practical HGV training usually takes only five days. However, it takes between eight and ten weeks to complete the entire process, including taking driving classes for heavy trucks and getting your licence. Working with the appropriate training provider can help you finish your training faster and more economically.
Is driving a lorry hard?
While driving a lorry can be a lucrative career, it is not necessarily an easy one. You’ll be on the road for long hours and so need to be patient and self-motivated. You also need the right lorry driver training and a proper licence to land a job in the first place.
Finding high-quality “HGV training near me” can help you assess whether you have the skills and the personal qualities required.
Can you go straight to Class 1 HGV?
Yes, you can, after a recent change in the law by Government in November 2021. However, many experts recommend it’s better to pass the Class 2 HGV test first to give you road experience and confidence in driving vehicles larger than a car before jumping straight into driving an HGV.
How long is the HGV practical test?
The practical test is designed to ensure that you can drive competently and safely in a variety of road and traffic situations, as well as checking that you understand The Highway Code (and can demonstrate this by the way you drive). The test lasts around 60 minutes.
Do I need a medical test to drive an HGV?
Yes. This is because all drivers must be deemed healthy and fit enough to drive HGVs on British roads, according to law. You’ll be required to provide a completed D4 HGV medical form in order to be able to drive a heavy goods vehicle.
Is there a shortage of HGV drivers in the UK?
The current driver shortage is now sitting at around the 100,000 mark. This is now reaching a real crisis point as the demand for distribution keeps on increasing year on year. The industry is currently losing nearly 4,000 drivers a year to retirement, as the average age of an existing lorry driver is 53 years old. The demand for drivers has also increased by nearly 40,000 during the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit.
Why is there a driver shortage?
The average age of an HGV driver is 53 years old, and only 2% of drivers are under the age of 25. That means, with the number of people retiring, there aren’t enough drivers to fully sustain the industry and continue delivering high-quality services. If something isn’t done to try and attract more drivers, the industry shortage will have a huge and long-lasting impact on the goods that are being delivered up and down the UK.
The haulage industry has also blamed the driver shortfall on a post-Brexit exodus of European drivers. The Road Haulage Association estimates that up to 20,000 HGV drivers from the EU left during the Brexit process. It is also estimated that the extra demand for more drivers during the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the demand for HGV drivers by an extra 20,000 as more and more products are being delivered to residential addresses.
How long does it take to learn to drive an HGV?
Once you have the correct provisional entitlement on your licence and you have passed your theory tests, we deliver our training courses in only five days. Typically, it is done all in one week, with the training starting on the Monday morning and finishing on the Friday afternoon.
The test with the DVSA is done as soon as you finish your training. So, you sit your test while the training is still fresh in your mind, giving you the best chance of passing first time.
How much does an HGV driver earn?
- A typical class 2 driver earns between £25,000 – £38,000 per year.
- A typical class 1 driver earns between £30,000 – £55,000 per year.
- A typical tanker truck driver (ADR) earns between £40,000 – £60,000 per year.
Where will I do my training?
We currently have 50 centres across the UK. Click here to find your closest location.
What is the difference between HGV and LGV?
HGV stands for “heavy goods vehicle”, and LGV stands for “large goods vehicle” – not “light goods vehicle”, as some mistakenly believe. This means that, under UK and European law, an HGV licence and an LGV licence are fundamentally the same thing. They cover all commercial lorries featuring a gross combination mass of over 3500kg, which includes fridge trucks, box vans, Luton vans, flat beds, tippers and more.
Why choose the HGV Training Network?
We arrange everything for you: from your first medical and the provisional application stage, to arranging the theory and practical parts of your test. If you require the licence as part of your career, we will even help you obtain your driver’s CPC qualification. Once you are qualified, we can even help you arrange interviews so you can get your first job as a professional driver. We handle everything. You can even start the driving lessons now and pay for it later.
How much does HGV training cost?
All of our courses are tailored to each student’s needs. We are even able to pick up from whatever stage you are currently at with your training. Finance is also available through us, so “Train Now and Pay Later” and spread the costs of the course for up to 36 months.
How does the HGV theory test work?
The HGV Theory Test is broken down into two parts, just like a car licence:
- Hazard Perception Test (identifying developing hazards in video clips); and
- Multiple Choice Test (multiple choice questions).
Both parts of the test are computer-based, and we will provide you with Industry Standard online revision material which mirrors your tests at the Theory Test Centre.
Will the HGV Training Network help me get a job as an HGV driver?
Once you have passed your test, we will help you get in to work by putting you on to our partners at Blue Arrow. Just tell them what sort of jobs you’re looking for and how far you’re prepared to travel, and they will do the rest! We also get your applications underway by sorting out your CV and Cover Letter to Industry standard.
HGV Driving Explained
The term ‘heavy goods vehicle (HGV) driver’ refers to a truck or lorry driver who is responsible for transporting chemicals, food, construction equipment, and other heavy products across long distances. HGVs are also known as large goods vehicles.
To obtain one of four distinct categories of HGV licence, all heavy goods vehicle drivers, regardless of their country of origin, must complete training in driving commercial vehicles and pass an HGV driving test from a reputable driving school for large trucks. Truckers who transport items across various countries’ borders must make themselves aware of each country’s driving and rest restrictions, as well as any associated rules. Transport and shipping companies typically hire individuals with an HGV licence.
If you are attracted by this type of career, your first step should be to investigate training options. It’s also advisable to seek out a training provider that offers reasonable HGV training costs.
With the current shortage of HGV drivers Europe-wide, the HGV training cost 2022 is now more affordable than ever.
The Difference Between HGV or LGV Class 1 and 2
If you’re wondering whether you need LGV class 2 or HGV class 1 training, the answer is essentially that it all depends on the type of vehicle you want to drive. Broadly speaking, if you want to drive a lorry with rigid sides, you need an HGV Class 2 licence. If you’re planning on looking for jobs driving an articulated lorry, you need an HGV Class 1 licence.
Lots of drivers choose to take HGV class 2 training and get their Class 2 licence first, and then work up to a Class 1 licence, but it’s a matter of personal preference and confidence behind the wheel.
Looking at different categories of drivers’ licences, you will initially need a Class B licence to drive a car.
Training for category C1 means you are licensed to drive a vehicle between 3.5 tons and 7.5 tons. A C1+E licence qualifies you to drive a vehicle up to 7.5 tons with a trailer attached. A full category C licence permits you to drive any vehicle up to 32 tons, while a category C+E licence is the highest level. With this, you can drive trailer vehicles, any artic lorry combination and all drawbar trailers.
Becoming an HGV Driver
Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers transport truckloads of products between suppliers and customers. Some HGV drivers cover long distances to deliver products, while others may work locally. While HGV drivers spend a significant amount of time in their vehicles, they also have numerous other duties to complete at each end of the journey.
Responsibilities may include:
- Devising strategies to increase production and efficiency, such as checking ahead for traffic or delays, as well as planning backup routes where required.
- Having good communication skills to interact with clients when picking up and dropping off goods. Coordinating pick-ups and drop-offs so that they work for everyone is part of this.
- Supervising the loading and handling of goods at either end, making safety checks on the vehicle, ensuring goods being transported are secure while in transit, and completing all relevant paperwork at either end are also key responsibilities.
The best large goods vehicle driving courses will cover many of these areas.
How to Get Your HGV Licence
You must be at least 18 years old and have a full car driver’s licence. You can then apply for your HGV provisional licence. The type of licence you need depends on the size and type of vehicle you want to drive. The D2 and D4 forms are available from us.
You then need HGV driving lessons to prepare for taking the road test by the DVSA.
Once you have passed, you will complete your Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) exam. That covers four areas:
- Ability to load / unload the vehicle
- Securing loads
- Vehicle checks
- Vehicle security checks
If you are now ready to kick start your driving career, then visit us today. We offer the best Heavy Goods Vehicle driving courses at 50 locations across the UK and can help you secure a licence quickly with the ability to train now and pay later.