HGV Licence Requirements UK “WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW”

Sometimes the HGV licence requirements in the UK can be confusing, in this article we will go through the different licence classes and categories, plus what is needed.

British HGV licence requirements what you need to become a truck driver in the UK

Meeting the HGV licence requirements in the UK will give you the legal ability to drive a Heavy Goods Vehicle, once you have achieved this you will be able to drive a truck in the licence category that you have successfully achieved.

What are the different types of HGV licences?

There are four main HGV licence Categories:

  • Category C+E – Vehicles over 3,500 kg and with a trailer over 750 kg (Artic Licence).
  • Category C – Vehicles over 3,500 kg, with a trailer up to 750 kg ( Rigid Licence).
  • Category C1+E – As category C1 but with a trailer weighing more than 750 kg. The total weight up to 12,000 kg (Rigid with Trailer).
  • Category C1 – Vehicles weighing between 3,500 kg – 7,500 kg, with or without a trailer – weight up to 750 kg. (Small Rigid with or without trailer).

Are there any age restrictions for each type of licence?

There is a single age restriction for all of these categories, you must be at least 18 years old before you can apply for your licence and meet the HGV Licence Requirements.

What do I need to meet the HGV Licence Requirements and be able to drive a HGV vehicle in the UK?

Firstly to become an HGV driver in the UK in any category, you need to apply for a provisional licence, take a medical examination, complete a theory test, achieve the driver CPC certification (Certificate of Professional Competence), learn to drive your category choice vehicle by means of a qualified instructor, then take the Practical test.

Once you have completed your practical test and passed, you need to complete 35 hours of additional training every 5 years to keep your Driver CPC card valid.

What is a HGV Medical?

HGV licence requirements doctor medical examination

This is a no-brainer an HGV Medical or LGV as it’s now more commonly known by is a two part examination to make sure you are fit to drive a heavy goods vehicle this is required by law.

The first part of the Examination

The initial stage of the medical consists of a face-to-face interview with the driver, you will be asked to disclose any medical conditions or treatments that the driver has had prior to the interview.

The driver is expected to disclose all of their past illnesses and treatments regardless of whether they feel they are important or not, as it may well have an impact on the driver’s ability to drive safely.

If a driver fails to disclose this information and there is a problem when driving an HGV Vehicle such as an accident, they could find themselves seriously at fault and be charged with criminal negligence.

The second part of the Examination

The second part of the examination consists of a physical examination, the driver will be fully examined by the Doctor to check that they are in a good physical condition suitable for driving on the road.

This may consist of an eye test, reflex tests, and other types of physical examination such as a cardiac test and breathing.

This physical part of the examination is to highlight any physical risks that a driver could have such as bad eyesight, slow reflexes, etc.

If the driver passes all of these tests, they will be deemed fit enough to drive an HGV vehicle.

Where do I go for a HGV Medical?

The HGV medical can be carried out by any registered Doctor, there are usually medical centres that specialise in carrying out HGV Medicals so simply search the internet for one local to you.

Prices for medicals vary costing from approx £45 to £140 you will find that a medical at your doctor’s surgery will be more expensive and usually there is a long waiting list.

What is a Driver CPC?

The Driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) is now a standard part of professional driving when the driving involves operating a lorry, bus, or coach.

Practice your CPC training before doing a CPC Training course to ensure you have all the knowledge to pass the test.

What does the Driver CPC consist of?

The Driver CPC initial qualification has four parts:

part one – theory test (this includes two separate tests – multiple choice and hazard perception)
part two – case study test
part three – driving ability test
part four – practical demonstration test

You must pass all four parts to get your Driver CPC, after which you will need to achieve 35 hrs training within a 5 year period to retain your card, some companies provide you with a CPC course on a yearly basis to keep it up to date, but if not, book a CPC course at a local testing centre to complete 35 hrs training within a 5 year period.

The cost of your CPC depends upon the testing centre and prices do vary if your company provides this it is usually free, if not it is on average £80.00 per day of training.

CPC certification is a legal requirement for almost all professional drivers holding Category C or Category D licences.

There are some exceptions, see Requirements on .Gov Website. Having said that, the government recommends all professional lorry, bus, and coach drivers have the CPC certification in order to drive legally.

Do not drive a Heavy Goods vehicle without a CPC unless you have confirmed that you do not require it.

When do I need to renew my licence?

If you are over 45, you will need to renew your licence every 5 years up until the age of 65, at which point you will need to renew your licence annually to meet the HGV Licence Requirements.

What hours do I work as an HGV driver?

HGV driving hours are set out by the DVSA and you need to keep records of your hours by means of a tachograph for more information please see Truck Driving Hours and Regulations.

What types of jobs can I do HGV driving?

There are many job opportunities once you achieve your licence, also there are courses available to improve your job skills within the haulage industry, for example, hazardous goods, Rear mounted forklift, Hi-Ab, or Crane.

Also, you could be expected to drive a flatbed, curtainsider, fridge, tanker, or tipper.

Potential earnings as an HGV driver?

HGV driving earnings really depends on your overall experience, what class of licence you have, what goods you carry, and the Company you work for.

Earnings can vary from a starting wage of approximately £18,500 to £38,000 for more experienced drivers who have skills needed for more complex types of driving within the haulage industry.

Make sure you have completed all the HGV Licence Requirements before driving a heavy goods vehicle on the road the requirements are there for your safety and the safety of the general public at large.

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