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How To Get A Lorry Licence In The UK

The UK’s HGV driver shortage remains chronic, according to Logistics UK’s analysis of the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) Labour Force Survey data. If you enjoy driving, becoming an HGV driver could be for you. With such a high shortage there are many roles out there within the logistics industry. Firstly, you need some basics, a full car license, be over 18 and have a professional driving qualification called the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). You must carry this card while driving a lorry professionally, otherwise, you may be given a £50 fixed penalty. If you are qualifying for the first time you need to:

  • Apply for your provisional HGV licence
  • Pass the 5 tests that make up the CPC
  • Take 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years to stay qualified

However, it is important to clarify. If driving is not the main part of your job you might not need the full Driver CPC to drive an HGV.

What Is The Difference Between LGV And HGV

Firstly, HGV stands for heavy goods vehicle whereas LGV stands for a large goods vehicle. Both of which describe the same vehicles with a gross weight of over 3,500kg. There is no difference between an LGV licence and an HGV licence, they mean exactly the same. The term HGV is an older term, and LGV is a newer EU term when the UK aligned with European licence categories.

What Are The Different HGV Classes?

Not all lorry licences are the same due to differences in weight. The categories are all based on how much a vehicle weighs and how much additional weight can be added.

Category

Entitlement

C1 Vehicles weigh between 3,500kg and 7,500kg, with or without a trailer weighing up to 750kg.
C1E C1 vehicles with a trailer over 750 kg.
C Large vehicles weighing over 7,500kg up to 32,000kg, with a trailer up to 750kg.
CE Category C vehicles with a trailer over 750 kg.

What Is The Difference Between HGV Class 1 And 2?

Class 1 licence allows you to drive a category C+E vehicle. The driver is able to operate a vehicle that is 7.5 tonnes or more and the trailer can detach. These are often larger vehicles and can be used for routes over a longer distance. A Class 2 licence allows you to drive a category C vehicle. Any HGV that is more than 7.5 tonnes and has a rigid body base. The cab will not come apart from the trailer with this type of class. These may include refuse collection vehicles and are more likely to be used around cities rather than for long-haul runs.

What Does The CPC Test Involve?

Once you have your provisional licence you can apply for the CPC test. This is split into 4 parts:

Lorry Licence

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