Things To Know Before Driving An HGV In London

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Vehicle Type Verses Licence Class
HGV / LGV Cat 'C+E' (Class 1)

Any vehicle over 7.5t that has a detachable or separate trailer, Cat 'C+E' licences can only be applied for once the driver has taken and passed their Cat 'C'. These are larger vehicles so tend to be used for long haul, national and international routes. Starting salaries are around £28,000 per year.

HGV / LGV Cat 'C' (Class 2)

For vehicles in a rigid-based body that is over 7.5t – examples include fire engines, rubbish collection vehicles and any HGV, providing the vehicle is all one unit (i.e. the cab does not separate from the trailer). Usually operated in towns and cities, starting salaries for Cat 'C' drivers are around £24,000 per year

Cat C1

For use if driving any goods vehicle that is above 3.5t and below 7.5t in weight. If you gained your driving licence before 1997, you will automatically have this category on your licence. If you gained your driving licence after 1997, you will have to take a test. Note – if you gain your Cat 'C' you automatically get given your Cat 'C1', so it is advisable to take a full Cat 'C' course and get both categories for the price of one. C1 vehicle examples include: horseboxes, ambulances, Occado delivery vehicles etc. Course can be completed in 1x week.

Cat C1+E

Same as above, but gives you the capacity to tow a trailer behind your C1 vehicle. Course can be completed in 1x week.

Cat B+E

This enables you to tow an item behind a standard car. Again, if you passed before 1997 you do not need to pass a test to tow a trailer behind a car – if you passed after 1997, a full course and driving test is required. Course can be completed in 3x days.

Cat D

This is a full bus / coach licence, enabling you to drive any sized Passenger Carrying Vehicle. Course can be completed in 1x week.

Cat D1

Enables you to drive a minibus of 9-16 seats maximum. If you passed your driving test before 1997 this category will already be on your licence, if you passed after that date a full course and test is required. Course can be completed in 1x week.

Fork Lift

The licences depend on what vehicle is used and the type of environment it is used in. 1-day refresher courses: for experienced operators with lapsed licences 3-day mini courses: for experienced operators who have not received formal training 5-day full courses: for novices who have not received any training and have no experience. All courses begin with classroom time where you will learn the theoretical requirements of the vehicle they are being trained on. Includes all relevant aspects of health and safety and short multiple-choice Theory Test. Practical training begins with an explanation as to the operation of the relevant truck. Practical elements cover daily vehicle checks and safe loading techniques – you will then practice the operation of the vehicle until they become proficient, whereby a short practical test will take place.

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January 10, 2017 12:48 pm

Driving an HGV in London is unlike driving in any other city in the UK. That’s why training in London can give you an edge when it comes to actually working in the capital as a professional driver. We’ve weighed up some of the pros, cons, and general differences when it comes to driving in London versus driving in any other UK city.

Congestion In London

The congestion in London can be unlike anything you’ll experience anywhere else, so you’ll need to factor in much more time for the same distance compared with other cities. Then there’s the Congestion Charge, which may or may not apply depending on the type of vehicle you’re driving and what level of emissions it produces. Of course, there are some pros to the congestion in London. You’re far less likely to be involved in a high-speed collision with another vehicle, for example.

However, you may find it much more difficult to find a place to stop for your break because of the number of vehicles parked on the road, so using an app to find safe and convenient places to pull over may be necessary. With our specialised HGV training for London you’ll learn how driving under these conditions differs from any other road network you could be working on.

Bike Safety In London

Although there is a great deal of congestion, you need to be far more aware of bikes in London, which can zip through the traffic surprising drivers who aren’t paying full attention. 44% of the motorcycle casualties in the UK in 2015 happened in London, which is a huge number for a single city, even if it is the capital. Due to the number of cyclists regularly killed and injured on London’s roads – especially by HGVs – a full ban on HGVs travelling on some London roads is still being discussed.


The Mayor of London has set out a £915m scheme called the Cycle Safety Action Plan, and has set a target of 40% fewer casualties on London’s roads by 2020. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are prioritised in this action plan, and this has put a spotlight on HGVs. Despite making up less than 4% of traffic on the roads, HGVs are involved in half of all collisions with cyclists, so expect your driving to come under a great deal of scrutiny if you’re working in London.


Drivers may need to complete the TFL Safe Urban Driving CPC as a requirement for driving in London, and your vehicle may be assessed to make sure it meets new proposed safety standards. Our training incorporates the essentials of cyclist safety, and will help you to understand and avoid the dangers around cyclists.


Weight Limits, Height Limits, Width Limits

London’s roads have a number of restrictions that affect HGVs far more than they affect any other type of vehicle. You’ll find weight limits, low bridges and other height limits, and width limits on many roads. The City of London itself has a 7.5 tonnes gross weight limit allowed on all the roads in its central areas.


Lorry Control Scheme In London

The London Lorry Control Scheme is a set of measures to prevent HGVs of over 18 tonnes gross maximum weight from causing problems for residents. This scheme restricts the movement of HGVs over 18 tonnes GMW during evenings and weekends. Some roads will be off limits to HGVs during these times, so you need to know which you’re allowed to travel on and which you’re not.

The right training will show you how to deal with these restrictions, and give you the right resources to know when and where you can drive.


HGV Job and wages In London

HGV driving jobs are slightly less plentiful in London than they are elsewhere in the country at the moment. An average HGV driver’s wage is £27,000 per annum, and London wages are generally in line with this.

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This post was written by Prath Kamat

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