What is an LGV driving licence? You might be surprised by how often we hear that question from new students preparing to begin training. It is a legitimate question given the fact that driving licence requirements for professional drivers have changed significantly since 2009. We will explain those changes, and a lot more, in this guide to obtaining a licence.
Let us start with discussing what the LGV licence actually is. As you may already know, driving licences in the UK are divided into numerous categories based on vehicle weight and size. There are licence categories covering everything from motorcycles to cars to the largest commercial vehicles on the road. If you are licenced to drive a car, you have a Category B licence.
The LGV licence is a licence that qualifies the driver to operate a vehicle that falls under one of the four LGV categories. The term ‘LGV’ can refer to either ‘light goods vehicles’ or ‘large goods vehicles’ depending on who you ask, but the distinction is irrelevant when it comes to licencing for professional drivers. All of the vehicles in question are classified under one of the four following licence categories:
You now know what an LGV licence is. Now you need to know how to attain one. Technically speaking, it would be possible to obtain a Category C1 licence without any formal training. As long as you are able to pass the appropriate tests, it would not matter whether or not you went to training school. Practically speaking however, training is necessary to obtain any one of the LGV licences.
Training is designed to accomplish three things. First, a certain amount of driving theory is necessary to understand the basic concepts of commercial driving. Suffice to say that driving an LGV is not the same as driving your car. There are lots of things drivers need to know about road safety, vehicle operation, and the actual physics behind operating vehicles of larger sizes and weights.
The second point of driver training is to provide students with the physical skills necessary to do the job. Once again, LGV driving is not the same as driving a car or motorcycle. There are specific skills required to do so safely, including:
The third goal of the LGV driver training is to equip students with the knowledge required to meet Driver CPC requirements. What you may not know is that the LGV testing regimen includes two components directly related to Driver CPC. Those two components are:
We have already mentioned two different tests required in order to obtain an LGV licence. There are two additional tests that are now part of the complete CPC qualification process. These are the LGV theory test and the driving abilities test taken upon completion of practical skills training.
The LGV theory test is usually the first test the new driver takes. It is taken after the driver receives his or her provisional entitlement in the post. For the purposes of efficiency, we recommend new students apply for the provisional entitlement before beginning preparations for the theory test. Why? Because it takes between 10 and 14 business days from receipt of the application for a provisional entitlement to arrive in the mail. That gives students a couple of weeks of preparation time prior to taking the theory test. You might just as well take advantage of that time in order to make the training process as efficient as possible.
LGV testing has been put in place to ensure professional drivers are both competent and proficient. It may seem that the testing regimen is a bit excessive, but it is what it is. The good news is that passing all of your test results in the awarding of an LGV licence that will then enable you to go out and find work.
It is important for you to know that your initial training and CPC testing regimen is just the start of your training and testing. CPC regulations require professional drivers to undergo additional training and testing throughout their careers. Now, before you panic, the additional training and testing is not excessive. Licenced drivers need only accumulate 35 hours of additional training every five years. That means if you obtain your LGV licence in 2015, you have until the end of 2020 to get your training and pass the associated tests.
What are LGV training and testing if not a tool to ensure professional drivers are safe? That was the argument made by the regulators who developed the CPC scheme. Whether or not we agree with them, the scheme is now the law of the land. Drivers must be willing to participate in ongoing training throughout their careers if they want to continue working in their chosen field.
We have explained what an LGV licence is along with the basics of licence classes, testing procedures, and basic training. Now the choice is yours. If you have what it takes to be a successful LGV driver, we want to speak with you. The HGV Training Centre establishes new training classes on a regular basis to accommodate the hundreds of drivers who pass through our doors every single month.
Furthermore, we make training convenient by way of more than four dozen training centres across the country. There is likely a facility very close to where you live or work. Are you ready to start training now? If so, contact us right away. In no time at all, you’ll have the answer to the question, “what is an LGV driving licence”?
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