HGV Training

Whether you are a complete beginner, looking to upgrade your HGV licence or searching for CPC training, we are here to help. We provide the insider track on everything HGV training related. We are here to help inform and guide you through the process.

What stage of your HGV journey are you on?

beginner hgv training

Are you a beginner and need to know where to start?

upgrade hgv training

Are you looking to upgrade your licence?

Beginner, Starting out as an HGV Driver

First things first, it’s good to understand the most commonly used terms.
beginner hgv training

For starters, people often ask what’s the difference between LGV and HGV trucks and licences.

There is no difference between an HGV or LGV licence, both terms mean the same thing. LGV stands for Large goods Vehicle and HGV stands for Heavy Goods Vehicle. Under current UK legislation (and EU law) they both cover any truck over 3.5 tonnes.

Next, you need to understand the which classes (or types) of licence exist and the benefits of each.

Licence Types and Earning Potential

Category C licence
Drive rigid body vehicles up to 7500kg with trailer up to 750kg. The most common licence.

Average salary per year

Category C+E licence
Drive vehicles over 7500kg with trailers over 750kg. Higher earning potential.

Average salary per year

cat c1 licence

Category C1 licence
Cat C’s smaller cousin. Drive vehicles between 3500 – 7500kg with trailer up to 750kg.

Average salary per year

cat c1+e licence

Category C1+E licence
Small, rigid body vehicle towing a trailer weighing more than 750kg.

Average salary per year

Each licence has an array of benefits.

Category C (Cat C) is also known as Class 2, and includes any rigid body vehicle. It can be considered the entry level HGV License, as it is easy to train for, and the fastest route to start your HGV driving career.

The Category C licence is one of the most popular licenses as recruiters and haulage firms look for this for an array of jobs from removals to local deliveries.

The Category C+E is also known as Class 1, an ‘Artic,’ or sometimes ‘Wagon and drag’, is the HGV category that enables you to drive a vehicle over 3500kg and a trailer over 750kg. It is popular for national and international distribution and has a higher earning potential, with fewer drops.

Cat C + E is a follow-on qualification to the Category C licence. In order to train for a C+E or Class 1, you must have previously qualified for the Cat C, or Class 2 licence. It can sometimes save you time and money if you book them together. The earning potential for C+E drivers is excellent and why a lot of Cat C drivers progress quickly to the licence; with drivers frequently earning in excess of £40k.

highest salaries

The quickest route to highest salaries
If you are just starting out but keen to maximise your earning potential, HGV training providers will sometimes offer the ability to take your Cat C and Cat C+E courses “back-to-Back,” meaning you can progress quickly through the ranks to earn the highest salary.

Ask if the HGV training provider can offer this, when speaking to them.

Now you know the basics, but if you want more information on these licences, or if there are any different licences you’re keen to understand, your HGV training provider should be able to discuss your options.

The HGV Training process

Now you need to understand the HGV Training process:

It can seem complicated starting out, with different licences and paperwork to send off for, complete and send back and some find the process and language confusing. Some HGV training providers will look after all of this for you, but with some schools you’ll have to work through each phase yourself. In short the process is as follows:

process 1

Choose a training company

Select and register with a HGV Training company, fill your details in to the training pack

Arrange your medical test

A simple medical test needs to be done, it will only take 5 minutes and can be donewith your local GP

process 3

Complete your theory test

To help you prepare for your theory test there are a huge range of online learning materials and 1:1 support

process 4

Complete your practical training

Your HGV Training will be taken over 4 days and will provide you with all you need to pass your practical test

The most important thing when starting out, is to understand your options when choosing a training provider. This is an investment in your future so make sure you choose the right company for you.

There are providers out there who have less reputable backgrounds, so make sure you look into the company before signing up. Make sure the training provider is an established company in a good financial position. Companies House is a good place to check on a company’s background; just search for their company name and check on how recently it was set up, and what their history looks like.

Look at Google reviews for fair, unbiased reviews from people who have trained with them. And compare costs – making sure you understand exactly what is included.

Also check your provider is a member with the RHA And / or the FTA, both of whom are important industry bodies in haulage and logistics. This will ensure you have found a legitimate and accredited HGV training provider.

Costs vary by location and licence, but we have found cost is typically around £1500 for an entry-level Category C licence. CPC is also dependent on location and school, but on average around £350.

If you don’t have the savings to fund this, beware of HGV Training providers offering credit as this can add thousands of pounds to the cost of training. It is sometimes worth considering your own financial position, a credit card can be a cheaper way to borrow the funds for training.

Some providers may be able to split the payments, making it more affordable for you to train.

If you are flexible on location and training, you can train in as little as 4 days. You will always have to wait for the DVLA to process your application and the test centre’s forms so the minimum to expect is around 3 weeks. At the moment, due to the impact of covid on the industry, these times may be affected.

Pass rates for the HGV test vary depending on time of year, location and attempt number. You can vastly increase your chances by choosing the right provider. Ask what the training school’s pass rate is.

Your test will usually last 90 minutes, and will include a number of manoeuvres, such as reversing into a loading bay, parallel parking or following signs without specific instructions – for example you will asked to drive to a locations using road signs and markings rather than prompts from the examiner. Your instructor will always take you through this on day 1 of training.

Some providers offer products which protect you if you are concerned or worried about not passing the first time, so it is worth considering a little extra outlay, if it gives you peace of mind when taking your test.

Don’t forget, before you get in the truck, you’ll need to get your medical, provisional and theory test. A good national provider should take care of these for you.

With so many HGV driver vacancies, job security is very high in HGV training.

Wages are also excellent when compared with other jobs, and there is a lot of freedom with the opportunity to pick and choose contracts, locations and what is involved in the job. Setting your own terms is another of the key benefits of becoming an HGV driver.

In addition, you can train to be an HGV driver in a matter of weeks, whereas other trade jobs can take years – a plumber, for instance takes 3 years training.

People often list being on the open road, listening to whatever music or radio they like and seeing different parts of the country as their favourite parts of the job.

A newly qualified driver can earn up to £27,000 per year, with earning potential for more experienced drivers of up to £45,000.

There are several terms you may hear when looking into HGV licences.

Category C (Cat C) is also known as Class 2, and includes any rigid body vehicle. The Category C licence is one of the most frequently sought-after licences that recruiters and haulage firms look for from candidates. It can be considered the entry level HGV Licence, as it is easy to train for, and the fastest route to get driving an HGV.

The Category C+E is also known as an ‘Artic,’ Class 1 or Wagon and drag. It is popular for national and international distribution and has a higher earning potential, with fewer drops.

Make sure you fully discuss and understand your choices when it comes to HGV licences and what they entail – there are different benefits to each, and a good provider should discuss these with you before taking any payment.

HGV Driving hours were originally based on EU regulations, but they’ve now been converted to British law. The UK HGV driver may now work the following hours:

  • There is a 9-hour limit on driving per day. 2 days a week, 10 hours per day is allowed.
  • The maximum weekly quota is set at 56 hours

You can drive an HGV as soon as you’ve passed all your tests and taken your Driver CPC, even before the card arrives.

You should get your photo ID card within 20 days of passing your HGV test.

LGV stands for Large goods Vehicle and HGV stands for Heavy Goods Vehicle, and there is no difference between the LGV and HGV licences under current UK legislation (and EU law); They are the same licence, and both cover any truck over 3.5 tonnes.

In 1992, the meaning of LGV changed from Light goods vehicle, to large goods vehicle, which is where some of the confusion arises. If you would like more information on this, a good training provider will explain all of the different licences available and what is entailed in each.

Looking to get started on your HGV training?

Fill in our form below to get more information from 3 leading HGV providers

Looking to upgrade?

So you’ve got an HGV driving licence but you want to upgrade? There are many reasons you may be looking to progress; to apply for different jobs, expand your earning potential or specialise in a certain area. Which licence are you interested in?
cat c licenceCategory C
Entry Level HGV Licence, perfect for beginners
The entry level license into professional HGV driving. Easy to drive, handles in a similar way to a large car or van.Local deliveries, courier, tipper / skips driver
cat c+e licenceCategory C+E
Drive an articulated vehicle over 7500kgs
Also known as a Class 1 or Wagon and Drag. An advanced licence for higher earning potentialTankers, Supermarket deliveries,longer distance / international driving
combined licenceCombined C and C+E
Fastest route for beginner to highest earnings
Both the Category C licence and the Category C+E, taken 'back-to-back'Enables the driver to tkae any HGV job - large or small
cat c1 licenceCat C1
Drive a small vehicle between 3,500kgs and 7500kgs
Very easy to handle, and commonly used.Paramedics, smaller businesses and delivery drivers
cat c1+e licenceCat C1+E
As per C1 but with a trailer up to 750kgs
Drive a Cat C1 class vehicle & a trailer with a combined weight <12000kgs.Highly skilled delivery drivers and tradesmen
horseboxHorsebox
Qualify to transport horses for personal use
Specialist C1 courses specifically designed for horsebox ownersAnyone wanting to drive a horsebox not for commercial gain
pcv tablePCV
(Passenger Carrying Vehicle)
Train to drive a passenger carrying vehicleBus or minibus
adrADR
Qualify to Transport dangerous goods goods
Increase your earning potential by driving vehicles transporting hazardous materialsTank, hazardous goods transport
hiabHIAB
Qualify to operate an HGV mounted crane
Increase your earning potential by driving vehicles with a mounted crane.Transport heavy loads, e.g building materials

The Category C+E licence otherwise known as an ‘Artic’ Class 1, CE, or Wagon and drag, is the HGV category that enables you to drive a vehicle over 3500kg and a trailer over 750kg. The C+E licence replaced the ‘Class 1’ licence in 1997, and is now commonly referred to as both.

The C+E licence is popular for national and international distribution and has a greater earning potential, with generally fewer drop offs and longer distances.

The earning potential for C+E drivers is excellent and why a lot of drivers are drawn to the licence; with people frequently earning in excess of £40k.

Much like other training, this depends on the quality of the provider, location, speed of training, and time of year. The national average is around £1500. It is widely accepted that this quickly pays for itself, with the higher earning potential – experienced C+E drivers can expect in the region of £45k.

You can train to drive a C+E vehicle in as little as 4 days. You will always have to wait for the DVLA to process your application and the test centre’s forms so the minimum timeframe to expect is around 3 weeks. At the moment, due to the impact of covid on the industry, these times may be affected.

The C+E licence (also known as Class 1, Artic, LGV 1, or CE licence) is a follow-on qualification to the Category C licence. In order to train for a C+E or Class 1, you must have previously qualified for the Cat C, or Class 2 licence.

If you are just starting out but keen to maximise your earning potential, HGV training providers will sometimes offer the ability to take your Cat C and Cat C+E courses “back-to-Back,” meaning you can progress quickly through the ranks to earn the highest salary. Ask if the HGV training provider can offer this, when speaking to them.

Because the C+E licence is popular for national and international distribution, it can have a greater earning potential, with generally fewer drop offs and longer distances.

The earning potential for C+E drivers is excellent and why a lot of Cat C drivers progress quickly to the licence; with drivers frequently earning in excess of £40k.

It can seem like there is a lot of jargon in the HGV world, but actually the licence types are quite simple. For starters, HGV and LGV licences are the same thing.

Class 2 licence is the entry level licence, allowing you to drive a Cat C vehicle over 3500kgs, commonly known as a “Rigid”.

The Class 1 licence allows you to drive a Cat C+E vehicle, commonly known as an Arctic (articulated lorry) or wagon and drag.

HGV Driving hours were originally based on EU regulations, and they’ve now been converted to British law. The UK HGV driver may now work the following hours:

  • There is a 9-hour limit on driving per day. 2 days a week, 10 hours per day is allowed.
  • The maximum weekly quota is set at 56 hours

Some drivers like to obtain their Class 2 (or Cat C) first, then take their Class 1 (Cat C+E) straight after. If this is something you are interested in, ask your provider about how this works. Be sure you understand everything that is included, as it can save you time and money if you book them together.

Looking for more information on upgrading your HGV training?

Fill in our form below to get more information from 3 leading HGV providers

Fill in our form below and we can help you along your HGV journey

We'll send your details to 3 leading HGV providers so you have quotes to compare