Combined Category C and C+E Training

If you’re new to HGV driving, or a C1 driver, and are looking to obtain your Category C+E licence in the shortest timeframe possible, then you should consider booking a combined Category C and Category C+E training course together. Not only will this save you time, but it can also save you money as many training providers give discounts on these training packages.

What Vehicles Can You Drive With These Licences?

Category C (Class 2) licence

This licence allows drivers to operate rigid body vehicles that are over 3,500 kg in weight, but under 32 tonnes, with trailers of up to 750 kg.

Category C+E (Class 1) licence

This licence allows drivers to operate Category C vehicles with detachable trailers of over 750 kg. These vehicles can be fully articulated or drawbar combinations, and their maximum weight is 44 tonnes.

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The Type of Work You Can Expect

By achieving the Cat C and Cat C+E licences together, you’ll quickly be qualified to drive the largest HGVs on our roads today, and also be able to add specialist courses to your licence. This means you’ll have your pick of the job market, and excellent earning power.
combined c and ce

Salary-wise, with the right experience you can expect to earn upwards of around £50,000 with the full C+E licence. This is a big step up from Category C licence holders, who on average earn salaries of up to £36,000. However, in order to qualify as a C+E driver, you need to already hold the C licence, so doing the combined course is the best way to jumpstart your HGV driving career.

In order to gain your Combined Category C and C+E licence, you’ll need to:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Hold a valid UK car driving licence.
  • Pass a very straightforward medical exam, consisting primarily of a blood pressure and eyesight test.

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

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How to Obtain the Category C and C+E Licences

The combined course isn’t just one licence; the two qualifications will be achieved back to back.

Category C licence
In order to be eligible for the Category C licence you need to be at least 18 years old, hold a full UK car driving licence and pass all four parts of the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) test. This is the professional standard required to work commercially. There are several steps to take, all of which can be managed by certain training providers. Make sure you choose a provider who can help you along the way, and make sure the paperwork is all in order and correctly managed.

Here are the steps to gaining your licence.

  1. Apply for a provisional Category C driving licence, using the D2 application pack from the DVLA.
  2. Take a medical test, using the DVLA’s D4 medical form.
  3. Pass the two theory elements of the Driver CPC.
  4. Undergo 35 hours of practical training and pass the two Driver CPC practical tests.
  5. Receive your Driver CPC card.

Category C+E licence
As soon as you’ve obtained your Category C licence, you can immediately move on to upgrading your qualification to the full Category C+E (Class 1) licence. Although you don’t need to pass all four parts of the Driver CPC again, this is a separate training course and you will need to undergo additional driver training and pass another driving test in order to add the ‘E’ entitlement to your licence. This is to ensure you gain the skills necessary to drive a Category C vehicle with a detachable trailer that weighs over 750kg. With the full Category C+E licence you’ll be qualified to drive articulated and drawbar vehicles that weigh a maximum of 44 tonnes.

Upgrading your licence involves the following steps:

  1. Apply to add provisional entitlement for Category C+E to your valid Category C licence. Note: As you automatically receive entitlement to upgrade to the C+E licence, no further medical is required.
  2. Find a training provider and undergo 4-5 days of driver training.
  3. Pass a practical driving test, to add the ‘E’ entitlement to your licence.
  4. Receive your new CPC card with the Category C+E entitlement.

Why Choose a Combined Course?

Not only is this the most cost-effective and fastest route to a career as a professional HGV driver, it’s also the most straightforward one.
why choose combined course

By delivering consistent training, with a provider and instructors that you’re familiar with, the licence upgrade is seamless.

Good training providers will help with all stages of the process, and their services should include:

  • Support with licence applications
  • Help organising the medical
  • Access to online revision tools
  • All DVSA test fees
  • Vehicle and instructor hire
  • Assistance with your job search

Looking to get started on your HGV training?

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Career Progression

By investing in your HGV career with a combined Category C and C+E training package, you’ll be guaranteeing fast-track access to the best employment opportunities on the market. As a new driver, employers will see that you have the qualifications to work across a diverse fleet, and are taking your career seriously by achieving the highest HGV licence possible. With this licence, you can also think about adding specialist training to your CV, such as HIAB lorry-mounted crane operation and ADR, which is the transportation of hazardous goods.

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

up to £36k


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

Average salary per year

up to £50k

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

up to £28k

cat c1+e licence

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

Average salary per year

up to £28k

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 £1,999 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.

A newly qualified driver can earn up to £32,000 per year, with earning potential for more experienced drivers of up to £50,000.

An LGV CE driver is a lorry driver who holds a Category CE licence. LGV CE drivers are qualified to operate vehicles that weigh over 3,500 kg, with a trailer of over 750 kg. They can drive artics and drawbar combinations and can haul a maximum weight of 44 tonnes.

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

This depends on when you obtained your car driving licence. If it was before 1 January 1997, you’ll have ‘grandfather rights’ to C1 entitlement, allowing you to drive a 7.5 tonne lorry on a car licence. If you passed your test after this date, you’ll need to obtain a C1 licence.

Yes, in certain circumstances you can drive a 7.5 tonne lorry without a full Driver CPC. Reasons include when a vehicle has a maximum authorised speed of 28mph, or if it’s controlled by the police or the armed forces. However, you’ll still need to pass three of the four CPC elements.

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

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