How to decide which HGV Licence is right for you

Sometimes what appears to be the most straightforward decision is actually the most tricky. While you may know that you want to train to be an HGV driver, the decision between licence categories can be daunting. This can become a limiting factor, and delay your plans to begin training. At HGV Training, we’re here to provide you with the information and advice that you need to make a decision on a licence that is right for you both now and into the future. 

Application process

Before we look at which driver category you may want to apply for on your HGV Licence, it’s worth understanding the application process. Initially you just need to be over 18 with a full UK driving licence. When you choose to train with us at HGV Training, we’ll manage this process for you. The completed application which includes forms D2 and D4 must be sent to the DVLA with your existing photocard licence. You’ll receive your provisional licence, without a charge, within 21 days. Here’s what the forms cover:

Form D2

You must complete and return part D2 of the driving licence application form. This specifies which driver categories you intend to train for on your provisional licence. 

Form D4

You must have had a medical consultation with a GP or private medical firm in order to qualify as an HGV driver. They will complete part D4 of the provisional driving licence application which should be returned to the DVLA with part D2. 

Licence Categories

The key thing to remember here is that the higher the category that you apply for, the greater the variety of vehicles you will be entitled to learn to drive. So for example, if your provisional licence entitles you to drive vehicles in category C, you’ll automatically be entitled to drive C1 vehicles too. Remember that this follows on once you have qualified. So passing a category C+E course means that you can drive all of the vehicle classes listed below.

  • C1 – This licence category covers any rigid bodied vehicle between 3,500kg – 7,500kg maximum authorised mass (MAM). This includes a trailer up to 750kg.
  • C – A category C licence entitles you to drive any rigid bodied vehicle over 3,500 kg plus a trailer up to 750kg.
  • C1E – THis category extends the allowed trailing capacity of C1 to loads over 750kg. The combined MAM must not exceed 12000kg
  • CE – This is an extension of the towing capacity of a C category licence above 750kg. It’s the highest level category for HGV drivers before you move into specialist qualifications. It is also the licence category that you need in order to drive articulated vehicles.

Driver Qualification Card

A key part of your licence as a professional HGV driver is your Driver Qualification Card. You gain and maintain this card by passing, and then continuing your study with 35 hours of training over each 5 year period. 

Initial CPC

Your initial CPC will be completed as part of your HGV driving tests. There are 5 tests to complete. There are multiple choice and hazard perception sections in the theory test (part 1), then the case study test (part 2) is multiple choice. Once passed, you have 2 years to complete the practical tests. Practical testing is broken up into off road exercises (part 3a), on road driving (part 3b) and a practical demonstration (part 4). Your driving school process will ensure that you’re feeling confident and well prepared. 

Periodic Training

Over every 5 year period, you must complete 35 hours of training. This is designed to ensure that your knowledge remains current and that you are abreast of new issues and skill sets. As a complete training provider, at HGV Training, we provide a range of learning options so that you can easily maintain your driver CPC throughout your career. 

Benefits of a training school

Working with an established training school for your HGV driver training has many benefits. At HGV Training we manage the process from start to finish to ensure a smooth and successful experience. When it comes to working with your circumstances and aspirations, driver training school can simplify everything. 


Our advisors can help you to decide which licence category and course is right for you depending on your circumstances. For example, you may need to work around employment commitments. Or perhaps you’re looking to commit to a concentrated period to embark on a fast track course? The great thing is that you can start to study driver theory before you’ve received your provisional HGV driving licence. At HGV Training we make sure that your learning is structured in a way that suits you. So you can get on with the important stuff!


All you need to start your HGV driving career is to be 18 or over and hold a UK driving licence. At this early stage, it’s worth thinking about how you see your future developing. You may want to drive smaller local vehicles initially, but hope to move on to larger international driving before long. If this is the case, it may make sense to go for the category C licence and test. This will give you more flexibility in your future career options, as long as you keep up your periodic training. Our advisers can talk you through each option to make sure that you’ve thought of everything.


From budgets to logistics, HGV Training has the capacity and knowledge to fit. We cover over 90 quality assured training centres across the UK, so you won’t have to travel too far to complete practical training. Our online learning resources mean that your training is accessible and flexible. In addition, our experienced advisors know the industry and training process so well that they can work with you to find the best solutions. 

You may have read all of this information and know which HGV licence is right for you. Or you may still be unsure which is the best move. Our advisors are on hand to help you from the very first decisions through to your final tests and beyond. So just give them a call to begin your journey!