HGV Training

If you are thinking about starting your career as a HGV driver, here are a few steps you need to take before you can become a lorry driver in the UK. The below guide will explain the whole process step by step to get your category C and C+E driving licence.

Category C (or Class 2)

A category C licence allows drivers to drive vehicles over 3,500 kg with a trailer up to 750kg maximum authorised mass (MAM)

Category C+E (or Class 1)

This is the most comprehensive HGV driving licence you can hold. It allows drivers to drive vehicles over 3,500kg with a trailer over 750kg (MAM) including a double trailer.

To become a professional HGV driver you need to fulfil the following requirements:

  1. Be over 18 years old
  1. Hold a full B category driving licence if you apply for provisional entitlement in category C and category C driving licence in you apply for provisional entitlement in category C+E. The below table shows the full licence you need before you can apply for provisional entitlement in the higher categories.

Provisional entitlement required

Full licence needed

B+E*, G*, H*, C1, C, D1, D

B

C1+E

C1

C+E

C

D1+E

D1

D+E

D

* You automatically get provisional entitlement to these categories with a full B (car) licence

 

  1. Apply for a provisional lorry licence

Similarly to the car driving licence this is done through DVLA website. You will require 2 forms:

  • D4 Form which relates to the medical examination. Therefore, it needs to be filled by a registered doctor. This could be your GP (but an optician might need to fill in the section about your eyesight) or a private company that specialises in drivers’ medical exam. Be aware that you will need to pay a doctor for this service. According to the Road Haulage Association, costs for this can range from £50 to £120. The areas that will be assessed include your eyesight, any neurological and heart conditions, mental health, alcohol and drug use, diabetes and sleep disorders.

Drivers who pass their category C practical test and then apply for category C+E provisional licence will not need another medical. If a driver gains the full entitlement a medical must be renewed every 5 years from 45 up to 65, then annually from 65.

  • D2 Form which you complete yourself. Make sure that you have filled everything correctly. If there is missing or incorrect information, this might delay getting your professional driving licence.

Once you have your form D4 and D2 completed you send them along with photocard driving licence to DVLA. The address is:

DVLA
Swansea
SA99 1BR

There is no application fee.

You should get your driving licence within 3 weeks of DVLA getting your application. It can take longer if your health or personal details need to be checked.

  1. Take the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) test

The next step is a four-part theory test called the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). You usually need to pass 4 tests to get this Certificate, unless you have ‘acquired rights‘ because of your existing driving experience.

Parts of the CPC test:

You can read about all of the four driver CPC tests here, and how to book each of them through the DVLA website.

You need the full driver CPC if lorry driving is the main part of your profession.

Every 5 years you must:

  • take 35 hours of Driver CPC training to keep driving professionally
  • renew your lorry or bus driving licence

If you’re 65 or over you must renew your lorry or bus driving licence every year.

You can get a £50 fixed penalty for driving professionally without your Driver CPC card.

Cost of the CPC test:

How much do the CPC tests cost?

These are the prices to book your tests using the official service. Unofficial websites may charge more.

 

Weekday

Evening, weekend and bank holiday

Driver CPC part 1 –
theory – (multiple-choice)

£26

£26

Driver CPC part 1 –
theory – (hazard perception)

£11

£11

Driver CPC part 2 –
case studies

£23

£23

Driver CPC part 3 –
driving ability

£115

£141

Driver CPC part 4 –
practical demonstration

£55

£63

TOTAL 

£230

£264

Driver CPC card costs

Cost

Driver CPC card (non-UK driving licences only)

£25

Replacement for lost, stolen or damaged card

£25

Once you’ve passed all parts of the driver CPC you will be sent a card, which you must carry at all times when driving a lorry professionally.

  1. Take the Category C or E practical test.

Once you have booked and passed the theory tests, you will need to find a good training provider to prepare you for the practical tests. Before you choose any training schools check out a few of them and select the one that suits you the best.

The practical test cost £115 during a week and £141 during evenings, weekends and bank holidays.

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