What is the HGV Licence?
HGV stands for Heavy Goods Vehicle. It can also be referred to as LGV, which stands for Large Goods Vehicle. The HGV Licence enables individuals to operate trucks or lorries that are more than 3.5 tonnes. HGV Licences fall under the following driving licence categories: C, C+E, C1 and C1+E. HGV Licences are valid for 5 years and are issued by DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency). To acquire the HGV Licence, you are required to successfully complete special training and pass a theory test. HGV Licence holders typically work for logistics companies as professional drivers.
Do I need a HGV Licence?
If you wish to drive a vehicle over 3.5 tonnes, you require a HGV Licence. You cannot use your regular full driver's licence (Category B) to do this. It is illegal and your licence can be taken away. Instead, you will need to acquire one of the following categories: C, C+E, C1 and C1+E. Vehicles in this category are often referred to as rigid. See breakdown below.
Category C - (3.5 to 32 tonnes) trucks, usually smaller, used for making local deliveries.
Category C+E - (3.5 to 32 tonnes + trailer over 750 kgs) larger vehicles with the capacity of a trailer. Are known as articulated or drawbar vehicles.
Category C1 - (3.5 to 7.5 tonnes) medium-sized vehicles, such as ambulances.
Category C1+E - (3.5 to 7.5 tonnes + trailer - total mass should not exceed 12 tonnes) medium-sized vehicles with trailer.
To be eligible for a HGV Licence, you need to be above the age of 18, hold a full Driver CPC (see below) and pass the theory and practical test.
What is the CPC?
CPC stands for Certificate of Professional Competence. It is required if you operate a commercial vehicle above 3.5 tonnes. That means, as part of acquiring your HGV Licence, you will need to obtain the CPC Qualification.
To gain the qualification, there are 4 parts:
- Theory test (same test as HGV)
- Driver CPC case study test
- Driving ability test (same test as HGV)
- Driver CPC demonstration test
You don't need the CPC for private, noncommercial driving.
How to apply for the HGV Licence
There are several simple steps you need to follow to acquire your HGV Licence:
Apply for the provisional vehicle operator licence
Visit the DVSA Website to begin your application.
Book your theory test
The theory test has 3 parts! Multiple choice, hazard perception and case studies. Make sure you have prepared for them. The total cost of booking all the parts is £60. You will receive your results on the day of the test.
Book your driving ability test (practical)
This is also known as the Driver CPC part 3 test - driving ability. It lasts for 1 hour and 30 minutes. You will cover vehicle safety, road driving and off-road exercises. You are required to bring your own vehicle. Ensure you also have appropriate photocard identification. You receive your results on the day of the test. The cost of booking is £115.
Complete practical demonstration test
Here you will be tested on your safety and best practices knowledge. At the end of your test the examiner will tell you if you’ve passed. The cost of booking this is £25.
Finally, once your tests are successfully over, you can order your NVT concession card - which represents that you have obtained your National Vocational Training. It is a legal requirement for you to carry this card. This normally costs £25.
HGV Licence Training
To pass your practical, you need to complete at least 35 hours. There are multiple providers who offer HGV/LGV or CPC training.
HGV Licence Cost
The total cost of the various tests is £225. This is assuming you don't fail any of the tests. This figure does not take into account training costs.
HGV Licence Renewal
Your HGV Licence is valid for 5 years. After this point, you will need to renew it by undertaking 35 hours of practical HGV training to ensure that your knowledge is fresh and up to date with safety advances.