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Driving an HGV in the UK

Community Licences 

Drivers who make international journeys for hire or reward within the European Union (EU) must hold a Community Licence 

 

Community Licences allow drivers to use a single permit for trips between all EU member states.

 

The licence also allows transit traffic through EU member states and to and from non-member countries

An HGV is a heavy goods vehicle, in the UK this is the normal form of transport used in haulage and distribution. A specialist licence is required to drive this sort of vehicle and this requires specialist training

As with most trades most individuals arrange and fund their own training and assessment before qualifying as an HGV driver.To apply for any position you will need to show the equivalent of a category C + E provision on your licence, these two categories will make you eligible for the majority of HGV jobs.

 

Please note that we will carry out a criminal record check as part of the recruitment process, and will only consider drivers who have been driving professionally for a minimum of two years.

Driving an HGV is a solitary job and can be made more so when driving in a different country, so candidates should be prepared for this.

 

Before taking on a job all the UK health and safety laws pertaining to driving need to be fully understood, and a driver's understanding of these rules may be checked during the interview process.

A guide to HGV licences in the UK

CPC testing:

Part 1: Theory Test

Part 2: Case Studies Test

Part 3: Driving Ability

Part 4: Practical Demonstration

 

UK driving Licence categories

HGV / LGV Cat 'C+E' (Class 1)

Any vehicle over 7.5t that has a detachable or separate trailer, Cat 'C+E' licences can only be applied for once the driver has taken and passed their Cat 'C'. These are larger vehicles so tend to be used for long haul, national and international routes.

  

HGV / LGV Cat 'C' (Class 2)
For vehicles in a rigid-based body that is over 7.5t – examples include fire engines, rubbish collection vehicles and any HGV, providing the vehicle is all one unit (i.e. the cab does not separate from the trailer). Usually operated in towns and cities.

Cat C1

For use if driving any goods vehicle that is above 3.5t and below 7.5t in weight. If you gained your driving licence before 1997, you will automatically have this category on your licence. If you gained your driving licence after 1997, you will have to take a test.

Cat C1+E

Same as above, but gives you the capacity to tow a trailer behind your C1 vehicle

 

Cat B+E

This enables you to tow an item behind a standard car. Again, if you passed before 1997 you do not need to pass a test to tow a trailer behind a car – if you passed after 1997, a full course and driving test is required.

Cat D

This is a full bus / coach licence, enabling you to drive any sized Passenger Carrying Vehicle.

Cat D1

Enables you to drive a minibus of 9-16 seats maximum. If you passed your driving test before 1997 this category will already be on your licence, if you passed after that date a full course and test is required.