How Long Does It Take to Begin Driving HGVs in the UK?

If you’re considering a transition to a new profession that offers greater independence and earning prospects compared to your current occupation, enrolling in an HGV driving course might be the solution. Presently, there is a significant dearth of approximately 100,000 HGV drivers across the United Kingdom, prompting the government to implement measures aimed at simplifying the training process and promoting the return of more skilled individuals to the driving workforce.

Skilled HGV drivers play a crucial role in the British economy by transporting necessary goods across the nation. By securing a reputable truck driving job, individuals can establish a dependable career and receive a substantial monthly salary.

Lorry driving not only provides financial stability but also offers a sense of liberation and enjoyment in your professional journey, especially if you have a penchant for life on the road. However, there remains one question: what is the timeline for obtaining a lorry licence and commencing your new career?

Here is a comprehensive guide that provides all the essential information about the process of becoming a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) driver.

Requirements for obtaining an HGV licence

To embark on the journey of becoming an HGV driver, it is essential to ensure your eligibility for training. Fortunately, the prerequisites for entering this field are quite minimal. A degree is not necessary; all you need is a valid UK driver’s licence and to be at least 18 years old. Book your HGV training course to get started with the process.

If you do not already possess a driver’s licence, obtaining one will likely be the most time-consuming aspect of becoming a lorry driver. The process of getting your licence can take anywhere from 1 to 5 months, so it is crucial to initiate the process as soon as possible. However, it is important to note that the majority of individuals contemplating a career in this field will likely already be in possession of a licence to commence their journey.

If you already possess a valid driver’s licence, the majority of your efforts in transitioning to your desired profession will be dedicated to obtaining your provisional licence and preparing for the necessary examinations. It is advisable to initiate this process as soon as possible.

To gain a deeper understanding of your theory, it is important to dedicate more time and effort to studying

How much time does it typically require to train as a novice HGV driver?

The duration required to become an HGV driver varies based on various factors. These factors include whether you are new to the field or returning after a break from another occupation.

To begin a new career, it is necessary to obtain a provisional HGV driving licence. There are various types of HGV licences to choose from, so it is important to be aware of the specific vehicles you will be operating.

Heavy goods vehicles and lorries are typically classified as “Category C” licences. To confirm which options are available to you, you can refer to the official page. The provisional licence can be obtained through either online or postal application methods. It is common to receive the licence within approximately three weeks from the date of application, although in some cases it may take longer.

If you possess an HGV licence, it is likely that you will be required to undergo a medical evaluation. This is standard practice for most HGV licences. The medical examination will involve a quick assessment and a discussion with a physician to ensure that you do not have any existing medical conditions that could affect your ability to drive.

After completing your inspection, you will be required to undertake a set of four CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) examinations. These examinations encompass the following:

  • The theory test consists of two sections: a multiple-choice quiz and a hazard perception test. It is advisable to begin studying as soon as you receive your provisional licence in order to book your theory test promptly. Completion of the theory test is a prerequisite for taking the practical driving test, where you can demonstrate your driving skills.
  • When it comes to your CPC, you can schedule The case study component as soon as you receive your provisional licence. The validity of this certificate begins from the day you pass your test and remains in effect for a period of two years.
  • The driving ability test assesses your skills in operating a lorry or heavy goods vehicle (HGV). Prior completion of the theory test is a prerequisite to taking this examination. Typically, it requires approximately one and a half hours to complete.
  • The practical demonstration test assesses your knowledge in five areas of the CPC syllabus. Each topic is worth a maximum of 20 points. It is important to thoroughly prepare and study in order to be well-informed for the test.

Upon successful completion of your test, you will be granted your CPC card, a requirement for operating your HGV. On average, the entire process of completing both practical and theoretical tests typically lasts approximately five days, regardless of prior experience.

What if requalification becomes necessary?

If you have previously completed your HGV training, you will not be required to go through the entire qualification process again. The Gov.UK website offers additional guidance on the potential steps you may need to follow.

To begin, it is important to verify if your licence has expired. After that, you will have to update your information and confirm if the licence you possess allows you to operate the specific vehicles you wish to be authorised for. It might be necessary for you to undergo 35 hours of CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) training and successfully clear your driver case studies and practical demonstration tests once more.

To maintain your status as a qualified HGV driver, it is important to renew your licence every five years. Individuals below the age of 45 can simply complete the necessary paperwork and update their information, whereas individuals above 45 years old will require a medical evaluation. For individuals over the age of 65, licence renewal is required on an annual basis.

To ensure the validity of your licence, you are also obligated to complete an additional 35 hours of training every five years in order to maintain your current qualifications.

How much time does it typically require to become a professional lorry driver?

Transitioning to a career as an HGV driver can be completed in a shorter time frame than anticipated. Having a car licence allows you to complete a significant portion of the necessary tasks within five days, although some self-study may be required beforehand. To expedite the process, it is advisable to collaborate with experienced individuals in the field.