Making the decision to undertake HGV training is a big commitment. There is a considerable amount of time and money that needs to be dedicated to the process. You will need to study for theory tests, attend a medical examination, complete an intensive training course and a practical driving test. You may already know all of this, but what you may not know is where to go when booking HGV training.
The unfortunate truth
Sadly, the HGV training industry is poorly regulated, meaning the difference between the best and the worst training providers is huge. Despite this, the prices do not tend to differ much at all. When parting with thousands of pounds of your hard-earned money, you need to be sure that the company you choose has your best interests at heart and will deliver exactly what you expect.
Problems people face when booking HGV training
Using search engines (Google/Bing/etc)
The problem with search engines is that they monetise search results by displaying paid adverts at the top. As a result, instead of seeing the best company at the top, you only see the ones who pay the most money. This is a very risky way to book training unless you are also doing your own research into each company. Often, many of the top search results will be broker companies, not actual training schools. Read on for more on this.
Using review sites
While it can be very reassuring to see high review scores for a company, how do you know if those reviews have actually been vetted? We know that there are many people in this industry who post 5-star reviews for their own businesses. We are proud to be the only HGV training search site that actively moderates feedback, removing any review that we cannot verify. If you find a training provider through our site, make sure you remember to leave feedback at the end of your course to help others!
If you’re buying a 20-hour course, are you getting 5 x 4-hour sessions? Or two long days of 8 hours each with a test on the 3rd day? Make sure your training provider specifies the course length in days, not just in hours, because a 20-hour course over 3 days is not the same as a 20-hour course over 5 days!
Unfamiliar test centre
Some companies will train you on roads local to you, but on test day will take you to a test centre miles away with unfamiliar test routes. Large goods vehicle tests can be tricky to get hold of, and this is a (not ideal!) way to solve the problem. If being on familiar roads is important to you, make sure you ask which test centre you will be using when booking HGV training.
Poor quality vehicles
There is no minimum quality standard for training vehicles, apart from being roadworthy and the correct size for test. We recommend visiting a training provider before you book, and if possible take a trial drive. Not only will this allow you to see what the training vehicle is like, but the instructor accompanying you will be able to help advise you the best length of course for you. HGV training courses are not a one-size-fits-all product – some people will be able to learn to a good standard in a few days, but some may need a lot more.
The promise of a job at the end of training
There are a lot of companies who promise they will find you work after you have completed your training. We advise that you do not choose your training provider based on this unless you have solid evidence the company can actually deliver on their promise.
Misleading pass rate claims
Pass rates have always been a controversial topic in the driver training industry. All we will say on this subject is that the national average for first time passes on HGV tests sits around the 50% mark. The best training schools in the UK may be able to push that number up to 75%, but in reality, it is difficult to get much higher than that. If you find any company who advertises first-time pass rates exceeding 90%, we recommend asking for proof.
Not booking directly
You may have seen some companies who claim to have training centres all over the UK. It is highly likely that a company who advertises a fact like this is not an actual training school, but a broker/middleman company who will simply sell your training to a local training school. Usually, this means you’ll pay more and will have no choice over the actual training school you train with.
So, how do I avoid getting caught out?
When searching for HGV training courses, make sure you search on Training Mentor. We do not advertise any broker companies, only genuine training schools. We also vet reviews to ensure they are genuine, and our search results are ranked by highest review score at the top.
Click here to search for training providers in your area. If you have any questions, get in touch via email: [email protected] or contact us via our Facebook page.
More useful links
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