How to get an HGV licence in 2023 (updated)

If you’re thinking of a career change in 2023 and the idea of driving an HGV appeals to you, then this guide is for you. The internet can be a minefield when searching for advice on this subject, therefore it can be hard to know who to trust when looking to get an HGV licence. We pride ourselves on being the best source of information on this subject because we are completely impartial and exist only to help you get the right training and advice.

At Training Mentor, we work hard to help trainees like you get an HGV licence with the minimum hassle and feel educated on the subject throughout. Therefore we offer guides like this one and a directory of over 400 training companies for you to search to find the best options in your area, meaning you can make an educated decision about where to spend your hard-earned money.

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In this guide

To gain a Category C HGV licence which will enable you to start a career as a lorry driver, you must follow these steps:

  1. Complete a driver medical assessment
  2. Apply for a provisional Category C licence
  3. Take your theory tests
  4. Undertake your practical driver training (with a reputable company)
  5. Complete the Driver CPC practical demonstration test (Module 4) or
  6. Complete 35 hours of Driver CPC periodic training*

*This option is available if you passed your car test before 1st January 1997.

HGV Driver Medical

hgv licence medicalThe HGV driver medical is carried out by a Doctor, who will check your general health to ensure you’re fit to drive an HGV. You can book a medical with a specialist provider or use your own GP. Alternatively, ask a local training company for a recommendation, or see if they offer a package that includes a medical. Some companies offer HGV driver medicals for as little as £50.

» More info on HGV driver medicals

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Apply for a provisional Category C HGV licence

To apply for a provisional HGV licence, you’ll need a completed D2 and D4 form. The D4 form would have been filled out by the Doctor during your medical, and you’ll need to complete the D2 form. You can order these forms for free from DVLA, click here.

» More info on applying for a provisional Category C licence

HGV Theory Tests

Before you can take an HGV licence driving test, you’ll need to pass some theory tests. A multiple choice questions test and an assessment of your hazard perception is required. You may also need to take a Driver CPC theory test known as a Case Studies test. You can study for these tests using books, DVDs, online software or apps.

Multiple Choice Questions

This test is made up of 100 questions from the following subjects:

hgv licence theory test

  • Vehicle weights and dimensions
  • Drivers’ hours and rest periods
  • Braking systems
  • Incidents, accidents, and emergencies
  • Vehicle defects
  • Leaving the vehicle
  • Vehicle loading and handling
  • Restricted view
  • Documents
  • Environmental issues
  • Other road users
  • Road signs and markings

The pass mark is 85/100.

Hazard Perception

This test uses video clips to test your reaction to developing hazards on the road. It’s vital you’re aware of the dangers around you on the road in order to get an HGV licence. You will need to click the mouse when you see potential hazards and you will be graded on your responses. The pass mark for this test is 67/100.

» More info on HGV theory test preparation

» More info on HGV theory tests

» The best HGV theory software and apps

Practical HGV licence training hgv licence training

This is the bit that causes the most nerves and/or excitement. When you actually get to drive an HGV for the first time! We must stress that it is vital that you contact a reputable, local company. Don’t get caught out by fancy-looking websites at the top of Google – they’re not all trustworthy! Find a training school right here on TrainingMentor.co.uk and you can be sure you’re booking with a genuine, local business. The cost of getting an HGV licence in 2023 can be substantial, so make sure you don’t hand over your hard-earned cash to the wrong company.

» Top 10 mistakes people make when booking HGV training

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Driver CPC practical demonstration test

To be a professional HGV licence holder, you now must also hold a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). For most new drivers* this means completing a practical test (known as a Module 4 test) where you demonstrate your knowledge of various subjects related to being an HGV driver. These include:

  • Loading the vehicle following safety rules and keeping it secure
  • Preventing trafficking in illegal immigrants
  • Assessing emergency situations
  • Reducing physical risk to yourself or others
  • Daily vehicle safety checks

The Module 4 test is carried out at a test centre by a DVSA Examiner, or can be done in-house at some training providers’ premises. The pass mark is 80/100, but you must also score 15/20 in each of the five subjects in the above list.

» More info on the Driver CPC Module 4 Test

* If you passed your car test before 1st January 1997 and automatically hold a C1 licence, you have a choice of routes to gain your CPC. See below.

Driver CPC periodic training

If you hold a C1 (up to 7.5t licence) you have what’s known as ‘acquired rights’. This means you can choose between two routes to get your Driver CPC. You can take the previously mentioned ‘Case Studies Theory Test’ and ‘Practical Demonstration Test’, or you can undertake 35 hours of ‘Periodic Training’. This route involves no tests, it is just based on attendance. Therefore, it is ideal for those of you who hate tests!

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If you have any questions…

If you’re unsure about anything in this guide, or you have a general question about the process of getting your HGV licence, please get in touch via the form below. You will receive a response from Training Mentor or one of our recommended, verified members to answer your query.

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