What is an HGV licence?
An HGV licence (officially known as an LGV licence) allows the holder to drive a variety of lorries. The term HGV, which stands for Heavy Goods Vehicles, has now officially been replaced by LGV (Large Goods Vehicle). However, many people still use the term ‘HGV’. There are two main types available: Category C and Category CE.
In this guide:
- Types of HGV licence
- How to get an HGV licence
- What can I drive with my HGV licence?
- Getting an HGV licence – a word of warning
Types of HGV licence
The Category C licence is often referred to as a ‘Class 2’. ‘Class 2’ is the old name for Category C, and is still widely used in the industry. In simple terms, a Category C licence will allow you to drive a rigid lorry weighing over 7.5 tons. This is a fixed body vehicle, usually with no trailer. The licence does allow you to tow a small trailer, but for big trailers you’ll need a Category CE licence.
Don’t be pressured into paying for training before you’ve been and visited training providers in person. Think of it like buying a car. You wouldn’t buy one over the phone, you’d go and check it out first.
The Category CE HGV licence is often known as a ‘Class 1’. This entitlement essentially allows you to drive HGVs pulling trailers weighing over 750kg. This includes the big 44 ton articulated lorries you see running up and down the motorways all day and night. In order to get a Category CE HGV entitlement, you must first have your Category C.
How to get an HGV licence
As mentioned, in order to get your Category CE HGV entitlement you will need to pass two driving tests. First you will need to pass the Category C test. At this point, you will be given provisional entitlement to start learning to drive Category CE. You will then need to return to the test centre to take the Category CE test. The process of getting a Category C HGV licence is explained in detail in our guide, click here to read it.
Once you’ve got your Category C licence, upgrading to Category CE is simple. There’s no theory tests or extra steps involved. All you need to do is complete the training and pass the driving test.
What can I drive with my HGV licence?
Lorries come in a thousand varieties of size and type. With that comes a variety of job roles, the possibilities are endless. Here are some examples of jobs you can apply for with your HGV licence
- Builders merchant deliveries
- Tipper lorries (tarmac/aggregate etc)
- Concrete mixers
- Grab lorries (HIAB)
- Refrigerated goods
- Supermarket supply
- Bin lorries
- Mobile cranes
- Fire service
- Parcel/mail services
- Pallet network
- Shipping container transport
This is just an example of some of the options available to you with an HGV licence. The beauty of this qualification is there’s something for everyone. Transport is a 24/7 operation which means, if you want to work nights, you can. If you want to work Monday to Friday, you can. Don’t want to do any heavy lifting, no problem. There’s a role that suits everyone, it’s just a case of finding what you like.
Getting an HGV licence – a word of warning
The cost of getting an HGV licence can be quite high. Therefore, it makes sense to do your research before you spend ANY money. Don’t be pressured into paying for training before you’ve been and visited training providers in person. Think of it like buying a car. You wouldn’t buy one over the phone, you’d go and check it out first. Not everything is as it seems, and the internet makes it very easy for dodgy companies to appear very professional.
Before you spend any money, check out our impartial, free guides to finding HGV licence training. See links below.