What are the different types of HGV/LGV Licences and what will you be able to drive?

HGV and LGV are exactly the same thing, HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) is an older term that was used in the UK and LGV (Large Goods Vehicle) is a European term and has been more widely used over recent years. There are however different types of Lorry Driver licences based on the type of vehicle you can drive and the load you are carrying on the lorry.

The different types of licences available:

Class 1 (C+E Licence) This licence enables you to drive an articulated large goods vehicle, this is above 7.5 tonnes and up to 44 tonnes, it can be rigid or it can bend in the middle and the cab can detach, it is more likely to be used for long haul trips.

Class 2 With this licence you would be able to drive an LGV from 7.5 tonnes to 32 tonnes and it is a rigid vehicle. These vehicles are often used for short-haul delivery of larger items and can include Fire Engines and Refuse vehicle drivers.

Category C1 Licence – if you passed your driving test before 1997, you will automatically have this on your licence, this will enable you to drive a lorry from 3.5 tonnes up to 7.5 tonnes, if you passed your test after 1997 you would have to take another test. Vans that would be in this category would include: Van Mounted Cherry Pickers, Pick-up, Flatbeds and Tippers, Luton Box vans and 5T freezer vans, you would see these for most of the major supermarket vehicles.

The good news is that if you are interested in becoming a driver for companies like Amazon you would be able to drive one of their vans on your current licence and that doesn’t matter when you passed your test. You will however generally need to have less than 6 points on your licence and also have a manual driving licence.

Category BE Licence – you can drive a vehicle with a trailer (check your licence online as to the size of the trailer and when you had to have passed your driving test)

There are other more specialist licences that allow you to operate a HIAB (a vehicle with a hydraulic arm) or a lorry loader, this is a two-day course and will include 2 theory tests and a practical test. An average salary starts at around £32,000 and can rise to as high as £44,000, investing in the additional training is worth the investment of time and taking the tests.

Finally, there is the ADR licence, which is a special licence that allows you to transport dangerous goods, for example, fuel or corrosive materials, the course lasts 4 days and there is an exam at the end.

Our team at Axiom Personnel recruit across all categories and class of drivers and some of the largest haulages companies in the UK are based in Essex, for example, Hammond Transport and Clarke Transport, all recruiting driving jobs in Essex.

View your driving licence check here