If you are interested in becoming an HGV Driver then, you probably have a number of questions about the process such as how long it takes to qualify, the HGV training costs and ultimately, what you can earn from driving a Lorry for a living. Here we address the fundamental questions so that you can decide whether it is the right career path for you or not.
How Much Does it Cost to Train as a Lorry Driver?
There are many HGV training companies around, and all of them will charge varying prices, depending on what they offer. Apart from the price of the test fees themselves, nothing is at a fixed rate. It is always important therefore to call a few different training companies initially to get their HGV training prices up front.
From there, you can create a shortlist of the ones that are of interest to you and then pay them a visit.
It is also worth remembering that the cheapest HGV training cost will not always be the best option. What a company offers in terms of facilities, vehicles and experienced instructors can make a big difference in how quickly and smoothly you move through the training. It can also ultimately affect whether you pass the theory and practical tests involved at your first attempt or whether it takes you more time.
What Sort of HGV Can I Drive?
You can legally drive an HGV vehicle in the UK once you are 18 years of age and there are four types of HGV vehicle…
How Long Does HGV Training Take?
There are three categories of HGV Licence, and you will need to consider which is best for the types of jobs you want to pursue. Below is an outline of the basic steps you will need to take to gain your licence, bearing in mind some differences if you already have exemptions. This is also assuming that you already have your initial CPC training and have been issued with your Driver Qualification Card.
- Medical: This can be done at any GP’s practice, and prices vary between £45 and £150, so it is worth checking with local doctors to see what they charge and their availability. The sooner you have your medical form approved, the sooner you can move forward with your training.
- Provisional Licence Application: This needs to be applied for by post to the DVLA and can take around three weeks to be approved
- HGV Theory Tests: There are three theory tests that you will need to pass: HGV Multiple Choice Test, Hazard Perception and Driver CPC Scenario Theory Test. How long it will take you to get through these tests, will largely depend on the amount of time you have available for study.
- Practical Driver Training and Test: These practical training courses usually run over a five day period at a training company and are followed by a practical test.
- Module 4 Driver CPC Test: This test is carried out at a DSA Practical Test Centre and concentrates on driving an HGV commercially. It therefore takes into account practical, legal and health & safety issues.
With quite a few factors involved it is difficult to give an exact length of time it will take you to gain your licence, however you should probably factor in a period of no less than eight weeks from start to finish.
What Other Costs are Involved in Obtaining an HGV Licence?
As we have seen above it will depend somewhat on which category of HGV Licence you are applying for. However, you should consider all of the following:
- Initial CPC Training
- Theory Training
- Theory Tests
- Practical Driving Instruction
- Practical Driving Test
Which HGV Training Companies Should I Talk To?
When you are looking at which company to choose, a number of considerations will be important to you.
Location: It is essential to consider how far away the training company is from your home. If you have to travel a long way, the expense and time involved can quickly add up.
Also check what qualifications the instructors hold and how many people they have previously taken through the HGV training. It is a good idea to call a few training companies and ask them about their success rates. You could also request testimonials from people who have gone on to gain HGV licences after they have trained them.
HGV Training Vehicles
Once you have short listed maybe two or 3 training companies then pay them a visit. This will allow you to ensure that the vehicles you will be using for training are well serviced and that you are comfortable that the company puts safety and reliability first.
All good quality HGV training companies will be happy to let you visit them and to let you look at their facilities and vehicles. If they do not seem keen to do this, then consider very carefully whether they are the right place to undergo training.
How Much Does an HGV Driver Earn?
How much you can earn as a driver will depend to some extent on which category of HGV licence you hold and on your age and experience. However, it is an occupation that you have to be well-trained for and one in which you have to outlay for the initial HGV training costs. Driving an HGV is a skilled job, and you will be paid at a level commensurate with the time and effort you have dedicated to getting your licence.
New entrants to HGV driving will usually earn anything up to around £25,000 per annum and those with more experience will earn approximately £30,000 per annum and above.
The Next Step in Starting Your Career as a Lorry Driver
If you feel that driving an HGV lorry is the right career for you, and you have the necessary time in the next couple of months to devote to training, then the first step is to do some research. As we have seen costs can vary quite considerably, so it is always best to contact companies direct and find out the HGV training prices from several different suppliers.
Once you have visited a couple of HGV training centres and were comfortable with their facilities, vehicles and instructors, then it is time to make your choice and start down the road to your HGV licence.