Commercial driving training questions

HGV/LGV training questions answered.

Frequently asked questions

If you have a question which is not answered below, use the form on the right of this page along with the question(s) you wish to ask us and we will do our best to include on this page.

View the answers by clicking on the listed questions below.

ADR Training

Are there any online mock test websites for ADR training?

No mock Q&A online for ADR and it is not possible to study for ADR online either. You will have to attend an intensive I’m afraid. You might be able to Google some “similar questions” to the ADR exam.

I can tell you it is level 2 NVQ and the exams are multi choice. It is pretty straight forward stuff and it would be true to say more Drivers pass (and attain) an ADR than don’t. Of course it helps if you go with a good training provider.

How much does an ADR course cost?

Prices vary. Anything from £400 to £800 depending on what type of ADR you want. A full 5 days is the more expensive course (pack and tank) but the most common course is the 3.5 days packaged.

I am currently a DGSA. Do I still need to do a full ADR course or can I just do the exam?

Well done on passing your DGSA. It’s not any easy one. The answer to your question is you must complete the full ADR course (as well as pass the required the exam.) Anyone who wants to acquire the ADR qualification, regardless of being a DGSA must attend the full course.

Driver CPC

How much does driver CPC driving cost?

How much Driver CPC Training Costs is dependent on whether you require Initial Driver CPC training or Periodic Driver CPC training.

The Initial Driver CPC qualification is for new HGV entrants whereas Periodic Driver CPC training is for existing HGV and PCV licence holders.

The Initial Driver CPC Qualification requires tests to be passed. For Periodic Driver CPC training course attendance only is needed.

Initial Driver CPC Training Prices

If you are a new entrant (cat C1, C1E and C) and intend to drive an HGV professionally you will need to obtain the Initial Driver CPC qualification. Acquiring the Initial Driver CPC will typically go hand in hand with gaining your HGV licence. The Initial CPC and HGV licence process is best broken down into 4 modules, totalling 5 tests. Modules 1 and 2 are theory based (multi choice and hazard perception), Modules 3 and 4 are practical based (HGV driving test and practical demonstration test).

The costs and pass criteria associated with Initial Driver CPC is below:

Driver CPC Module 1 (A & B) and 2
You need to study and prepare sufficiently to ensure you get through the theory test stages. There are various methods used learn what is required. You can study online, by book or by CD ROM and DVD.

  • Three HGV theory tests have to be sat and passed. Module 1 is divided into 2 separate tests: Module 1A is a multi choice exam (must get at least 85 correct). The cost for this test is – £35.00 (DSA test fee). Module 1B is a HGV hazard perception theory test, (Must score at least 67). The cost for this test is – £15.00 (DSA test fee).
  • Module 2 is a case study based theory examination (must score at least 40). The cost for this test is – £30.00.

Module 3

Practical training. The HGV practical test fee is £115.00 (Monday to Friday) and £141.00 (Saturdays). The HGV practical training will be delivered over an intensive period. The length and subsequent cost of your training will depend on your ability to reach the standard required to pass the driving test. For more information please view our posts on HGV Training Prices and How Long Does it Take to Gain HGV.

Module 4

Module 4 is the practical demonstration knowledge exam: the test fee for this is currently £55.00 (Monday to Friday). You will need to undertake formal training and provide a suitable vehicle for the test. Most companies will provide the Module 4 training in the morning and arrange your practical test in the afternoon. You should expect to pay between £190.00 – £275.00 all in (should include tuition, VAT, test fee and use of vehicle).

Driver CPC Periodic Training Costs

Periodic Driver CPC training requires all professional lorry, bus and coach drivers to complete 35 hours formal training every 5 years. The 35 hours is broken down into 5, 7 hour blocks of approved training. How much the 7 hours training costs will range between different training providers.

There is no “fixed price” suffice the £43.75 employers and drivers pay for their Driver CPC Qualification Card (DQC). Broken down that equates to £1.25 for every hour of Driver CPC completed. When looking to complete training we strongly advise not always going for the cheapest option and just “tick the boxes”. Get a return on your investment and complete quality training. If you can, try and get another qualification at the same time and that way you are killing 2 birds with one stone. For example elements of the following courses can count towards your DQC: ADR, Lorry Loader, Operator CPC, EPIC, Aviation Security, LGV training etc.

HGV Training

Do I need a digital tachograph card when undergoing HGV driver training?

No. Whilst undergoing driver training you will be exempt from using a tachograph, either analogue or digital.

How long does it take to train to be a lorry driver?

Attaining HGV entitlement to drive commercially (categories C1 or C) takes approximately eight to ten weeks from start to finish. This should include everything: (medical, provisional licence acquisition, theory training and testing, and practical training and testing.) A great deal of this time is spent waiting for provisional entitlement to be granted and theory test studying and test booking

Be wary of “training companies” who claim to offer fast track HGV training courses. There is no such thing as a fast track course and anyone who tells you otherwise is frankly being economical with the truth. Everyone has to go through the same process the same way.

Since September 10th 2009 Driver CPC became a mandatory requirement for all wannabe and existing professional Drivers. With its implementation came more tests that must be passed to demonstrate professional competence. So how long it takes to train will be determined by whether or not you need Driver CPC. There are certain Driver CPC exemptions for both new and existing HGV drivers. The general rule of thumb however for new entrants is if you are going to drive professionally after you pass your HGV tests then you will need to complete all 4 modules of the Initial Driver CPC.

So, if you are a new entrant and do not already posses C1 entitlement (and are going to need The Initial Driver CPC) then you have to get through five tests, 3 of which are theory and the remaining 2 are practical. HGV and Driver CPC licence acquisition can seem a daunting process. It needn’t be. We advise you initially contact a local HGV and Driver CPC training provider who can guide you through the whole process.

Rough time line for HGV and Driver CPC would be as follows:

1. book medical – ( approx. 1 week wait)
2. apply for provisional C through DVLA (typically 2-3 weeks)
3. book and wait to sit theory tests (typically 2-3 weeks)
4. Book and wait to start practical training and testing (typically 2-3 weeks but can depend on availability)

As you can see it’s an approximation and not an exact science.

By far the most costly and time consuming element of the HGV acquisition process will be the practical driver training (module 3.) How long the practical driver training will hinge on two variants:

Age and driving experience
Good road sense, plenty of common sense and a willingness to learn (be prepared to listen to your Instructor!) are the key ingredients in achieving success. HGV training courses are normally delivered over a 5 or 10 day period (by far 5 days is the most common course duration.)

Most reputable LGV training companies will also offer courses to meet your specific abilities and needs. For example 3,7,9 etc.. day courses are not unheard of. It may be a good idea to have a driving assessment. Some benefits to having an assessment include:

Tailored assessment (more or less than the standard “5 days” may be needed.)
Meet the HGV training provider (make sure they meet your aspirations.)
drive the vehicle you may train in (get an idea of what driving a truck is like.)
you may get it free (some HGV licence training providers will provide you an assessment free of charge.)

If you are going for an assessment don’t forget your driving licence. BOTH PARTS.
The practical driving test (Module 3) will go on for approximately one and a quarter hours. On your driving test you cannot commit more than fifteen 15 minor faults (e.g. fail to check blind spot.) Get just one serious (i.e. mount the kerb) or dangerous fault (i.e. Examiner has had to take control of vehicle and a retest will be needed. We have some excellent HGV test tips that will help.

We hope this gives you an insight into how long it takes to get your HGV and Driver CPC licence.

How long will my HGV entitlement last?

You will retain HGV entitlement till you are 45 years of age however you will be required to “renew” your vocational licence every 5 years. To renew you will need to sign a declaration to confirm you are fit and healthy to drive a commercial vehicle. Once you reach 45 point you must pass a medical (and every 5 years thereafter) to confirm you are physically able to drive an HGV professionally.

How much does a lorry driver earn?

Any career which demands a high level of training and competence will be rewarded with a professional salary to reflect the hard work and effort undertaken by an individual. An HGV driver and PCV driver, in the main, is no exception to this rule.

The salary earned will not only be determined by age and experience, but will also depend on the level of HGV training undertaken and licence acquired. For example, a driver with category CE (class 1) should expect to earn more than a driver with just category C (class 2) entitlement.

Once qualified in the discipline of their choice, drivers can choose to opt for permanent employment, where they are guaranteed a set salary, or they can undertake agency work where they may be given a wide variety of short term positions to gain skills and experience.

Permanent LGV Driver Employment

The average salary of a permanent, full-time UK UK LGV driver is currently £24,700. So some drivers earn more than £24,700 and some earn less than £24,700.

A newly qualified HGV driver (cat C and CE) can expect to earn a salary in the region of £18,500 to £24,500 in permanent employment, while an experienced driver can earn in the region of £22,500 to £35,000 plus.

Pay rates will vary depending on the individual employer, as well specific job title and duties of the driver. When it comes to finding work new entrants do have a certain disadvantage as employers and insurance companies typically prefer applicants to have 2 years driving experience. This is not always the case however and conscientious employers will take on new drivers who have the right aptitude and attitude.

Temporary or Agency LGV Driver Employment

A large number of new HGV drivers opt to undertake work with agencies, driving for a wide variety of firms, in order to gain experience and improve their skills.

The disadvantage of agency work is that the pay rates can vary and drivers need to be aware of achievable hourly pay in line with their qualifications and expectations. Also, temporary work is just that, temporary. As a result continual work cannot be guaranteed.

Pay expectations for the various entitlements are listed below:
The HGV Career Ladder

  • Cat C1 (over 3.5 tonne but no more than 7.5 tonne vehicle). £6.50 to £11.00 per hour
  • Cat C (over 7.5 but no more than 32 tonnes (under construction and use regulations) vehicle). £7.00 to £13.50 per hour
  • Cat CE (class 1, articulated, drawbar type vehicle).£8.00 to £15.00 plus, per hour

Once drivers have built up their knowledge and skills, there are still many ways in which they develop their career and improve their salary. HGV driving is not just about driving a truck. For example many HGV’s are fitted with a crane (HIAB) which must be operated by a suitably trained and qualified HGV driver.

Some drivers may also be required to transport dangerous (ADR) or high value goods which requires specialist training and certification. Some HGV drivers may even elect to become Operator CPC holders. Operator CPC training is required if you wish to become a transport manager or owner operator. It confirms the holder has a thorough knowledge of managing a commercial transport enterprise.

Each extra skill and discipline further enhances the HGV drivers knowledge and experience and this in turn should reflect a higher rate of pay.

How much does HGV/LGV training cost?

There are many factors that will affect the price will pay for your HGV training. These include such things as location and duration of the course.

When choosing a course, the most influencing aspect will undoubtedly be the price. Brokers, who pass their training bookings onto local firms, will generally charge more in order to make their cut. This is reason why it really does pay to go direct to a local established HGV training company. Potential students should aim to look what training firms can offer for the price such as the quality of the training fleet and the qualifications of the instructor leading the course.

HGV Training Locations

The location of a training centre can be responsible for a difference in price for what appears to be a similar course.

One region may have several training companies in close proximity, meaning there will be a level of competition between the firms and this may be reflected in the price. Geographical placing will also have an effect; For example a course run in the Scottish Highlands may cost less than a course delivered in the South east of England.

HGV Training Course Duration

The length of the course and the additional assessments required will also determine the price of your LGV training. For example, some training firms may offer a set five day course while others may charge an hourly rate for one to one training until the candidate is ready to sit the driving test.

Also it is worth noting that most HGV training companies will offer the complete package, i.e. LGV medical, LGV theory training, LGV theory tests, practical HGV driver training and Driver CPC practical training and test. So if you can get a price for the whole thing as opposed to just the 5 day driving course then all the better.

Unsure About a Career as an HGV Driver?

Driving an LGV for a living can be very rewarding but it is not everyones cup of tea. Before you book and pay for any driver training you really need to know what you are letting yourself in for. So before you commit why not have a look at of our HGV career pros and cons article. This will help to give you an un-biased view on driving HGVs professionally.

HGV Licence Process

The stages involved in gaining HGV or LGV entitlement may at first seem a little daunting, but rest assured it isn’t as bad as it first seems! Most of the companies we promote via this website can guide you through the complete LGV licence process from medical to Module 4. We advise you speak with your local training provider or read our simplified overview of what is needed to secure your new HGV licence.

How to Pay for HGV Training

Training to become a professional HGV driver or PCV driver will probably require some financial planning. Students may be able to receive funding assistance from employers or government schemes such as Career Development Loans (CDL) and Skills for Logistics. It is also worth making contact with local HGV training companies to discover if any regional or localised funding is available.

If I pass C and C+CC, what are my chances of finding work?

There is LGV driving work available. You just have to work that much harder to get a start. Currently some employers require 2 years experience before offering any work. It’s not like that everywhere but it is harder for new entrants. If you put in enough (right) effort you will get a start though.

What’s the minimum age for driving a lorry?

In September 2009, in line with the implementation of Driver CPC, the minimum age for driving an HGV (category C and C+E) vehicle was reduced from 21 to 18 years.

The age was reduced in the main to entice younger drivers into the commercial HGV transport industry.

Previous to lowering the age, school leavers who wanted to drive an HGV commercially had to wait until they were 21. For some (who left school at 16) this was a five year wait. By the time they had reached 21 they had already taken up another profession.

The HGV industry has for many years experienced difficulties recruiting young drivers. A Perceived lack of career development and poor job appeal are just some of the factors that put the new generation off. A couple of facts put this into context. Only 1% off all lorry drivers are under the age of 25 and the average age of an HGV driver is 51.

New Age to Drive a Truck from January 19th 2013

The government has changed the rules again and from 19th January next year (2013) you will have to be 21 to drive an LGV. However (from Jan 2013) you can still drive an LGV (Category C and C+E) from 18 as, long as you obtain the Initial Driver CPC qualification (Modules 1,2,3 and 4) So as long as you acquire the Initial Driver CPC (whether you actually need it or not) you can still drive an LGV from 18 years. click here to read more

HGV and LGV Licence Categories

In the United Kingdom, there are 2 categories of LGV licence entitlement and 1 medium goods category. Each category comes with its own vehicle weights and restrictions. Below we break down the categories and explain what each one means.

Category C1. Minimum Driving Age 18

Cat C1 is best described as a seven and a half tonne truck. A C1 licence is not categorised as an HGV. it is classified as a Medium Goods Vehicle (MGV). A category C1 licence entitles the holder to drive goods vehicles that have a maximum authorised mass (weight of vehicle and load) over 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 7.5 tonnes. It is possible to tow a trailer with a C1 licence as long as the trailer and load do not exceed 750 kilograms (KG).

If a licence holder passed their test before 1st Jan 1997, they will automatically have gained category C1 entitlement. A new entrant (requiring C) who already has C1 will not need to gain the Initial Driver CPC qualification (Modules 2 and 4) .

Category C. Minimum Driving Age. 18 (with Driver CPC)

Category C, also known as class 2 or a rigid, is a goods vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) over 3.5 tonnes but not more than 32 tonnes. The 32 tonnes restriction is a Construction and Use regulation and applies to all class 2 type vehicles. A rigid type vehicle is best described as having the cab and trailer permanently fixed together.

Like the C1, a trailer may be towed but it cannot go over 750 KGS. If you want to tow a trailer over 750 KGS the you must add the E entitlement. E represents a trailer. Despite the consecutiveness of the categories, drivers do not need to obtain category C1 entitlement before gaining category C. You can in effect leapfrog the 7.5 tonnes process and go straight for class 2.

Category CE. Minimum Driving Age 18 (with Driver CPC)

In order for a driver to take control of an articulated or draw bar type vehicle, a category CE licence is required. Category E represents trailer entitlement with a weight exceeding 750kg Gross Vehicle Weight. All drivers will need to obtain a category C licence prior to adding category E entitlement.

Having category CE will automatically allow a driver to BE and C1E entitlements, which in effect is the ultimate licence.

The vast majority of CE vehicles on UK roads are articulated rather than drawbar yet the majority of CE training is delivered in a draw bar. It ultimately does not matter what type of CE vehicle you train and test in as long as you get the right result and pass. Most employers are more interested you having a CE licence in the first place rather than how you trained to obtain one.

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