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find out how to become

a HGV Driver

The benefits of enhancing your skills

Whether you're looking for a change of scenery or want to advance your career, learning how to become a HGV driver could be the first step of your new professional life. You could be helping to deliver cargo around the country or even internationally when you get your first driving job. Lorry drivers are some of the most important people in ensuring important deliveries get to where they need to go in a timely manner.

Becoming a professional delivery driver will require you to work potentially very long hours whilst transporting goods to and from manufacturing plants and retail locations.

With HGV drivers ever in demand, it’s never too late to start a career in this industry. And there are many companies in the UK currently hiring. If you want to learn how to become a lorry driver, there are a few requirements you’ll have to fulfil. There's also some training to undertake before you begin. Once you’ve completed any training, you can start to look at our HGV driver CV templates to help you nail the first step.

What qualifications do you need?

To become a heavy goods vehicle driver you must hold a full UK driving licence and be over the age of 18. If you have a full car license, you can take a HGV driving theory and practical test to start the process of becoming a qualified lorry driver. The full costs of obtaining the qualifications needed are estimated to be £250 to £300.

    1. You must first apply for a provisional lorry drivers licence which will involve sending in a D4 medical form
    2. You’ll need to pass a theory and practical ability driving exam to obtain a full lorry drivers licence
    3. To legally drive a HGV for your job, you will also need a professional driving qualification called the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC)
    4. It’s important to differentiate between different HGV licence types; different licences point to the weight of the vehicle you’re driving. These licences range from a Cat C1 which can weigh between 3500 and 7500kg with a trailer up to 750kg and a Cat C + E, a vehicle weighing over 3500kg with a trailer weighing over 750kg

You can get full details on the tests and fees from the the government's web page on becoming a lorry driver or bus driver.  It can take 8-10 weeks to complete all of the necessary steps. Once you’ve completed these steps, you’re ready to become employed as a fully qualified lorry driver. Most companies will also offer additional training, but these steps are necessary to complete before you start job hunting. Many companies will ask about your experience as part of their HGV interview questions, so you should know your qualifications inside out before an interview.

Key characteristics & skills you need

Here's our advice to ensure the process of starting your new job is as smooth as possible. From your first day, to meeting your new team, here are the skills you'll need:

  • Ability to focus for long periods of time
  • Patient driving at any time of day or night
  • Able to complete paperwork when completing deliveries
  • Good communication skills when delivering goods
  • Excellent understanding of road safety & knowledge of HGV’s including loading and unloading safely
  • Should be able to work independently to solve problems on the go
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How much experience do you need to become a HGV driver?

Lengthy experience will sometimes play a factor when it comes to being employed as a HGV driver. Some companies won’t require you to have any experience other than the requirements listed above. Other companies will only offer applicants a job if they have 1 or more years experience as a driver..

As this varies by company, check the job description to see if there are any experience requirements before you apply.

Average salary of a lorry driver

The average salary of a HGV driver varies depending on experience, vehicle driven, location, cargo you’re transporting, company you work for and other factors.  

  • Newly qualified drivers can earn from £18,000 up to £23,000
  • Drivers with a few years experience can earn from £23,000 up to £29,000
  • Highly qualified HGV drivers can earn anywhere up to £40,000

Working hours of a HGV driver

If you become a HGV driver, you can expect to work irregular hours throughout the day and night. Due to the nature of the industry, there are regulations in place to ensure lorry drivers aren’t overworked:

  • The working limit is 9 hours per day
  • Drivers are allowed to drive 10 hours a day twice a week
  • Drivers may only work for 56 hours in any week, or 90 hours in a fortnight

There are also regulations in place regarding rests during hours of work. You'll need to take 45 hours of rest in any given week and at least 45 minutes of rest every 4 and a half hours of driving.

We offer driving jobs from all around the country so there's no need to travel far to start your dream job. With new driving jobs being regularly added to our list, there's no excuse not to enquire about your new position today!

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See what jobs we are currently recruiting for

HGV driving can be highly rewarding, and perfect for people with lots of focus and ability to work independently for long periods of time. If you’re interested in becoming a HGV driver, browse our jobs

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