EP Training

Sat, March 09, 2024

HGV CE Training and Obtaining Your CE Licence

HGV CE Training and Obtaining Your CE Licence

To obtain a CE driving licence, several steps must be completed, especially if you intend to drive CE goods vehicles commercially. Additionally, you may need a Driver CPC card. However, since November 2021, there has been an opportunity to acquire your CE driving licence without having to pass the Cat C driving test first. Therefore, if you are serious about obtaining your CE licence, it's crucial to understand the process, costs, and duration involved. In this post, we'll explore the necessary steps to achieve your goal.


Introduction to HGV CE Training and Licence Acquisition


Overview of HGV CE licence and its significance in the transportation industry


If your goal is to become a lorry driver, you'll typically operate either a Cat C rigid-type vehicle or a Cat CE articulated (Class 1) drawbar goods truck. The CE entitlement allows you to drive both Cat C rigids and Cat CE artics. Obtaining an artic licence (Cat CE) opens up opportunities for various HGV driving jobs, and class 1 drivers generally command higher remuneration than class 2 drivers. Therefore, if your aim is to drive artics, it's advisable to skip the class 2 licence and go straight for the class 1 licence if you're capable.


Importance of professional training and certification for aspiring CE drivers


Driving an articulated CE vehicle demands skill and concentration, which must be demonstrated throughout the CE licence acquisition process. Meeting the criteria to pass the numerous tests involved can be challenging, requiring both driving experience and plenty of common sense. The DVSA, responsible for HGV theory and driver testing, aims to ensure that you can fulfill the role of a professional Class 1 driver competently and safely.


At the initial stage of your artic licence application, it's crucial to find a reputable HGV training company in your local area. For those based in Surrey, contacting EP Training is recommended, as they have been providing expert artic training since 1981. A good and reputable training company will assist and manage everything for you, including the medical examination, provisional application, theory tests, practical driver training, driving test, and Driver CPC.


While you can arrange the medical examination, provisional application, and theory tests yourself for the CE licence, it's often much easier to let a professional company guide you through the process. They can provide invaluable support and expertise, ensuring you're fully prepared for each stage of the licensing journey.


Understanding the HGV CE Licence


Explanation of the HGV CE licence category and its eligibility criteria


If you already possess a Category C (Class 2) driving licence and aim to obtain your CE (Class 1) licence, you'll only need to undergo driver training and the test specific to articulated vehicles. Since you've already completed the theory requirements for your Class 2 licence, there's no need to repeat the process. Moreover, having passed your Class 2 test automatically grants you provisional entitlement for Class 1.

However, if you hold only a standard UK car driving licence and wish to progress directly to Class 1, there are additional steps involved. Initially, you must pass a basic medical examination and apply to the DVLA for provisional CE entitlement. Once granted, you'll need to pass several theory tests, including the Driver CPC. Only after completing these steps can you proceed to the driving test for articulated vehicles. Prior to your driving test, you would have undergone appropriate and adequate driver training. The entire process, from the medical examination to the Class 1 driving test, typically takes around 8 weeks, assuming all goes smoothly.

A CE category licence, also known as an artic or Class 1 licence, represents the largest of all HGV categories. It allows you to operate the biggest vehicles on the UK's roads and motorways.


Overview of the vehicles that can be driven with a CE licence


Having a CE licence also grants you entitlement to drive vehicles covered by other licence categories, including:


1. Category C1 (7.5 tonnes): This allows you to drive rigid goods vehicles with a maximum authorized mass (MAM) exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 7.5 tonnes.

2. Category 1E (7.5 tonnes with trailer): With this entitlement, you can operate Category C1 vehicles with trailers, provided the combined gross train weight (GTW) does not exceed 12 tonnes.

3. Category C (Rigid Goods Vehicles): This covers any rigid goods vehicle with a MAM exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 32 tonnes. 

4. Category CE (Articulated Vehicles): This allows you to drive goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes with a trailer weighing over 750 kilograms.


These various licence categories provide you with versatility and flexibility in operating different types of goods vehicles, ranging from rigid trucks to articulated vehicles, with or without trailers, within specified weight limits.


How to Obtain a CE Driving Licence in the UK


Step-by-step guide on the process of obtaining a CE driving licence


The process of obtaining a Class 1 licence involves several steps, with the actual driver training being a crucial component that typically spans around 8 days. Here's an overview of the process:

1. Medical Examination and Provisional Application: The first step is to undergo a medical examination to ensure fitness to drive. Following this, you need to apply for provisional entitlement for a Class 1 licence through DVLA.

2. Theory Tests: Once the provisional licence is obtained, you can proceed to book and take the necessary theory tests. These tests include the multiple-choice test, hazard perception, and the Driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) if applicable.

3. Driver Training: After successfully passing the theory tests, the focus shifts to the practical aspect of driver training. This involves around 8 days of intensive training where you learn the skills required to operate an articulated vehicle safely and competently.

4. Driving Test: Upon completion of the training, you are ready to take the Class 1 driving test. This practical examination assesses your ability to drive an articulated vehicle under various road and traffic conditions.

5. Waiting for Results: Following the driving test, there may be a waiting period to receive the test results and for the licence to be processed if you pass.


While the process may involve some waiting periods between steps, it's essential to remain patient and focus on completing each stage successfully. Adhering to the prescribed process ensures that all necessary requirements are met, leading to the acquisition of a Class 1 licence.


HGV CE Training Cost and Options


Overview of the cost associated with HGV CE training programs


Obtaining an HGV Class 1 licence is a significant commitment in terms of both time and money, often representing a career change for many individuals. Due to this, it's crucial to conduct thorough research and due diligence when selecting a training provider to ensure you're getting value for your investment.

Prices for HGV Class 1 training can vary across different regions of the country, and it's essential to be aware of potential overcharging by some training providers. There are middlemen and brokers in the industry who may charge a premium for arranging Class 1 training, so it's advisable to avoid them if possible.

Instead, consider visiting local HGV test centers and speaking directly with training providers. Take the opportunity to assess their facilities, the quality of their trucks, and even talk to instructors to get a sense of their expertise and professionalism. Avoid falling for persuasive sales pitches over the phone and prioritize direct interaction with training providers.

On average, the cost of obtaining a Class 1 licence in the UK, inclusive of medical examinations, theory tests, CPC training, and practical driving, should range between £2,200 and £3,700. This price range should cover all necessary aspects of the training process, ensuring you're adequately prepared to obtain your Class 1 licence.


Free HGV CE Training Opportunities in 2023


Exploration of government-funded or sponsored training schemes for HGV CE


The government is offering a HGV funding course known as Bootcamp, where they cover the costs of your Class 1 and Driver CPC training. However, it's important to note that this program is currently oversubscribed, and the processing time to obtain your licence through this scheme is significantly prolonged.


CE Driver Training: Tips and Strategies


The most challenging aspect of obtaining your HGV Class 1 license undoubtedly lies in passing the driving test. Maneuvering a 44-ton articulated vehicle to the standards expected by the DVSA is no small feat. The on-road driving test lasts one hour, during which you must demonstrate competence and safety throughout.

The key to passing this test is simple: concentration and forward planning. These are the two main ingredients. Driving an artic entails constant concentration, whether it's checking mirrors, maintaining speed, or positioning in the lane. Throughout your driving course, you'll be taught to plan ahead and avoid last-minute decisions.

Artics require more time to slow down and accelerate, so planning ahead helps alleviate the need for sudden maneuvers like harsh braking. Your instructor will likely teach you a different approach from your car driving experience. Learning to drive an HGV makes you a more competent and aware road user overall.

The first-time pass rate for those transitioning from a car license to Class 1 is approximately 48%. This percentage underscores the importance of impressing the DVSA examiner with a safe and comfortable drive.

The secret to achieving a first-time pass lies in selecting the right training company. They will guide you through the process, ensuring you meet all standards and tests. However, success also requires dedication on your part. You'll need to study diligently for the theory tests and put in the effort during driving practice. With the right preparation and commitment, a first-time pass at every stage is achievable.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about HGV CE Training and Licence



What is a CE lorry licence?


A CE lorry license allows you to operate a goods vehicle with a weight exceeding 3.5 tonnes and towing a trailer weighing over 750 kilograms. The combined weight of this vehicle and trailer must not exceed 44 tonnes.



How do I get a CE licence?


To obtain a CE license, you must first undergo a basic medical examination to assess your blood pressure and eyesight. Following this, you apply for a provisional CE license through the DVLA. Once you receive your provisional license, you can book your multiple-choice and hazard perception theory tests, as well as the Driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) test. Finally, you must pass the HGV CE driving test administered by the DVSA.



What vehicles can I drive with a CE licence?


With a CE driving license, you gain entitlement to operate vehicles in categories C1, C1E, and C, essentially encompassing every Heavy Goods Vehicle entitlement available.



What is the pass rate for HGV CE?


The pass rate for the HGV CE (Heavy Goods Vehicle Class 1) driving test typically ranges between 45% to 55% for first-time test takers.




We trust this post has provided you with valuable insights into the process of obtaining your CE, class 1 licence. We've delved into the expected price range, emphasizing the importance of avoiding overpaying for your HGV license by conducting thorough research and visiting local HGV driving test centers.

If you already hold a class 2 license and aspire to acquire your class 1, you'll find that there's no need to retake theory exams or seek provisional entitlements. Simply focusing on driver training and the subsequent test suffices. However, for those transitioning from a standard car license to class 1, we've outlined the comprehensive process, including medical assessments, theory examinations, provisional applications, Driver CPC requirements, and the driving test itself. 

Lastly, we've explored the estimated timeline for completing these steps, which typically spans around 8 weeks, with approximately 6 weeks dedicated to administrative processes such as awaiting provisional entitlements and scheduling theory tests. We trust this information will aid you in your research on class 1 driver training, and as always, we wish you the utmost success in your new career endeavor.


People Also read: 


Find best hgv training in UK