Tue, September 05, 2023
Navigating HGV Licence Costs and Training Options in the UK【2023】
The role today’s professional haulage drivers play is a vital cog in the machinery that is the UK economy. On the road today you may be surprised to know approximately 450,000 7.5 tonnes, Rigid and Artic HGV drivers can be found travelling the highways and byways of the United Kingdom.
There has always been a high need for new truck drivers to enter the industry, meaning that once you qualify you will not have long to wait to get behind the wheel and start earning.
Breakdown of HGV Licence Costs in 2023
When individuals inquire about HGV training, the primary question that arises in 90% of cases is, "What is the cost of obtaining my HGV license in 2023?"
There is no specific price as there are several factors that you need to consider. For example, prices vary depending on whether you require the C1, C or CE, whether the training company is proving the complete service (medical, provisional and theories) and whether it includes Driver CPC etc.
Figures given below are approximate costs and include medical, theory tests, the driving course, tests, and Driver CPC.
Class 1 HGV license cost:
The cost to obtain your C1 with Driver CPC should be in the range of £1,300 - £1,600.
Class 2 HGV license cost:
By far the most common course undertaken. Assuming you complete a 5-day driving course, the price for class 2 training should be approximately £1,700 - £2,300.
Cat CE license cost:
As this option is now available to those entering the industry for the first time. It is the most expensive option as you will undergo considerably more driver training, Cost for the Cat CE is typically around £2,900 - £3,700.
Average Cost of LGV training over past few years
If we look back at HGV training cost for the last 3 years, the prices have remained static over this period despite numerous factors affecting the economy.
2020 saw the pandemic sweep across the world and every driving test centre in the UK was shut for a period of 12 months. This meant no driver training and testing could be conducted during this time. During this time nearly all HGV training companies closed as, even if they wanted to, it was not possible to start the process.
In 2021 prices did increase slightly as there was a pent-up demand for driving tests to be taken as well as a huge shortage of HGV drivers. As a result, demand for driver training was still there.
During the pandemic the DVSA closed all their driving test centres for over 12 months.
So, the difference between Cat C and Cat CE training costs can vary between £1,200 and £1,400. The extra costs purely depend on the amount of on road driver training you receive.
Typically, you will undergo 4-5 days driver training for the Cat C whereas the Cat CE Artic is a more complex machine as it’s larger than the Cat C vehicles and has a trailer you will need to master handling. As a result, for CE most HGV driver training companies will get you undergo 8 or even 10 days training before presenting you for your driving test.
One thing is for sure we highly recommend you do NOT do your HGV licence training via a broker or a middleman as they will charge you even more money than a good local company.
Fast Track HGV course:
Whether it’s the C1, C or CE the actual time spent acquiring your vocation licence should take about the same amount of time. The time taken for this process starts when you send your provisional application to DVLA. From that moment the time taken to complete should be 8-10 weeks. It’s worth noting that of that 2 months most of the time is spent waiting for things to happen. For example, it should take maybe 2 weeks for your licence to be return by the DVLA showing provisional entitlement. At that point you can book those 3 theory tests which is going to take 2-3 weeks to find availability. Then after passing the theory examination, it will be a couple of weeks wait to get you behind the wheel.
What is the cost of Fast Track HGV driver training?
As mentioned previously, the maximum time taken to acquire the HGV licence and Driver CPC is 8-10 weeks. There are some companies that promise a fast-track course where you can obtain your licence in just 5 days. They are simple referring to the driver training part and have omitted the other criteria that must be met (medical, theory etc). Be very wary of those that offer fast track solutions as there is no quicker way to get trained to earn as a truck driver. Also remember that you will incur the same cost no matter if the company is marketing it as fast track training or intensive course.
What you will need for the course
To embark on your HGV driving career you will obviously have little or no experience driving lorries. That’s fine and to be expected however there are certain attributes you will need and here we list the main three.
1) Driving experience or rather road experience is essential, and you really should have at least 6 months on-road car driving experience.
2) Common Sense. During your driver training you will undoubtably make mistakes and errors and your instructor will address any issues. However, you need some common sense to understand what you have done wrong in the first please so as it does not happen again.
3) A Willingness to Learn. Please don’t assume that just because you have paid for your training that you will automatically pass. Unfortunately, it does not work that way and you will have to work hard in order to achieve that pass.
If you have the 3 ingredients above, you should be fine. A big factor in ensuring you are successful is choosing the right training provider.
How to select a good local driving school in Surrey
Selecting and doing business with a good local company will pay dividends when it comes to wanting to gain your lorry and Driver CPC licence. It will save you time and money compared to using a broker, middleman, or a poor-quality HGV training provider. When you consider the financial investment involved in HGV training you don’t want to hand your hard-earned money over to a company that will NOT help you achieve your aspirations.
You really need to do your research and due diligence before committing any funds to any company that say it will deliver the goods. The best way to find a good provider is to ask for a recommendation however that is not always possible. A good idea is to look very carefully at supplier reviews online but be careful as some will write their own reviews. Finally, a very good idea is to visit your local HGV driving test centre. That way you will be able to see the trucks (middlemen don’t possess any) and make sure their training vehicles are up to scratch. There are some HGV training companies that just use old worn-out vehicles to undergo training, and this is to your detriment. It is vital you train with a local company that provides training on modern and well-maintained trucks. If you follow the above steps, you should find a company that will put you in the best position to pass the required tests.