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Sun, November 12, 2023

PCV Licence Upgrade to HGV: Transitioning and Licensing Explained

PCV Licence Upgrade to HGV: Transitioning and Licensing Explained

Applying for your provisional HGV license is a straightforward process, provided you ensure that all your application details are correct before submitting them to DVLA. To apply for a provisional HGV license, you will need to complete the D2 and D4 forms, which can be requested online. You must also include your existing driving license when you submit your application. Be sure to check the expiry date of the photo on your existing driving license. If it's still valid, there's no need to include a new one with your application. Remember that there are no fees associated with the application for a provisional HGV license; it is free of charge. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can apply for your provisional HGV license with confidence and set yourself on the path to success.


Upgrading from PCV to HGV Licence



The process and requirements for upgrading from a PCV to an HGV licence


If you are a commercial PSV driver who obtained the driving license after September 10th, 2008, you would have been required to complete Modules 1, 2, 3, and 4. This process involves undergoing a medical examination, applying for the provisional Cat D license, passing three theory tests, and completing two driving tests. Additionally, this would have granted you Driver CPC for minibuses, buses, and coaches.

Now, if you aim to acquire HGV entitlement, the process remains the same as when obtaining the PCV entitlement. This includes undergoing a medical examination, applying for the provisional license, completing theory tests, obtaining Driver CPC, and taking practical tests. The duration for transitioning from HGV to PSV, or vice versa, is approximately 8 weeks.


Understanding the differences between PCV and HGV licenses


The primary distinction between a PCV and HGV lies in the number of seats and the vehicle's weight.

For PCV, there are two main categories:

D1: This category includes passenger-carrying vehicles with more than 8 but less than 16 passenger seats, irrespective of the vehicle's weight.

D: This category is for passenger-carrying vehicles with more than 16 passenger seats.

HGVs, on the other hand, are categorized based on weight constraints, with three categories:

C1: Goods vehicles with a Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 7.5 tonnes.

C: Goods vehicles with a MAM over 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 32 tonnes.

CE: Goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes towing a trailer exceeding 750 KGS.


Compatibility of Licences


Regardless of whether you drive a minibus, bus, coach, or HGV, if you are being paid to drive these vehicles, you will need Driver CPC. Driver CPC applies to all professional D1, D1E, DE, C1, C1E, C, and CE licence holders. There is a separate Driver CPC qualification for buses and another for lorries. However, if you have both HGV and bus entitlement, you would only need to complete one set of 35 hours to cover both disciplines.


Driving PSVs on an HGV Licence



Whether an HGV licence allows you to drive a PSV (Public Service Vehicle)


There is only one rule allowing an HGV driver to drive a PSV. If the HGV driver needs to rescue and recover a bus by driving it to a place of repair, this is permitted. However, it's crucial to note that during this exemption, no passengers may be carried.


Understanding what you can drive with a PCV licence


A PCV (Passenger Carrying Vehicle) licence is divided into two main categories: D1 and Cat D. If you are limited to D1, you cannot drive a passenger-carrying vehicle with more than 16 passenger seats. On the other hand, a Cat D licence allows you to drive any passenger vehicle with any number of seats, including those with more than 16 passenger seats.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



Can I drive a lorry with a PCV licence?


No, a PCV (Passenger Carrying Vehicle) licence does not permit you to drive lorries. It only allows you to operate passenger vehicles with no more than 8 seats.


Is a PCV licence the same as an HGV licence?


No, PCV and HGV licences are distinct categories on your driving licence. Separate theory and practical tests must be passed for each category.


Can I upgrade my PCV licence to an HGV licence in one step?


No, upgrading from PCV to HGV requires multiple steps, including a medical examination, gaining provisional entitlement, passing various theory and practical tests, and obtaining Driver CPC.


Does my PCV CPC cover HGV driving?


It depends on factors such as passing certain driving tests before specific dates. Check the back of your Driver CPC card for confirmation of both PCV and HGV cover.


Can you go straight from a car licence to an HGV licence?


Yes, it is possible to go directly from a car licence to an HGV Class 2 or Class 1 licence. You can even skip the Cat C (Class 2) and progress straight to Class 1 if you meet the requirements.




Transitioning from driving PCVs to HGVs is a common move for thousands of individuals in the UK each year. The HGV industry is significantly larger than the PCV industry, offering more job opportunities. Additionally, the remuneration for driving HGVs is typically better than driving PCVs, making it an attractive option for many. For those considering the PCV licence upgrade to HGV, understanding the differences in licensing requirements and the specific steps involved in this transition is crucial. While both careers have their merits, transitioning from bus driving to truck driving provides a clearer insight into the involved processes.


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