Why HGV drivers can earn up to £70k and how to become one

Meg Timbrell
Content & Social Media Manager
2 min read


HGV driver shortages have swept the UK over the past few weeks due to Covid-19 and Brexit. According to the Road Haulage Association (RHA), this shortage is estimated to be around 100,000 drivers.

Salaries have also increased by almost 40%, with companies offering £50k+ salaries to drivers, with some agency recruiters offering as much as £70k.

According to gov.uk, 4,000 people will be able to undertake training courses to become HGV drivers (announced 15th September 2021). The Department for Education is investing up to £10 million to provide skills to train up to 3,000 more people to become HGV drivers with short, intensive courses.

How do you become an HGV driver?

For the full job description for lorry driver, click here.

To be an HGV driver, you need:

  • Knowledge of transport methods and its costs and benefits
  • Physical skills
  • The ability to work alone as well as with others
  • The ability to operate and control equipment
  • To remain calm under pressure
  • Thoroughness and attention to detail
  • Good customer service skills

You'll need to be over 18, hold a driving licence that includes LGV (LGV) or PCV (buses), have a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC), and have good eyesight.

To obtain these licences, you'll have to complete a medical test, theory test, practical training, and finally a Driver CPC test (Certificate of Professional Competence).

If you're already working for a transport operator, in a role such as a clerk, your employer might be willing to put you through training to get your large goods vehicle licence.

Training providers in your region can be found by searching online or through the Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training (JAUPT). Depending on the type of goods you're transporting, you may need to obtain extra qualifications or licences.

The different types of HGV licences

Source: hgvt.com

Cat C1+E

A Cat C1+E licence also allows you to drive vehicles weighing between 3,500kg and 7,500kg, but this time with a trailer weighing more than 750kg.

Cat C1

CAT C1 Licence

The smallest type of vehicle used for haulage is a Cat C1 vehicle, which weighs between 3,500kg and 7,500kg, with or without a trailer weighing up to 750kg.

Cat C

CAT C Licence

Getting your Cat C licence allows you to drive larger vehicles weighing over 3,500kg, and pulling a trailer weighing up to 750kg.

Cat C+E

CAT C+E Licence

The largest type of HGV vehicle you can drive weighs over 3,500kg, but with a trailer that can weigh more than 750kg, and that’s what you can drive with a Cat C+E licence.

A final note...

A final note from us is that the higher ends of these salaries are looking like they're not sustainable or long-term, especially when the supply of drivers is back to normal again.

For driver opportunities, visit our 'Opportunities' section and get sorting!

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