What is the difference between HGV and LGV’s?


Newer drivers who are entering the transport and logistics industry may find the terminology slightly confusing, but luckily N.D Brown are here to help. We are the leading HGV hire company for clients all over the country, thanks to our handily stationed depots.

Understanding HGV and LGV Licences

Firstly, you will need to know the correct spelling (in the UK) for licence with a ‘c’ but do not be overly concerned if you use the alternative spelling of ‘License’. This will not hold you back from obtaining a driving job but remember to use both terms when searching online, just in case.

HGV stands for heavy goods vehicle whereas LGV stands for a large goods vehicle.

Under the UK and European law, an LGV and HGV licence are the same licence that covers all commercial trucks that feature a gross combination mass of over 3500kg. This includes fridge trucks, box vans, Lutons, flatbeds, tippers plus ADR.

Confusion regarding HGV and LGV terms often comes from some people thinking that LGV stands for light goods vehicles, which is a pickup truck or van that can hold under 3500kg. In fact it is possible to drive up to 3.5 tonnes (3500kg) with your car driving licence under the category ‘B’ entitlement.

Where does the term HGV come from?

In the UK, vehicles are taxed according to their engines, construction, fuel type, weight, emissions and their purpose for use.

The term HGV was first introduced when tax discs were first used in the UK, helping to categorise vehicles for tax purposes.

At this time (many years ago), vehicles with a gross weight below 3500kg were referred to as light goods vehicles. Alternatively, those with over 3500kg gross vehicle weight were known as heavy goods vehicles (HGV’s).

In 1992, to become aligned with European licence categories, vehicles over 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight were designated as trucks. LGV’s changed from being light goods vehicles to large goods vehicles, meaning there is no difference between HGV and LGV.

Talk to HGV Hire Specialists

If you are looking for a reliable HGV hire company, look no further than working with N.D Brown. Contact us now for more information about all of our vehicles for hire or purchase.

About ND Brown

ND Brown Ltd is a specialist independent truck rental and sales company of over 40 years’ standing. Owned and operated by the same dedicated management team since its inception, ND Brown’s efforts are focused on supplying the utility, civil engineering, municipal and highway maintenance industries with high-quality modern HGV vehicles for both short and long-term self-drive hire.

From our sales division, we also sell a wide, but specialised range of new and used commercial vehicles.

Please call us on 01902 791991 or email us on enquiries@ndbrown.co.uk