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What Licence Do I Need to Drive a HGV?


In order to legally drive a HGV, you must obtain a standard HGV licence from the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency. This is separate from the standard (Class B) licence that allows you to drive a standard car. The reason for this separate licencing system is that you need specialised skills and experience to order to effectively control the HGV, as HGVs are by definition twice the weight of a traditional car. 

What HGV Licences are there?

Class 1 (also known as Class C+E licences)

With this licence, a driver is legally allowed to drive a vehicle 7.5 tonnes or more in weight with a detachable trailer. 

Class 2 (also known as Class C licences) 

A Class 2 licence allows the driver to drive a vehicle up to 7.5 tonnes and has a rigid body base. Vehicles of this type include refuse collection vehicles and fire engines. 

Category C1 

A Category C1 licence is for vehicles which are over 3.5 tonnes but lighter than 7.5 tonnes. If you passed your driving test before 1997, you will have been automatically issued with this licence type. 

Category D and D1

A Category D licence allows you to drive a HGV with passengers – for example, a bus or a coach.  

A Category D1 licence gives you the legal right to drive minibuses with up to 16 seats. Again, if you passed your driving test before 1997, you will have been issued with this licence type automatically. 

Category B+E

Category B+E licences allow the operator to tow something behind their normal cars. As with category D1 and category C1 licences, you will have been issued with this licence automatically if you passed your driving test before 1997. 

Lorry Loader or HIAB 

This licence allows you to operate a lorry loader or any kind of hydraulic attachment. 


Standing for Accord Dangeroux Routier, this licence allows you to transport materials which have been judged to be dangerous. Unlike the other licences on this list, this licence is set to international standards and is not directly controllable by the DVLA. 

How Do I Get a HGV Licence?

Achieving a HGV Licence isn’t as simple as achieving a traditional driver’s licence. You need to achieve the Certificate of Professional Competence or CPC. The CPC has four sections which you must complete: 

  • Section 1: Theory Test (standard test) 
  • Section 2: Driver CPC Case Study Test
  • Section 3: Driver Ability Test
  • Section 4: Driver Demonstration Test

Once you’ve passed these four sections, as well as a practical, you will be issued your NVT card. This card demonstrates that you have achieved your national vocation training, and it must be kept on your person at all times. 

Please note: The HGV licence is valid for 5 years. 

HGV Hire in London, Birmingham and the Midlands

For over ten years, N.D Brown has provided our clients throughout the UK with high-quality HGV vehicles, everything from cage tippers to 4×4 trucks. Our truck rental and vehicle hire services are available for both short and long-term hires. 

The wide variety of vehicles in our fleet, combined with our dedication to first-class customer service ensure that you will receive the vehicle your project needs. To learn more about HGV and grab hire in Birmingham, the Midlands and the rest of the United Kingdom contact N.D Brown today.

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