LGV (Large Goods Vehicle)

Knowing where to start with getting your LGV licence can be very confusing. Be assured that the Ben Shaw Training team will always give you correct advice and have your best interests at heart. Happy customers means good word of mouth.

The first thing to understand is some basic terminology.

  • LGV means Large Goods Vehicle, which used to be called HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle). This changed in the 1990's when they stopped calling the different licences: Class I, II & III.
  • Licence Category C allows you to drive any rigid lorry. This is what used to be called Class II & III. Class III was a 2 axle rigid, and Class II was the heavier multi axle rigid. Both these classes could tow a drawbar trailer, which is now shown on driving licences as CE 102.
  • Licence Category C+E allows you to drive any truck and trailer combination, meaning you can drive articulated lorries (tractor unit and trailer), and wagon & drags (rigid and drawbar trailer).
  • Simply, when it comes to LGV licence categories, C means rigid, and E means trailer. The same applies for B+E (B is car, E is trailer). And again D+E (D is bus or coach, E is trailer).
  • Now to confuse things a little, there is a 'Medium Goods Vehicle' called C1, that is basically a 7.5 tonne licence, which up until 1997 car drivers passing their car test got this given to them automatically. As was the same with the B+E (Car & Trailer), and the D1 (Minibus). But now you literally just get a car licence.
  • When it comes to taking your practical driving tests you must always pass the rigid vehicle test before you can add the 'E' trailer entitlement. For instance, you must pass C before you can take C+E test.
  • The Driver CPC - not to be confused with the 'Operator CPC' - is extra training for professional bus and lorry drivers who want to drive commercially. Basically there are two different LGV Driver CPC routes: The 'Initial Qualification' and the 'Periodic Training'. This topic is complicated and has a whole page devoted to itself. All you need to know here is that if you are planning on taking your LGV Cat. C test, and want to drive a truck for a living, then it is far better to go down the Initial Qualification route. And it's best to decide this before you go for your LGV theory tests.

How do I get started?

The first thing is to book an LGV medical. Anybody wanting to drive an LGV must meet minimum medical requirements, before the DVLA will issue you with a provisional licence.

Next you need to send off the doctors medical report along with form D2 which has all your details on to DVLA.

When your licence comes back from DVLA with LGV category C provisional on it, you can then take your LGV theory tests.

There're three theory tests, but you may only need to take two depending on your Driver CPC decision. The three theory tests are: Multiple Choice, Hazard Perception, and Driver CPC Case Study.

Only when the theory tests are passed can you go on to take the C1 or C practical tests!

To take the C+E (Class 1) test you must first pass the C practical test. There is no theory test to do for C+E as it was done when you took the C test.

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