The government has announced it will be raising the age to drive an HGV and PCV (non professionally) from 18 to 21. This change has been introduced after having originally lowered the age from 21 to 18 on September 10th 2008 for PCV and September 10th 2009 for LGV.
This new legislation will come into effect on January 19th 2013 and applies to new entrants who wish to drive or take a driving test on or after this date.
It will still be the case that you can obtain your HGV and PCV licence at the age of 18 (after 19.1.2012) as long as you also obtain the Initial Driver CPC qualification.
If however you intend to drive “non commercially” then you will have to wait till the age of 21 to gain HGV or PCV entitlement. Non commercial drivers are best described as those who are not being paid to drive professionally.
You will however still be able to obtain category C1 (7.5 tonnes) at the age of 18. It is not expected the increase in the minimum age will have an adverse effect on “new drivers” entering the commercial transport as the new age restriction will not apply to “professional drivers”.
It’s worth considering too that only 1% of all commercial PCV and LGV drivers are under the age of 25.
In theory then “non commercial drivers” can still gain HGV and PCV entitlement from the age of 18. It just means they will need to acquire the Driver CPC Initial Qualification as well.
You don’t need to be driving commercially either to obtain the Initial Driver CPC qualification. You will just have to pass Modules 1,2,3 and 4 of the Initial Driver CPC qualification. Modules 2 and 4 relate specifically to the Initial Driver CPC qualification.
So what the legislations say is:
You can drive an HGV or PCV from the age of 18 as long as you have acquired the Initial Driver CPC qualification. So “non commercial drivers” can still gain HGV and PCV entitlement and not drive commercially as long as they have a Driver CPC card to drive professionally (if that makes sense).
The costs involved in getting Modules 2 and 4 of the initial qualification range from one training provider to another. However a general ball park figure would be between £250 and £375. This price should include all tuition, Vat and test fees.
For more information or to find an Initial Driver CPC training company in your area please use our Initial Driver CPC search page.
The full restriction and entitlement information is below
* Age 18 if combination weight is less than 7500kg.
** If you passed your test for category B or B automatic before 1 January 1997 your licence will already show entitlement to C1, C1E (8.25 tonnes), D1 and D1E (not for hire or reward).
* You can drive at age 17 if a member of the armed services.
** You can drive at 18 if one of the following apply:
1, you passed your driving test and Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) Initial Qualification
2, you are learning to drive or taking a driving test for this category or Driver CPC Initial Qualification
3, you are taking a national vocational training course to get a Driver CPC Initial Qualification
4, you had your driving licence before 10 September 2009, you must take the CPC periodic training within five years of this date