Attaining HGV entitlement to drive commercially (categories C1 or C) takes approximately eight to ten weeks from start to finish. This should include everything: (medical, provisional licence acquisition, theory training and testing, and practical training and testing.) A great deal of this time is spent waiting for provisional entitlement to be granted and theory test studying and test booking
Be wary of “training companies” who claim to offer fast track HGV training courses. There is no such thing as a fast track course and anyone who tells you otherwise is frankly being economical with the truth. Everyone has to go through the same process the same way.
Since September 10th 2009 Driver CPC became a mandatory requirement for all wannabe and existing professional Drivers. With its implementation came more tests that must be passed to demonstrate professional competence. So how long it takes to train will be determined by whether or not you need Driver CPC. There are certain Driver CPC exemptions for both new and existing HGV drivers. The general rule of thumb however for new entrants is if you are going to drive professionally after you pass your HGV tests then you will need to complete all 4 modules of the Initial Driver CPC.
So, if you are a new entrant and do not already posses C1 entitlement (and are going to need The Initial Driver CPC) then you have to get through five tests, 3 of which are theory and the remaining 2 are practical. HGV and Driver CPC licence acquisition can seem a daunting process. It needn’t be. We advise you initially contact a local HGV and Driver CPC training provider who can guide you through the whole process.
Rough time line for HGV and Driver CPC would be as follows:
1. book medical – ( approx. 1 week wait)
2. apply for provisional C through DVLA (typically 2-3 weeks)
3. book and wait to sit theory tests (typically 2-3 weeks)
4. Book and wait to start practical training and testing (typically 2-3 weeks but can depend on availability)
As you can see it’s an approximation and not an exact science.
By far the most costly and time consuming element of the HGV acquisition process will be the practical driver training (module 3.) How long the practical driver training will hinge on two variants:
Age and driving experience
Good road sense, plenty of common sense and a willingness to learn (be prepared to listen to your Instructor!) are the key ingredients in achieving success. HGV training courses are normally delivered over a 5 or 10 day period (by far 5 days is the most common course duration.)
Most reputable LGV training companies will also offer courses to meet your specific abilities and needs. For example 3,7,9 etc.. day courses are not unheard of. It may be a good idea to have a driving assessment. Some benefits to having an assessment include:
Tailored assessment (more or less than the standard “5 days” may be needed.)
Meet the HGV training provider (make sure they meet your aspirations.)
drive the vehicle you may train in (get an idea of what driving a truck is like.)
you may get it free (some HGV licence training providers will provide you an assessment free of charge.)
If you are going for an assessment don’t forget your driving licence. BOTH PARTS.
The practical driving test (Module 3) will go on for approximately one and a quarter hours. On your driving test you cannot commit more than fifteen 15 minor faults (e.g. fail to check blind spot.) Get just one serious (i.e. mount the kerb) or dangerous fault (i.e. Examiner has had to take control of vehicle and a retest will be needed. We have some excellent HGV test tips that will help.
We hope this gives you an insight into how long it takes to get your HGV and Driver CPC licence. If you have any further questions go dire
Posted in: HGV/LGV