Want To Know The Differences Between Class 1 And Class 2 HGV Licences?
Written by Jessie Lee & Reviewed by Peter Howitt
Are you interested in learning more about the differences between HGV class 1 and class 2 licences? Then you should read this blog!
HGV ( Heavy Goods Vehicle ) licences are essential for those who want to make a career in commercial lorry driving. In order to choose the right licence, it’s important to understand the differences between the two main types of HGV licences: Class 1 and Class 2.
In this blog, we’ll explore the key differences between these two classes of HGV licences, helping you make an informed decision about which one is right for you.
We’ll also go over the types of lorry driving jobs you can get with an HGV licence. So, continue reading to find out more!
What Are The Differences Between Class 1 And Class 2 HGV Licence?
The differences between these two HGV classes are quite straightforward: a Class 1 licence entitles you to drive a category C+E truck, or an artic lorry, which is an articulated lorry.
On the other hand, a Class 2 licence allows you to drive a category C vehicle, or what is often known as a rigid lorry.
Below we’ll discuss more in detail the differences between the two classes – the HGV class 1 and class 2 licences.
What is an HGV Class 1 Licence?
A Class 1 licence, also known as a Category C+E licence, allows you to drive a combination of vehicles weighing over 7.5 tonnes with a trailer weighing over 750kg.
This licence is required for long-haul trucking and is ideal for those who want to drive long distances and transport heavy loads.
Class 1 licence holders can operate a wide range of vehicles, including tractor-trailers, articulated lorries, and multi-trailer combinations.
What is an HGV Class 2 Licence?
A Class 2 licence, also known as a Category C licence, allows you to drive a vehicle weighing over 7.5 tonnes but with no more than 8 wheels and no trailer.
This licence is typically required for local and regional deliveries, as well as for waste management and construction vehicles.
With a Class 2 licence, you can drive a range of vehicles, including rigid lorries and delivery trucks.
Other Key Differences For HGV Class 1 And Class 2 Licence:
- Vehicle size:
A Class 1 licence allows you to drive a combination of vehicles weighing over 7.5 tonnes with a trailer, while a Class 2 licence only allows you to drive a vehicle weighing over 7.5 tonnes without a trailer.
- Driving style:
A Class 1 licence is ideal for long-haul trucking, while a Class 2 licence is better suited for local and regional deliveries.
- Training and certification:
To obtain a Class 1, you will need to pass a medical to obtain a provisional licence before going on to take a theory test and hazard perception test.
Once you have passed these, you will typically undertake a 5 day practical course in the articulated vehicle with the test taking place on day 5.
- Career opportunities:
With a Class 1 licence, you will have access to a wider range of HGV career opportunities, including long-haul trucking, international deliveries, and waste management.
A Class 2 licence is more suited for local and regional deliveries, as well as construction and waste management.
Note that the type of HGV licence you choose will depend on your career goals, driving experience, and the type of work you are interested in.
If you’re interested in long-haul trucking and transporting heavy loads, a Class 1 licence may be the right choice for you. However, if you’re interested in local, short-distance, and regional deliveries, a Class 2 licence may be a better fit.
Regardless of which licence you choose, it’s important to undergo proper training and certification to ensure you are fully prepared for an HGV career in commercial driving.
Can I go straight to have an HGV Class 1 licence in the UK?
Due to the lorry driver shortage issues in the UK, changes were made to HGV driving licences and tests from 15 November 2021.
When it comes to the lorry licences, you can now:
- learn to drive in an articulated lorry (category CE) if your provisional lorry licence was issued from 15 November 2021 (if you had a provisional licence before this date, you need to take extra steps to upgrade your provisional licence).
- take your test in a large articulated lorry without having to pass one in a large rigid lorry (category C) first.
You can still learn to drive and take a driving test in a large rigid lorry (category C) if you do not want to drive anything larger.
When you pass your test in a large articulated lorry, you’re allowed to drive:
- a medium-sized lorry (C1)
- a medium-sized lorry towing a trailer (C1E)
- a large rigid lorry (C)
- a large articulated lorry (CE)
This change also applies to medium-sized lorries towing a trailer (category C1E).
This means you can learn to drive a medium-sized lorry towing a trailer (category C1E) and take your test in one, without having to pass a test in a medium-sized lorry (category C1) first.
When you pass your test in a medium-sized lorry towing a trailer, you’re allowed to drive:
- a medium-sized lorry (C1)
- a medium-sized lorry towing a trailer (C1E)
What Are The Requirements To Apply For The HGV Class 1 Licence?
The requirements for obtaining a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) Class 1 licence, also known as a Category C+E licence, vary depending on the country or region in which you live.
However, the following are the common requirements for applying for a Class 1 licence:
You must be at least 18 years old to apply for a Class 1 licence.
You must be in good physical health and have no medical conditions that would prevent you from driving safely. In some cases, you may need to undergo a medical examination to ensure you meet the necessary health requirements.
- Theory and Hazard Perception Tests:
You will need to pass the theory and hazard perception tests, which test your knowledge of road rules, road signs, and safe driving practices.
- Practical Tests:
You will need to pass a series of practical tests, including the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) initial qualification test, which covers both the theory and practical aspects of commercial driving.
You will need to complete a training program that covers the fundamentals of commercial driving, including safety, vehicle handling, and load management.
Some training programs also cover specific skills related to long-haul trucking, such as defensive driving and map reading.
Depending on the type of work you plan to do with your HGV Class 1 licence, you may need to obtain additional endorsements, such as a certificate of professional competence (CPC) or a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC).
Obtaining a lorry licence requires a combination of practical training, theory and hazard perception tests, and practical tests. You will also need to be in good physical health, have a valid driving licence, and meet the minimum age requirement.
It’s important to keep in mind that these requirements may vary depending on the country or region in which you live, so it’s always a good idea to check with your local licensing authority for more information. You can visit the Gov.UK website here for more details.
What Driving Jobs Can You Do With An HGV Licence?
Having an HGV licence can open up a range of career opportunities in the transportation and logistics industry. Some of the most common driving jobs for HGV drivers include:
- Delivery driver:
This involves delivering goods and packages to businesses and homes.
- Long-haul truck driver:
This involves driving across the country or even internationally, carrying goods and supplies to different locations.
- Tanker driver:
This involves transporting liquids and gases in large tanker trucks. Note that to legally drive a goods vehicle carrying regulated hazardous substances a driver must hold an ADR Vocational Training Certificate.
(To obtain an ADR Training Certificate drivers must attend a Department of Transport approved course and pass the relevant SQA Examinations.)
- Refrigerated goods driver:
This involves transporting food and other perishable items that need to be kept at a specific temperature.
- Heavy plant operator:
This involves operating and transporting large construction equipment and machinery.
- Waste management driver:
This involves collecting and disposing of waste materials in large lorries.
- Emergency response driver:
This involves driving vehicles equipped with emergency equipment such as fire trucks, ambulances, and rescue vehicles.
In addition to driving, HGV licence holders may also be able to find work in other areas of the transportation and logistics industry, such as dispatching, loading and unloading cargo, and maintenance and repair.
It’s important to note that some jobs may require additional training or certification in addition to an HGV licence.
In this guide, we’ve explored the key differences between HGV Class 1 and Class 2 licences, providing you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about which licence is right for you.
Whether you’re just starting out in commercial driving or looking to make a career change, an HGV licence can open up a world of opportunities. Good Luck with your HGV driving career!
Looking For An HGV Driving Job?
If you are a professional HGV driver looking for a new role in the transport and logistics industry, please call ADR Network on our central recruitment line: 01582 393535 for the latest HGV jobs available.
TO Sign up for ADR Network HGV jobs today, please complete our online driver registration form here. If you need help or have any questions, contact our recruitment team for support.
Alternatively, you can also contact us via our online contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.