How do I ascertain that I am getting the right driving license?
At the moment, the freight industry is thriving, and there is an increased demand for Van and Truck drivers.
In case you are looking for a driving course to qualify you for a lorry licence or CPC revision, then you might be a bit confused about the licencing terminology.
If you’ve taken a look at driving jobs online, or read up on the subject in trade magazines, brochures or in newspaper adverts, then you might have noticed that most companies use a combination of both terms while other companies use either LGV or HGV when they are making reference to truck driving jobs for vehicles with a gross weight exceeding 7.5 tonnes.
Are HGV And LGV The Same?
LGV and HGV terminologies can be overwhelming, and this is especially so for new drivers just getting into the transport and logistics industry. Most of the drivers are usually not sure of which licence is required for the job that they want.
To start with, it is worth noting that the correct spelling for Licence in the UK is with a ‘c’. However, don’t let it concern you in case you use the alternative spelling ‘License’, as this won’t prevent you from getting a driving job (however, be sure to use both terms when looking online just in case)
Next, What Do The Two Abbreviations Stand For?
HGV is an abbreviation for Heavy Goods Vehicle while LGV stands for Large Goods Vehicle.
In reference to the UK and European law, both the LGV and HGV licences are the same licence. These licences cover all commercial trucks that have a gross combination mass exceeding 3,500kg and they include fridge trucks, flatbeds, Lutons, box vans, tippers and ADR, drop sides amongst others.
Confusion tends to arise from the improper utilization of the term LGV. This is because a number of people assume that it is an abbreviation for Light Goods Vehicles for operating pickup trucks and vans that usually have a gross vehicle weight below 3500kg. In reality, you are allowed to drive up to 3500kg (3.5 tonnes) with your car driving licence which is category ‘B’ entitlement.
Where Did The Term HGV Originate?
In the UK, vehicles are usually taxed depending on their engines, construction, type of fuel, weight, emissions, and the intended purpose of the vehicles.
Hence, the term HGV came about when tax disc was first introduced in the UK and it was meant to categorize vehicles for the purposes of tax.
During that time, many years back, any vehicles with a gross weight under 3.5 tonnes were classified as light goods vehicles while those exceeding 3.5 tonnes were classified as heavy goods vehicles.
But, in 1992, to be on par with European licencing categories, vehicles with a gross weight exceeding 3.5 tonnes were classified as trucks, hence, the term LGV was changed to mean large goods vehicles instead of light goods vehicles so there is no difference between HGV and LGV at all.
HGV Class 1 is now officially referred to as LGV C+E and HGV Class 2 training is now referred to as LGV C.
Back then, there was also a HGV class 3 licence. Right now the closest to that we have is LGV C1. With a C1 entitlement, you are allowed to drive vehicles that exceed 3.5 tonnes but up to 7.5 tonnes. It comes in handy in case you are planning to drive a restricted size vehicle such as a horsebox or an ambulance. A majority of home and local delivery vehicles are C1’s.
However, a majority of drivers seeking to drive professionally to earn a living tend to upgrade directly from a car licence to LGV C in order to drive any rigid vehicle reaching 32 tonnes. A few drivers undergo Back-to-Back training and proceed immediately to LGV C+E so that they can drive vehicles with trailers – for example, an articulated or draw-bar combination – reaching up to 44 tonnes.