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What Can I Earn As An HGV Driver?

If you’re looking to move into the HGV industry for the first time, you wouldn’t be out of line to ask how much you can expect to earn. After all, no one works for free, and you need to know that you’re going to be able to pay the bills and live comfortably with your new job. The pay of an HGV driver can change depending on what company you work for, what type of vehicle you drive and what type of shifts you work. So while we can’t give you a specific number that being an HGV driver will pay, there are some statutory minimums and some industry guidelines that should give you a good idea, which is what we’re talking about today.

Statutory Minimums For HGV Drivers

While the HGV industry does have its own rules, it’s still bound by government regulations when it comes to pay. That means you will still come across the National Minimum Wage, National Living Wage and the Apprenticeship Levy.

To meet the National Minimum wage, you can expect a minimum per hour wage of:

  • £7.38 if you are aged 21-24
  • £5.90 if you are aged 18-20
  • £4.20 if you are aged 16-17 (though you may not be driving at this stage)
  • £3.70 is the apprentice rate, which is subject to a few conditions.

Of course, the National Minimum Wage The National Living Wage is designed to provide secure, liveable wages for employees of all ages. The National Living Wage is for employees aged 25 and over with a level originally set at £7.20 in 2016. This increased to £7.50 in 2017, £7.83 in 2018 and from 1 April 2019 this will become £8.21, which is an increase of 4.85%.

The Apprenticeship Levy came into place from 6 April 2017, for firms with a gross payroll cost above £3m who have to pay 0.5% of gross payroll. Levy payers can claim back their payment only through approved training – England, Trailblazer apprenticeships. Adult educational funding has been devolved and each country has its own system or is working on such a system.

Driver Subsistence Payments

Reimbursing drivers hasn’t always been a simple process. There used to be a lot of different ways to pay drivers, and it caused a lot of confusion, extra work for no pay and disputes for both employees and employers. Thankfully in September 2017 a new system was introduced to formalise pay. This system laid out size options for employers that enable them to reimburse and pay drivers in a consistent manner. These are:

  • Benchmark scale rate payments
  • Agreed industry scale rate (with a lorry drivers overnight subsistence allowance)
  • Bespoke agreements
  • Other allowances
  • Overseas scales rates
  • Direct expense claims

 Agreed Industry Scale Rate

May HGV drivers will be required to spend long periods of time away from their homes – sometimes overnight. As with any job that requires that level of commitment and unsociable hours, HGV firms need to be able to reimburse for this kind of time. To make sure this is done fairly and evenly across the board, the industry has created an agreed scale rate. This scale has been in place for many years, and has remained the same since 2013. For drivers with a sleeper cab, this is £26.20, and for drivers without a sleeper cab it goes up to £34.90. It’s up to employers whether they want to reimburse actual costs or go down the route of using the scale, so it will vary depending on who you work for, with employers who use the scale being regularly checked by HMRC.

 Want To See The Stats?

Every year an industry report is released that covers everything pay for HGV drivers, and this year’s report is very promising. According to the stats, 79.1% of HGV drivers in the UK were awarded a pay increase last year, with most of them receiving a 2.57% increase on their salary. In some areas this was higher than others, but that is to be expected given the changing state of economic markets. If you want to see exactly how much you could earn, you can view the full report here and go to page 5.


At The LGV Training Centre, we work closely with all of our aspiring HGV drivers to make sure they are ready and prepared for whatever comes in the world of work. That includes going through what they will be expected to do in their role, how to take care of their vehicles and what they can expect to be paid for their time. If you would like to find out more, just get in touch with us today.

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