If you are looking into getting your LGV or HGV licence it is likely you have come across the various different terms used in the industry that refers to gaining your lorry licence. For new drivers entering into the industry, the terminology can become somewhat of a minefield and many are left wondering what licence they need and what to ask for when they eventually get round to speaking to a training provider.
So what is the difference?
The term ‘LGV’ can be used to refer to two types of commercial vehicle:
‘Light Goods Vehicles’ which refers to a commercial carrier vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of no more than 3.5 tonnes.
Some examples of ‘Light Goods Vehicles’ include pick-up trucks, vans and some three-wheeled commercial vehicles. These vehicles are usually able to be driven on a standard car licence otherwise known as Category B.
‘Large Goods Vehicles’ which is the official EU term for a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of over 3.5 tonnes.
Any goods vehicle over 3.5 tonnes has its own licence category and it is, therefore, crucial that the user has the relevant licence in order to drive that type of vehicle.
Some examples of ‘Large Goods Vehicles’ include flatbeds, buttons, fridge trucks, curtain siders, box vans, drop sides, tippers and ADR, HiAb & Moffett.
The categories are listed below, in their current & correct names!!!
C1 – also referred to as a 7.5 tonne or class 3 this category enables the licence holder to drive a large goods vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of up to 7,500kg with a trailer up a maximum authorised mass of up to 750kg. A driver can obtain this licence from the age of 18. Find out more on obtaining your Category C1 licence.
Some examples of C1 vehicles include ambulances, horseboxes, refrigerated grocery delivery trucks and home removal trucks.
C1+E – also referred to as a 7.5 tonne + trailer this category enables the licence holder to drive large goods vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of up to 7,500kg with a trailer over 750kg maximum authorised mass, provided that the maximum authorised mass of the trailer is not more than the unladen weight of the vehicle being driven and that the combined maximum authorised mass of both the vehicle and trailer does not exceed 12,000kg. This category is an upgrade on the C1 licence and can only be taken once the licence holder has successfully passed a C1 test. At The LGV Training Company, we offer a Back to Back course option which allows the licence holder to book their courses with us so that they can achieve this higher tier of licence. Find out more about obtaining your Category C1+E licence please click.
Some examples of C1+E vehicles include roadside recovery vehicles, livestock vehicles and aggregate delivery vehicles.
C – also referred to as Class 2 or Rigid this category allows the licence holder to drive any large goods vehicle with a trailer with a maximum authorised mass of up to 750 kg. A driver can obtain this licence from the age of 18. Find out more about obtaining your Category C licence.
Some examples of C vehicles include general home delivery trucks, fire engines, roadside recovery vehicles, home and commercial removal trucks, waste disposal trucks and gritters.
C+E – also referred to as Class 1 this category allows the licence holder to drive any large goods vehicle with a trailer with a maximum authorised mass of over 750kgs. This category is an upgrade on the Category C licence and can only be taken once the licence holder has successfully passed a Category C test. This licence is split into two different formulations and you can train on either a full artic (articulated lorry with a separate cab and trailer) or a waggon & drag (rigid vehicle towing a trailer).
At The LGV Training Company, we offer a Back to Back course option which allows the licence holder to book their courses with us so that they can achieve this higher tier of licence. Find out more on obtaining your Category C+E licence.
Some examples of C+E include fuel tankers, supermarket delivery vehicles, furniture delivery vehicles, livestock delivery vehicles and car transporters.
So where does the term ‘HGV’ come into it?
The term ‘HGV’ came into play when tax discs were introduced and were used to put the vehicles into different brackets for tax purposes. In the UK a vehicle is taxed according to the vehicle’s construction, engine, weight, type of fuel and emissions, as well as the purpose for which it is used. Commercial carrier vehicles under 3,500kg are referred to as Light Commercial Vehicles and fall into the tax bracket N1, however confusingly the government also refer to these as ‘Light Goods Vehicles’ (LGV) with the term ‘LGV’ appearing on tax discs for the smaller vehicles. Vehicles that are over 3.5 tonnes are referred to as ‘HGV’.
So as you can see from this both terms relate to the same thing but were introduced for completely different purposes! Not at all confusing…!!!
I still don’t know what licence I need!…
If you still are none the wiser as to which licence you require please click here to request a callback today to discuss your training requirements. Our friendly, informative Training Advisors are on hand to assess which licence you to need and will call you to talk you through the training process from start to finish. All of our Training Advisors all have practical hands-on experience with driving larger vehicles and will be able to advise you accordingly to ensure you sign up to a course that is tailored to your needs and learning ability.