With the current global uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, and the unparalleled spike in home deliveries, now (arguably more than ever), could be the perfect time to consider becoming an HGV driver. Indeed, according to recent studies, the UK currently has a deficit of over HGV 50,000 drivers. With this in mind, we answer FAQs about a Class 2 licence and HGV driving.
What is a Class 2 licence?
A Class 2 driving licence allows you to drive a category C vehicle. A category C vehicle is also known as a rigid body vehicle. Having a Category C licence allows you to drive rigid vehicles over 3500kg and tow a trailer up to 750kg. If you want to drive an articulated lorry you will need a Class 1 HGV licence.
What are the licence requirements to drive a Category C vehicle?
To qualify for a Cat category C/Class 2 licence you must meet the following criteria:
- be a minimum of 18 years of age, and hold a valid car driving licence
- hold a provisional Class 2 licence,
- pass a medical test
- pass a theory exam
It is important to note that in order to keep your Class 2 licence (when obtained), you must undertake 35 hours of Periodic CPC training every 5 years.
How much does a Class 2 licence cost?
The Class 2 test is made up of four Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPS) test, all of which are individually costed:
- Part 1a: theory - multiple-choice questions. This costs £26.
- Part 1b: theory - hazard perception. This costs £11
- Part 2: case studies. This costs £23.
- Part 3: driving ability. This costs £115 if done on a weekday, but £141 on evenings, weekends and bank holidays.
- Part 4: practical demonstration. This costs £55 if done on a weekday, but £63 on evenings, weekends and bank holidays.
You will also need to pay for Class C licence training, although it is possible to get funding for it through the jobcentre if you're currently receiving benefits.
Where can I do Class 2 driver training?
There are various providers of HGV training in the UK. Whilst the cost for Class 2 training varies depending on what location you're based and what provider you use, you can expect to pay around £1500 for a Category C/Class 2 licence.
We also recommend that you are wary of any providers who offer credit to pay for HGV Class 2 training, as this can add thousands to the overall cost.
Class 2 driver wages
New Class 2 drivers can earn up to £27,000 per year, whilst the more experienced HGV drivers can earn up to £45,000 per year.
What are the regulations surrounding Class 2 driving?
For the safety of drivers and other road users, there are strict rules governing the number of hours an HGV driver can drive a day:
- You are not allowed to drive for longer than 4.5 hours at one time, with no more than 9 hours driving in one day, and no more than 56 hours in any given week.
- You cannot drive for more than 90 hours over a two-week period.
- Any 4.5-hour continuous drive must be followed with at least a 45-minute rest. You can split your driving allocation into smaller breaks, but your first break must be at least 15 minutes and your second at least 30 minutes.
- You must also have an uninterrupted break from driving for at least 11 hours over a 24-hour period, regardless of how many breaks you have had during the day. There are strict financial penalties in place (£300 maximum on the spot fine) for any drivers found breaking these rules.
What personal qualities do employers look for in an HGV driver?
There is more to a Class 2 driver than transporting goods from one location to another. If you are looking for a career in this field, it’s recommended that you can demonstrate you
- are reliable
- are organised
- are calm under pressure
- possess excellent driving skills
- have vehicle maintenance skills
- have excellent communication skills
Unquestionably, to be a successful HGV driver, you must enjoy the experience of driving on an open (and sometimes very congested) road. You must also be prepared to be flexible with your working hours and to spend time away from home, family and friends too.
Are you based in London with over 2 years driving experience? Head to our website to read about our current Class 2 Driver vacancies. PPR is one of the UK’s leading technical recruitment businesses providing contract and permanent staffing solutions. If you’d like to find out more about working with one of the industries we support, call us on 01895 80 81 88 or send us a message online.
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