Which licence do I need ?

HGV licences are split into two categories: Category 'C' and Category 'C+E'. The main difference between the two is based on how the truck is built.

A Category 'C' vehicle is known as a Rigid - meaning that the truck is all one unit and is generally easier to handle. The HGV licence required to drive a Category 'C' vehicle is also known as a 'Class II'.

A Category 'C+E' vehicle is known as an Articulated Lorry - often simply called an Artic, and the licence is a Class 1

The big difference between an Artic and a Rigid is that the cab of an Artic can disconnect from the trailer. This means that when operating a large Artic the driver must be specially trained to learn how to handle the rear portion of his lorry. A Category 'C+E' HGV licence is also known as a 'Class I'.

Each of the HGV licences described above can be obtained after attending a 5 day course - providing you pass your driving test at the end! New drivers must qualify first on a Rigid before they can take the test for an Artic. Some people go for 'back to back' HGV licences - this means after they've got their C licence, they can then train and obtain their C+E licence around three weeks later.

If you'd like to know anything else about the different types of trucks and the qualifications you'll need to drive them - please call our phone number.

Definitions of classes

NB: The term "HGV and PSV" have now been replaced by the following:

LGV (Large Goods Vehicle)

PCV (Passenger Carrying Vehicle)

Entitlement Means you can drive:
B Motor vehicles not exceeding 3500kg having not more than 8 passenge seats with a trailer up to 750kg
B+E Combinations of vehicles consisting of a vehicle in category B and a trailer over 750kg
C1 Lorries between 3500kg and 7500kg with a trailer up to 750kg
C1 + E Combinations of vehicles where the towing vehicle is in subcategory C1 and its trailer has a Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) of over 750kg provided that the MAM of the combination thus formed does not exceed 12000kg, and the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen mass of the towing vehicle
C Vehicles over 3500kg with a trailer up to 750kg
C + E Vehicles over 3500kg with a trailer over 750kg
D1 Vehicles with between 9 and 16 passenger seats with a trailer up to 750kg
D1 + E Combinations of vehicles where the towing vehicle is in subcategory D1 and its trailer has D1+E 21 5 / 10 a MAM of over 750kg, provided that the MAM of the combination thus formed does not exceed 12000kg, and the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen mass of the towing vehicle
D Any bus with more than 8 passenger seats with a trailer up to 750kg
D + E Any bus with more than 8 passenger seats with a trailer over 750kg