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Driving HGVs

A Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) can be any vehicle used for the transportation of goods and heavy-duty equipment from one place to another. HGV drivers require specialist driving and manoeuvring skills.

Driving an HGV

Not just anyone can get behind the wheel of a heavy goods vehicle and drive it. In order to qualify as an HGV driver you must complete a series of specialised tests designed to prove that not only can you drive the vehicle competently but that you can also operate any corresponding machinery and equipment attached to the vehicle. Many heavy goods vehicles now come complete with their own forklift trucks so if you're the driving a vehicle in that category then you're also need to have passed your forklift tests too. Some vehicles also have lifting equipment HIABs, telescopic cranes that are used to lift large weights such as masonry, timber and machine parts.

Learning to Drive an HGV

In order to learn how to drive a heavy goods vehicle you must have already passed your Theory Test and your Hazard Perception Test as part of gaining your standard driver's licence. Once you have the full driver's licence you commence training for your HGV licence. HGV drivers will have to sit a separate theory test which includes:

  • Weights and Dimensions
  • Vehicle Loading
  • Driver's Hours and Rest Periods
  • Dealing with Accidents

This is not an exhaustive list but these are some of the more prominent differences from the standard theory test. A potential HGV driver must complete and pass this theory test before he or she (there is an increasing number of female HGV drivers on the road) can sit the practical HGV test.

The Practical HGV Test

Before taking the practical HGV test you must hold a full driver's licence, be over 21 years of age, be found to be medically fit by your doctor and also have passed both the Theory and Hazard Perception tests for HGV drivers. If you don't satisfy the above criteria you will not be able to go any further.

During the practical HGV test you will be expected to show competency in the following areas:

  • Control and handling of the vehicle
  • Knowledge and understanding of vehicle equipment
  • Rules of the road for HGV and LGV vehicles
  • A good understanding of the Highway Code

If you want to obtain your HGV licence you find information at DVLA.


The Driving Standards Agency can also provide you will more information and also mock HGV Theory and Hazard Perception tests. More information can be found at


Disclaimer: The information in the article is for general purpose information only and should not be constituted as legal advice. This article has been produced by a third party and Jardine Motors does not take any responsibility for the completeness, accuracy, or reliability with respect to the website or the information provided. Article last updated March 2016.