You are most likely thinking about the next move in your HGV driving career if you are reading this. You must already have the entry-level licence needed to work as a professional driver, the Driver CPC, so congratulations on that. You can move up the ladder from this point in a number of ways, with the vehicle you want to drive in future being the main determinant of your final decision. We will look at some of the steps you can take today and their impact on your HGV driving career.
C1 Category Licence
This licence category is quite popular with professional van drivers and is meant for the smallest commercial transportation vehicles on the road. Some of the common examples here include large road vehicles such as minibuses, man with van services. You can operate vehicles weighing between 3,500 to 7,500kgs that may or may not be towing a trailer weighing 750kg max with this licence. In addition to passing a practical driving evaluation and a 2-part theory examination, you will also be required to do some practice driving to get this licence.
C1+E Category Licence
You can basically drive any HGV on the road with this licence, as it is the highest driving qualification you can achieve. Since you have met the most advanced qualification, you have the freedom to choose your preferred professional driving jobs out there from the widest range of heavy goods vehicles. Furthermore, you get better hour, perks and can negotiate for better pay. You can drive a vehicle from any category that may or may not be towing a trailer weighing more than 750kg with a C+E category licence. You will need LGV training to pass a practical examination and 2 additional theory tests after earning the lower licences to earn this advanced licence.
C Category License
You can move up from your basic B or C1 or C1+E category licences to a C category licence. You will be able to legally operate any vehicle that is more than three and a half tonnes in weight with the ability to haul a 750 kg trailer, at most, after earning a C1 category licence. You might need to seek some assistance to pass the practical and theory examinations you are required to take before earning this type of driving licence.
C + E Category Licence
You can move your C1 category licence up a level by upgrading to the C1 + E category licence. The weight limit of the vehicles you can drive increase with this upgraded qualification in addition to making it possible for you to operate all vehicles covered under the C1 category. To further clarify, you can drive a vehicle that weighs more than three and a half tonnes, hauling a heavier trailer (over 750kgs) with this type of HGV licence. You need to take a practical test and a theory exam to earn this licence.
As you can see, you have a wide variety of choices; the type of HGV driving you want to do is the main determinant of your next step. To help you pick the right move, qualified trainers will work to help you understand the meaning of all of these different qualifications at most HGV training centres. Furthermore, to give you the best chance at success, they will also provide you with the support, assistance, practice tests and detailed training you need.