HomeLegalWhat Licence Best Suits Me for Trucking Work?

What Licence Best Suits Me for Trucking Work?

The trucking industry is an integral cog in the retail machine. Trucks are essential in the safe transportation of goods to stores, but we are in a crisis. The national shortage of HGV and truck drivers is affecting the globe and companies everywhere are desperate to recruit new drivers. The process of becoming an HGV driver can be arduous, making it important to know exactly what licence you need for the job you’re doing. 

So whilst the shortage continues, I decided to put together a handy guide on truck licences and which one is needed for which job. This can make becoming an HGV driver and the recruitment process quicker, as you know exactly what you need for each job. 

Read on to discover the different types of truck licences, and which best suits you for trucking work.

Woah! Before you think about truck licences

Before thinking about any of the following licences, you need to make sure you have the basics. 

  • A full UK driving licence 
  • The driver CPC
  • You need to be over the age of 18 

The different types of truck/HGV licences 

Class 1 

This is a pretty standard HGV licence. With it, a driver will be able to drive a vehicle of 7.5 tonnes or more. They are also allowed to detach the trailer. 

Additionally, these vehicles are usually best suited to longer routes that occur over longer distances. The drivers of these vehicles will usually do long-haul driving, covering a larger variety of locations.

The class 1 licence is suited to a number of occupations including:

  • Dry van drivers 
  • Flatbed drivers 
  • Tanker drivers 
  • Refrigerated freight drivers 
  • Freight hauliers 
  • LTL freight drivers 
  • OTR drivers both local and regional 

Class 2 

The class 2 licence covers any HGV that is greater than 7.5 tonnes and has a rigid body base. These vehicles are also known as category C vehicles. The trailer does not detach on those vehicles, some examples include fire engines or refuse collection trucks. These are of course, more commonly seen in and around cities and wouldn’t be used for long-haul transporting of goods. 

Category C1

Drivers with a category C1 licence will not drive as big of a truck as the other licenced drivers. Typically, a driver with this licence will drive a vehicle from 3.5-7.5 tonnes. Interestingly, those who obtained their licence by 1997 will be able to get their category C1 licence automatically. Those who obtained it afterwards will have to do a separate test to get this licence. The test for a category C1 licence comprises three theory exams.


ADR stands for Accord Dangeroux Routier and is a licence needed to transport dangerous goods. When transporting dangerous goods, certain requirements are put into place and are needed from the driver. Dangerous goods can include the following :

  • Explosives 
  • Gases
  • Flammable liquids
  • Flammable solids 
  • Oxidising substances 
  • Radioactive substances 
  • Corrosive substances
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