Become an HGV Driver

1. Getting qualified

To become a lorry, bus or coach driver you need to:

  • have a full car licence
  • be over 18 – but there are some exceptions
  • get a professional driving qualification called the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC)

Who needs the full Driver CPC

You must have the full Driver CPC if you drive a lorry, bus or coach as the main part of your job.

You usually need to pass 4 tests to get it, unless you have ‘acquired rights’ because of your existing driving experience.

How to get and keep the full Driver CPC

  1. Apply for a provisional lorry or bus licence.
  2. Pass the 4 tests that make up Driver CPC to qualify.
  3. Take 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years to stay qualified.

You need to renew your bus or lorry licence every 5 years when you reach 45 and every year when you reach 65.

If you’re taking an NVT course


If you’re taking an approved National Vocational Training (NVT) course you can drive professionally for up to 12 months without taking the Driver CPC part 2 and part 4 tests.

Who doesn’t need the full Driver CPC

You don’t need the full Driver CPC if you:

  • don’t want to drive for a living, for example you want to drive for a hobby or carry passengers or goods non-commercially for personal use
  • drive in other certain situations, such as taking your vehicle for a pre-booked annual test (MOT)

You still need to pass the part 1 (theory) and part 3 (driving ability) tests of the qualification.