The need for more lorry drivers has become ever clearer over the last several months as the economy has opened after the COVID lockdowns.
Lorry drivers are now seeing improved employment conditions, attractive pay rates and more options for flexible working (fixed hours, fixed days, full-time and part-time).
There are over 400,000 people who have either a Category C or C+E licences that do not have driver CPC and Tacho cards. There are thousands of drivers with cards and CPC who are not active in a driving role. The opportunities to become a lorry driver or to return to the job have never been better, you are wanted!
The job market for experienced drivers is particularly strong. If your driver CPC has lapsed, you are likely to be able to find an employer or agency who will support you updating your CPC.
Many employers are offering training packages for new or upgrading driver qualifications.
If you are interested in becoming a lorry driver, interested in returning to the job, either full or part time, the below information will help you find a route to training and jobs.
Step 1 is to decide what sort of job you want.
Our advice is to take some time and think about the sort of work you might like. Are you happy to spend nights away from home? Do you want weekdays only, or weekends only? Full-time or part-time? Nightshifts? Daytime only? Would you want to learn to use special equipment like tippers, tail-lifts, or work on multiple drops or single drops? A bit of time thinking about these issues will help any job search.
Once you have decided the sort of role you might like, search the internet and contact companies who may have jobs or training that might suit you. Don’t be afraid to say what you are looking for – that will save you and any prospective employer time (for example there is no point chasing a job that includes nights if you cannot work nights).
This page is broken down into two sections, searches and links for finding jobs and training, and background information that might be useful to potential drivers.
Please note that this page has been constructed at very short notice. It will be added to and developed rapidly over coming weeks. We will be inviting companies to add their details to the links we are providing. Any links like this are not endorsements by the RHA, we are simply signposting the information for potential drivers.
Searches and links for finding jobs and training
The following are ideas for searches when looking for work or training.
Note, you can use “HGV” “truck” or “LGV” instead of “lorry” in searches.
If you are interested in a company, search lorry driver jobs and name the company. If you are interested in jobs driving rigids (Category C or class2) use these terms. The point is, there are lots of jobs out there to choose from.
No matter which HGV licence you wish to obtain you will need to hold a full car driving licence and you will need to do the following:
- Pass a medical either with your GP or book a private HGV driver medical (D4 form)
- Apply for provisional licence once the medical completed (link to more information)
- Choose which licence category you would like to obtain; C1, C, C+E, or D for bus and coach (details below)
- Find a training provider – look for those affiliated to associations such as RHA, or seek out an apprenticeship or traineeship.
- The test comes in four parts; multiple choice and hazard perception, case study, driving ability and practical demonstration.
- Once you have passed all 4 modules you will be sent your Driver CPC card, sometimes called a Driver Qualification Card (DQC).
- You will then be legally qualified to drive
More detailed information can be found here.
Note: Driver licences will be changing later this year. Currently you need to complete your Category C licence before taking your C+E. This will change and you will be able choose if you want to obtain a Category C licence or go straight to C+E without having to pass the Category C test first. At the time of writing, the date of this change is unknown.
- Category C1 allows you to drive rigid lorries over 3.5 tonnes up to 7.5 tonnes,
- Category C allows you to drive rigid vehicles over 7.5 tonnes
- Category C+E allows you to driver articulated vehicles over 7.5 tonnes
- Category D allows you to drive bus and coaches
If you have driven lorries commercially in the past you have valuable experience that is highly desirable to employers. Many people have a lapsed Driver CPC that will need updating before a return to lorry driving is possible. We understand that for some drivers this element may have been the reason that you decided to retire or find other work.
You may not know that since the pandemic, there are different ways that Driver CPC can be completed. There are now online options that you may prefer to the traditional classroom training.
If the cost of Driver CPC is a barrier to returning, many businesses and agencies will offer to pay for your Driver CPC to be renewed. If that is the case search “driver CPC training” or “driver CPC training near me” or “driver CPC training free”. (please note that “free” driver CPC training may come with strings attached).
You may have gained your licence whilst in the Armed Forces, or to drive a vehicle for non-commercial reasons such as to transport your horses in a horsebox. If this is the case you have likely never completed your initial driver CPC.
If this applies to you, there are 2 routes to take. You can take the Module 2 and 4 tests via a DVSA test centre or do 5 days of driver CPC courses.
Module 2 is an online test, which presents around 7 case studies that represent likely scenarios as an lorry driver. Each scenario has related multiple-choice questions. The test takes up to 90 minutes.
Module 4 is a practical test which requires the driver to demonstrate and explain emergency processes, safe loading and vehicle safety checks.
Although the Module 2 and 4 course will only take 1 day, there is currently a waiting list for these tests. The cost of an initial CPC is approx. £250 dependent on the training provider.
No matter which route you choose, it would make sense to discuss your options with a driver training provider.
There are many training providers across the UK where you can complete the additional C+E training and take the test.
We encourage you to contact local employers and agencies as they may be able to help you fund this licence.
If you have been made redundant or are currently unemployed, you may be able to seek funding for your driver CPC via your local Jobcentre.
Driver CPC training is there to ensure that drivers stay up to date on health, safety and legal requirements. There is no test element to the 5 days training.
Since the pandemic, the options of how to complete training have increased and along with the classroom option, you can now do an online DCPC course.
The average cost of a 5-day driver CPC course is about £350, but as explained above, some companies may provide support obtaining the CPC.