You are currently viewing Is HGV Driving a Good Career Choice In the UK?

Last Updated – August 2022

We first published this post back in 2021, but thanks to the enormous interest we have had in it from readers, we thought it was worthwhile seeing how things have progressed, and have updated it.

If you’re considering a job driving an HGV then you are probably wondering whether it’s a good choice. You’ve probably heard lots about HGV driving – both good and bad. Some say it’s a wonderful career, with good pay and benefits and others say the hours are too long.

So, what’s really the deal with HGV driving? Is it a good career choice today, in a post-pandemic world, or is it better to look for something else? Well, read on to find out more!

What Is HGV Driving?

An HGV is a heavy goods vehicle – the big lorries you see delivering goods for lots of different companies. As a driver you will be responsible for transporting these goods from A to B. HGV drivers can work locally, nationally, or internationally.

As you can imagine, lorry drivers spend a lot of time on the road and, depending on where you work, can spend a lot of time away from home. It’s common for a lot of HGV drivers to spend a night or two in the cab of their lorry and often they can be away for the whole working week. The hours of an HGV driver are long – typically between 45-50 hours each week.

You will also be responsible for loading and unloading the goods and making sure you have everything you need when you leave and when you arrive at your destination. HGV drivers generally work alone a lot, though this is often positive for many people as they enjoy the freedom that comes with that.


A young lorry driver sitting in his cab


How To Become An HGV Driver?

To first become an HGV driver, you will need a valid UK driving license. You then need to do your HGV Class 1 and 2 training which will teach you how to drive a truck carrying goods up to 44 tons. Training is a mixture of practical and theory and there are four tests you must take.

All of this training combined can run into several thousand pounds, but compared to the cost of many other training courses, including university, it’s actually not a lot. And after you’re qualified, you’ll be in high demand, as there is a current shortage of lorry drivers.

As the demand for drivers has intensified since 2021, there are now several routes to getting your licence completely free of charge, with the government offering schemes for funding employers to train new drivers, along with attractive apprenticeship schemes for both employer and employee.

Lorry Driver Shortage

The current lorry driver shortage is estimated to be between 70,000 and 100,000 drivers. Brexit intensified the problem rapidly, and despite the government schemes to attract new drivers into the industry, the shortage is still very much in effect.

Companies are constantly on the lookout for newly qualified drivers meaning you are unlikely to struggle to find work. By training to become an HGV driver, your services and skills are likely to be in demand, and wages have risen dramatically throughout 2021 and 2022.

Lorry Drivers Salary

By this point, you’re probably wondering what the pay for an HGV driver is. There is a fair amount of training you must complete, some nights away from home and long hours. So, what’s the payoff?

Starting salaries have also improved significantly in the last 2 years, where traditionally they were pretty poor. £25,000 is a realistic prospect for a newly qualified driver today, and the more training and experience you gain, salaries of between £35,000 and £50,000 are easily achievable in a short space of time.

In conclusion, HGV driving is a valuable and rewarding career, and in 2022 is more important than ever. With fewer people going out buying things in person, goods transportation is more useful than ever. And with the current shortage of drivers, you’re almost guaranteed a job with a reputable company and the chance to make a solid income, at a time when job instability is a real problem.

As the UK faces a possible recession and housing market crash, it’s important to remember that a huge part of the transport industry is in the UK services logistics, and in particular supermarket logistics.

Most experts agree that the shortage will take years to resolve, so if you are worried about the current cost of living crisis, then switching your career to HGV driving just might be for you!

We hope you have enjoyed reading the post, if you have any questions or would like to find out more about our latest HGV jobs, you can get in touch with us on 01604 761206 and our team is here to help.