To drive a 7.5-tonne vehicle you need to have the C1 entitled on your licence. If you have passed your Category B (Car) driving test before 1st January 1997, you automatically have ‘grandfather rights’ that allows you to drive a 7-5 tonne lorry without having to take the C1 driving test.
However, to drive commercially, you must also have your driver CPC card, which means you must complete 35 hours of commercial training every 5 years. If you have not passed your car test before 1997, you will need to take your C1 test and complete the 35 hours driver CPC to drive the 7.5-tonne lorry within the UK today.
When training to become a lorry driver, you must look into the various licence categories available. Unlike traditional driving licences, lorry and HGV licences are generally based around weight and bulk. If you are looking to take on a driving career with a 7.5t lorry, for example, you are going to need a specific licence.
But what exactly is that licence, and what does training to drive these vehicles actually entail? Let’s take a closer look.
Basic Licencing (C1 licence)
In the UK, to be able to drive a 7.5t lorry, you are naturally going to need a basic car driving licence in the first place. However, as we mentioned above, if you passed your car licence before 1997, you are automatically entitled to drive a 7.5t vehicle (C1 entitlement).
If you passed your driving test and achieved a basic car licence after 1997, you will need to apply for a further licence to drive any vehicles heavier than 3.5t (C1) and you’ll need to book in with a lorry or HGV driving school or centre to apply to obtain your C1 licence.
Regardless of how you obtain your C1 licence, you will still need to obtain your driver CPC card to be able to drive commercially and earn your living as a 7.5t lorry driver.
Once you obtain a C1 licence and drivers CPC you’ll be able to take on all manner of HGV driving jobs. For example, you could become a fully-fledged delivery driver, a recovery or transporter lorry driver – or you could even start driving ambulances.
You will generally have to pay a flat fee for your new test. The duration of the testing and exam can vary, especially if you already have plenty of experience on the roads.
Driver CPC Training
On top of C1 licencing, you will need to make sure you take on at least 35 hours of Driver CPC training if you drive professionally. There are a few exceptions to this requirement, depending on speed and the role of the vehicle in question. For more information on the full list of Driver CPC exemptions, You can find this out on the GOV.UK website. Bear in mind that driving for personal use does not require Driver CPC, but it does need the C1 entitlement on your licence.
However, it makes sense to take on as much training as you can if you are driving a commercial vehicle 7.5t and above. After all, driving and wielding a 7.5t lorry or lorry is quite different from driving a Fiat Punto around a few quiet village streets!
Therefore, even if you don’t need a C1 licence by law, always make sure you are up to date on your Driver CPC. Licence categories may vary from lorry to lorry, but as a responsible lorry driver, you should make sure you are ready to take on new challenges confidently and safely. Always make sure you get at least 35 hours’ worth of Driver CPC training every five years!
We hope you have enjoyed reading the blog post, if you have any questions or would like to find out more on our latest HGV driving job opportunities, feel free to get in touch with Global Employment Bureau on 01604 761206 for your enquiry, our friendly team is here to help you.