New drivers often find the terms LGV and HGV confusing. They want to know what they mean and what’s the difference between them? So here we aim to clarify the matter once and for all.
If you’ve been looking at the heaps of driving jobs on offer, you would be forgiven for thinking that HGV and LGV were two separate classes of vehicle requiring two separate licences. Haulage companies seem to use one term or the other, or sometimes both when referring to truck driving jobs.
Well, the fact is, there is no difference between an HGV – heavy goods vehicle – and an LGV – large goods vehicle. Under UK and European law, the terms are both used to describe the same thing: a commercial truck with a gross combination mass of at least 3500kg (3.5 tonnes).
Why the HGV/LGV confusion?
The confusion arose back in 1992, when the UK became aligned with EU vehicle licensing categories. Prior to that, the UK categories were ‘heavy goods vehicle’ (HGV) for vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes; and ‘light goods vehicle’ (LGV) for vehicles weighing under 3.5 tonnes, such as vans and pick-up trucks.
After 1992, the European ‘large goods vehicle’ (LGV) category was introduced to refer to vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes. So, the HGV licence and LGV licence are the same thing. The old HGV Class 1 is now officially called the LGV C+E, and the old HGV Class 2 is now the LGV C. However, as with miles and kilometres, most people still use the old terminology – though this is especially confusing when some people still call light goods vehicle LGVs!
It’s easy to train for your licence
You don’t need any qualifications to train to be an HGV driver other than to be over 18 and hold a UK driving licence. At HGV Express, we can soon help you upgrade from your driving licence to a LGV C, which will allow you to drive smaller, rigid-bodied vehicles. We also provide all the training you need to get your LGV C+E to drive the larger, articulated lorries, with a separate cab at the front.
Both Category C and Category C+E licence, still often referred to as Class 2 and Class 1, come under the general HGV heading. It’s easy to get into a muddle, so don’t feel you have to be an expert in licensing legislation before you even begin. Simply get in touch with us at HGV Express and we’ll get you through the whole process of getting the licence that’s right for you.