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The Journey To Become an HGV Driver


One of the most commonly asked questions we get here at HGV Express is, ‘What do I need to do to become an HGV driver?’ Or ‘How does the HGV training work? It is a topic many want to know and, in some cases, not explained nearly well enough. Many are put off by the different stages of the process or give up midway due to lack of motivation or desire. Here at HGV Express, we make it our mission to break down the journey; everything from the medical to the HGV practical and theory tests; as well as ensuring we are there for all our trainees if and whenever they need us. Below is a breakdown of the journey of getting your HGV license and becoming an HGV driver like the gentleman below!


One of our many trainees!
hgv trainee driver



Initially you will undergo a medical. The purpose of the HGV medical exam is to ensure all HGV commercial operators are healthy enough. The medical must be passed before you move on to the theory and practical parts of the training. How does the medical examination work? Essentially there are two stages:


Part One is where a sit-down consultation with a doctor occurs.  The trainee and the doctor will discuss in detail the former’s medical history, as well as any medical and health issues that could be a problem or hinder the trainee’s ability to operate an HGV vehicle. Driving an HGV vehicle can be strenuous and requires a driver in healthy condition, hence the need for a thorough examination.


Part Two is when the physical examination occurs. The exam lasts roughly 20-30 minutes where the doctor will proceed to inspect the trainee’s vital signs, including their eyesight, reaction time, diabetes and overall health.


Once you have passed and obtained your medical forms, you are free to move onto the next stage!



A procedure I’m sure many of you are familiar with, from the time you obtained your car license. As part of your HGV or PCV license training, you’ll undertake a driver theory test, which comprises both a multiple choice and a hazard perception assessment.


Hazard perception

In the hazard perception tests, drivers are tested on their reaction and assessment of emerging danger on roads. It is a crucial aspect of the training, they help to determine a driver’s competency regarding making the right choices behind the wheel of an HGV lorry as well as potential hazards that surround them.


Multiple-choice questions

hgv theory testIn contrast, the multiple-choice questions would challenge driver knowledge of the rules and regulations of the road. You can practice as much as you wish, on any device you’re comfortable with, tablet, mobile or laptop. The test has 50 questions, and you need to get 43 right to pass. The actual lorry test has 100 questions, and you need to get 85 right to pass the test. There is a 115-minute time limit for the test.

It is perfectly normal to feel anxious or nervous prior to the Theory test, and we at HGV Express understand just that which is why it is our mission to support you throughout the process. We provide online access details that direct our trainees to a study portal, connected through our website. From here, candidates can undertake all theory test preparation using their computer – allowing them to identify areas of strength or weakness.

We’ve found that online users perform much better on the day of their theory test. The practical benefits of using a computer to prepare are understated. A candidate who feels properly prepared will be much more confident under exam conditions and will stand a far greater chance of passing!



Now for the final part of the process. You’ve done so well to get to this point, don’t let anything stop you now! The practical test is all about showing that you meet the Driving Standards Agency National driving standard for lorry drivers. Preparing for the Practical test is crucial, and you can do this with the help of a training instructor. HGV Express can help you find a training centre closest to your location, saving you time and money. It is important that you take the practical test within two years of obtaining your theory, if not the theory certificate will become void.


Practical Test

With the Practical Test lasting approximately 80-90 minutes, it’s a crucial part of the training process. The test will include:

  • Show me tell me questions, asked by your assessor.
  • A reversing exercise designed to test your maneuvering skills and ability to spot hazards.
  • Your competency at driving.


Here are some tips that can help you to pass the Practical test with flying colors

  • Check mirrors regularly and be aware of any hazards or situations that could potentially turn into hazards
  • Remember, with lorries substantially larger than cars, it takes longer to come to a halt, so give yourself extra time for stopping.
  • Mistakes happen. If you feel like you messed up somewhere don’t dwell on it, relax and move on! Remember you are allowed 15 minor faults.


And that there is the three-step HGV training process. Many people give up their dream of becoming an HGV driver during one of these steps. HGV Express make it our mission to help you see it out to the end! We’ll be there for you any step of the way, whether you need help or a little push to get you over the line.

Nadeem Vadva
HGV Express Blog Writer


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