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How do I know I’ve got the correct provisional entitlements on my licence?

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For anyone thinking of a new career in professional HGV driving, your provisional licence will be the first thing you need. We often think about the practical aspects of learning to drive an HGV, like shift patterns or navigating tricky driving situations. However, without the paperwork to lay foundation to it all, you won’t be able to get to the interesting bits! Your provisional HGV licence will specifically entitle you to learn to drive a certain category of vehicle. We’ll go through the process and vehicle categories so that you can make sure everything is correct as you embark on your training.

When do I apply for a provisional HGV licence?

The short answer to this is as soon as you decide to train as an HGV driver. As when you learnt to drive a standard car, you are unable to train until you hold your provisional licence. So it’s important to get this underway. It can feel daunting, though, as you will need to specify which category of vehicle you wish to include on your provisional licence. 

What do my licence entitlements cover?

The key thing to remember here is that the higher the category that you apply for, the greater the variety of vehicles you will be entitled to learn to drive. So for example, if your provisional licence entitles you to drive vehicles in category C, you’ll automatically be entitled to drive C1 vehicles too. Remember that this follows on once you have qualified. So passing a category C+E course means that you can drive all of the vehicle classes listed below.

  • C1 – You’ll be able to drive any rigid bodied vehicle between 3,500kg – 7,500kg maximum authorised mass (MAM). This includes a trailer up to 750kg.
  • C – Here, your entitlement is to drive any rigid bodied vehicle over 3,500 kg plus a trailer up to 750kg.
  • C1E – This is an extension of category C1 to increase the trailing capacity to loads over 750kg. The combined MAM must not exceed 12000kg
  • CE – Similarly, this extends the towing capacity of a category C licence above 750kg. It basically translates as entitlement to drive articulated vehicles. This is the highest level category for HGV drivers before you add specialist training. 

What’s right for you

Understanding what the provisional entitlements are for your licence is one thing. But how do you work out which is right for you? This comes down to your own lifestyle, ambitions, and circumstances. So, what are the considerations that you should take into account when you decide which licence category is right for you to apply for?  

Your lifestyle

The course category that’s right for you can be affected by your current lifestyle. For example, do you have a job which you need to work your training around? Maybe you’re able to take some time out to take a fast track course? Don’t forget that you can begin your theory study before you even apply for your provisional HGV driving licence. HGV Training Centre will ensure that you have access to online learning resources that fit around your life. This means that whatever course you choose, you won’t compromise on your potential for success.

Your ambition

Perhaps you’re already thinking about where the future may take you in your HGV driving career. This rewarding career does offer opportunities to refine and develop your skills and abilities. If you are seeking future development, then it makes sense to keep things flexible from the outset. By ensuring that the provisional entitlements on your licence and training cover the highest driving category, you will keep your options open. Talk to us at HGV Training centre to go through each different option and cover all the bases.

Your circumstances

From budget to location and even timescales, your circumstances may have a bearing on your course decisions. The important thing is not to feel put off by these aspects. We understand personal circumstances, which is why we work closely with our students to advise on which course suits their needs the best. Our network of over 90 quality assured training centres means that your location need not pose a problem. 

When will I pass my test?

This partly depends on the training course that you decide to pursue. At HGV Training Centre we provide access to a range of different courses for a variety of licence categories, including fast track options. One thing is certain though. There are several different tests to take in order to become fully qualified. So if you want to move fast, you’ll need to be strategic when booking training and testing. Luckily, our experienced advisors are on hand to manage all of this for you. So if speed is of the essence, we can support you to success. 

The test process

Remember that the provisional entitlements on your licence are just that: provisional. Most importantly, you must go through comprehensive training and pass all of the requisite tests in order to begin your HGV driving career. 

Theory and case studies

The theory elements of the HGV driving test are made up of multiple choice and hazard perception tests plus a case study test which is also multiple choice.

Practical tests

You are allowed up to 2 years to complete your practical tests after passing the theory tests. The 3 practical tests are part 3a – road exercises, part 3b – on road driving and part 4 – practical demonstration. Our aim at HGV Training Centre is to equip you with the confidence to excel at these tests. 

Initial CPC

Together, your HGV driving tests certify you with the initial CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) and you will be issued with a DQC (Driver Qualification Card).  

Periodic CPC training 

To ensure that your industry, safety and road knowledge is up to date, professional HGV drivers are required to complete 35 hours of training over every 5 year period. At HGV Training Centre, our commitment to our drivers is ongoing, so we provide a range of learning opinions to keep you within the periodic CPC requirement.

With our comprehensive and accessible training structure, our advisors at HGV Training Centre will support you through the whole process from start to finish. We set you up for success, and that begins at the foundation of your training. So contact us today to start your new career!

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