Becoming a professional driver requires a thorough understanding of the rules and regulations of the road, the ability to safely navigate various driving conditions, and a commitment to maintaining high safety standards. This is where the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) and the Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) or Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) tests come into play. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the differences between the Class CPC test and the LGV/HGV test, and provide insights on how to choose the right one for your specific needs.Understanding the Class CPC Test
What is the Driver CPC?
The Driver CPC is a qualification for professional bus, coach, and lorry drivers. It was introduced across the European Union (EU) to improve road safety and maintain high standards among professional drivers. This certification is mandatory for those looking to drive vehicles over 3.5 tonnes in weight or carrying more than eight passengers for a living.
What are the different parts of the Driver CPC?
The Driver CPC consists of four parts:
- Part 1: Driver CPC theory test (multiple-choice and hazard perception)
- Part 2: Driver CPC case studies test
- Part 3: Driver CPC practical test
- Part 4: Driver CPC practical demonstration test
Each part tests specific skills and knowledge required to become a professional driver.
How much does the Driver CPC test cost?
The cost of each part of the Driver CPC test varies. Part 1a (multiple-choice) costs £26, Part 1b (hazard perception) costs £11, Part 2 (case studies) costs £23, and Part 4 (practical demonstration) costs £55.
Understanding the LGV/HGV Test
What are LGV and HGV?
LGV stands for Large Goods Vehicle, while HGV stands for Heavy Goods Vehicle. Both terms refer to the same type of commercial vehicles over 3.5 tonnes in weight. These vehicles are typically used to transport goods or materials and require a specific license to operate.
What are the different classes of LGV/HGV drivers?
There are two main classes of LGV/HGV drivers: Class 1 and Class 2. Class 1 drivers can operate articulated vehicles (C+E category) weighing over 7.5 tonnes with detachable cabs and trailers, while Class 2 drivers can drive rigid vehicles (C category) weighing between 7.5 and 32 tonnes with a fixed cab and trailer.
What is the LGV/HGV test?
The LGV/HGV test comprises a theory test (Part 1) and a practical test (Part 3). The theory test consists of two parts: multiple-choice questions and hazard perception. The practical test assesses your driving ability and skills in operating an LGV/HGV vehicle.
How much does the LGV/HGV test cost?
The LGV/HGV theory test (Part 1) costs £37, while the practical test (Part 3) costs £115 for weekdays and £141 for evenings, weekends, or bank holidays.
Choosing the Right Test for You
Assess Your Career Goals
Before choosing between the Class CPC test and the LGV/HGV test, it is essential to consider your career goals. Are you looking to become a professional bus or coach driver? If so, the Class CPC test will be more suitable for you. On the other hand, if you want to drive commercial vehicles for transporting goods, the LGV/HGV test is the right choice.
Consider the Licensing Requirements
To obtain an LGV/HGV license, you must first have a full car driving license (category B). Additionally, you will need a provisional LGV/HGV entitlement, which can be obtained by applying to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) with a completed D2 application form and a medical report (D4 form).
For the Class CPC test, you must have a full car driving license and a provisional bus or coach driving entitlement (category D or D1). You also need to pass a medical examination and submit a medical report (D4 form) to the DVLA.
Evaluate the Training Costs
Another factor to consider is the cost of training for each test. Training for the Class CPC test involves classroom-based sessions and practical training, whereas LGV/HGV training includes practical driving lessons and theory test preparation. The costs can vary depending on the training provider, location, and the type of vehicle you wish to drive. Make sure to research and compare the costs before making a decision.
Think About Job Opportunities
When choosing between the Class CPC test and the LGV/HGV test, consider the job opportunities available for each type of driver. Bus and coach drivers often have more stable working hours, while LGV/HGV drivers may have to work irregular hours, including nights and weekends. However, LGV/HGV drivers are often in high demand and can potentially earn higher salaries, particularly for Class 1 drivers.
Preparing for Your Chosen Test
Utilize Online Resources
There are numerous online resources available to help you prepare for your chosen test, including practice tests, study guides, and tutorials. These resources can help you become familiar with the test format, improve your knowledge, and build your confidence.
Invest in Training Materials
Investing in training materials such as books, DVDs, or software programs can aid in your test preparation. These materials often include practice tests, interactive exercises, and expert advice to help you develop the necessary skills and knowledge to pass your chosen test.
Attend a Training Course
Attending a training course is an excellent way to prepare for your chosen test. These courses are specifically designed to cover all the required topics and provide hands-on training in a controlled environment. Ensure you choose a reputable training provider with experienced instructors to maximize your chances of success.
The decision between the Class CPC test and the LGV/HGV test ultimately depends on your career goals, licensing requirements, training costs, and job opportunities. By considering these factors and properly preparing for your chosen test, you can begin your journey towards becoming a professional driver with confidence.