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5 main steps to getting a commercial driving licence in UK

You might have seen commercial vehicles everywhere but did you know that you require a special licence to drive commercial vehicles?

Yes, this is true!

Commercial vehicles are deliberately designed for paying passengers or transporting goods from one place to another. This can include Lorries and many other heavy good vehicles, large vans and buses.

If you are interested in obtaining a commercial driving licence in the UK, here are 5 steps that you have to follow to get one. We have outlined the steps here for you.

Step 1: Know and learn about a different commercial licence

You will find out that there are many types of commercial driving licence including

  • Class1
  • Class2
  • D1
  • D

Each licence has different tests to undergo and requirements to meet to get your hands on the driving licence. Therefore you should be clear in your head that which type of driving licence you want and which test you will have to undergo for the same.

Step 2: Get or have a full car driving licence in the UK

The first physical step to getting a commercial driving licence is to apply or have provisional entitlement to the driving category. The process is known as staging. Nevertheless, before you do that, it is compulsory to have a complete valid driving licence in the UK.

If you don’t have the licence and want one, you can visit the government website of the UK and get all the related information there.

Step 3: apply for provisional entitlement

When you get your valid car driving licence in the UK, apply for your provisional commercial driving licence in the following driving categories

  • Category BE – for driving up to 3,500kg vehicles with a trailer
  • G – road roller licence
  • H – Tracked vehicles
  • C1 – for driving between 3,500kg and 7,500kg vehicles (with a trailer up to 750kg)
  • C – for driving over 3,500kg vehicles (with a trailer up to 750kg)
  • D1 – for driving minibuses and other huge vehicles with not more than 16 passengers and up to 8m long (with a
  • trailer up to 750kg)
  • D – for driving buses with 8 plus passengers (with a trailer up to 750kg)

It is also essential to keep in mind that you will have to apply again for a higher commercial driving licence. For instance, to obtain a C+E (Class 1) HGV licence, it is important to already have a category C (Class 2) Driving licence.

Step 4: Qualify your Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) tests to get your commercial licence.

Part 1: Theory

You can book the test as soon as you get your provisional driving licence. You will have to give this theory test in two parts

  • Multiple choice questions
  • Hazard perception test

Part 2: Case Studies

You can also book this case studies test as soon as you get your provisional bus or lorry licence. You will have to perform this test on a computer and it includes seven case studies which have six to eight questions for each case study.

Part 3: Driving Ability

The test of driving ability can only be booked once you have qualified your theory test part 1. This test is for one hour and thirty minutes and includes

  • Practical road driving
  • Vehicle safety questions
  • Off-road exercises

Part 4: practical demonstration

This is the last and final part of your driving test. To book this test you will have to first qualify your case studies to test part 2. This test includes five topics from the Driver CPC syllabus and covers things like following safety rules, the ability to load your vehicle, not allowing the trafficking of illegal immigrants and keeping it secure.

Step 5: After you obtain your commercial driving licence

Once you are through with all your tests, you will be sent a commercial driving licence card which you will have to keep with yourself while you drive the coaches, buses and lorries professionally. Also, you will have to undergo 35 hours of training every 5 years to stay qualified for the job.