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Do you need a HGV licence to drive a bin lorry?

In the United Kingdom, the question of whether you need a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) licence to drive a bin lorry is straightforward: Yes, you do. Driving a bin lorry requires specialised training and a specific licence to ensure that you can operate the vehicle safely and efficiently. In this article, we will explore the legal requirements, the training needed, and the various career pathways available in this sector.

Legal Requirements for Driving a Bin Lorry in the UK

The legal requirements for driving a bin lorry are mandated by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in the UK. Bin lorries typically weigh more than 3.5 tonnes, thus falling into the category of a heavy goods vehicle. Below are the key requirements:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • Valid UK driving licence (Category B)
  • Medical examinations
  • Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC)
  • HGV licence (Category C or C+E)

The HGV Licence Categories

For driving a bin lorry, you usually require a Category C or C+E HGV licence. The Category C licence allows you to drive vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, while the C+E licence qualifies you to drive vehicles with trailers attached.

Steps to Obtain an HGV Licence

Obtaining an HGV licence involves a series of steps designed to ensure that you are competent to operate a heavy vehicle on the roads safely. The steps are as follows:

  1. Apply for a provisional HGV licence
  2. Pass the HGV theory test
  3. Undergo HGV driver training
  4. Pass the HGV practical test
  5. Obtain your Driver CPC

Costs Involved

The costs for obtaining an HGV licence can vary significantly, but you can expect to spend around £3,000 to £5,000 in total. This includes fees for the tests, medical examinations, and training courses.

The Importance of Professional Training

“Quality training is not just a regulatory requirement; it’s an investment in the safety of our roads.”

Training is a crucial component in the process of becoming a qualified bin lorry driver. This is not just about learning how to operate the vehicle but also understanding the responsibilities that come with the role. These may include:

  • Road safety
  • Customer service
  • Environmental considerations
  • Understanding routes and navigation

Career Opportunities and Advancements

Once you obtain your HGV licence, multiple career pathways open up. While starting as a bin lorry driver, you can advance to supervisory roles or even transition into other sectors that require HGV drivers.

PositionAverage SalaryResponsibilities
Bin Lorry Driver£22,000 – £28,000Collection of waste, road safety
Operations Supervisor£30,000 – £40,000Supervising drivers, route planning
Transport Manager£40,000 – £60,000Overseeing logistics, compliance


In summary, if you are considering a career as a bin lorry driver in the UK, it’s essential to understand the legal requirements and the steps to obtain the necessary licences. The investment in professional training ensures not only compliance with the law but also contributes to safer and more efficient roadways. The career offers a decent salary and room for advancement, making it a worthwhile profession to consider.

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