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What is the difference between Class 1 and Class 2 Heavy goods vehicle? 

Updated: 10 hours ago


Class 1 HGV
Class 1 - Articulated lorry - Artic

Class 2 and Class 1 licences are confusing terms. But what do they mean, and, what's the difference?


There are two type of lorry drivers. Class 1 and Class 2.


The difference is in the category of the licence.


The Class 1 licence


Firstly, Class 1 refers to the C+E category on the back of your licence. This means that it is an articulated lorry. Also known as artic.


This is where you have the lorry and the trailer which can be coupled or uncoupled. An example is at the top. Usually these are the lorries we see on the motorways. An example is above.


The Class 2 licence


A class 2 lorry driver starts from 3.5 tonnes upwards. It is normally called a rigid vehicle. Therefore, you are not able to couple / uncouple the trailer from the lorry itself. An example is in the image below.


Class 2
Class 2 HGV - Rigid Lorry

Do I have to pass class 2 to become and class 1 driver?


Currently, the ability to go straight to class 1 driving exam has not passed yet. The date is yet to come in. It is something the government has said will come in though.


Is it wise to go straight to class 1 driving?


As part of the government's latest plan to bring down the driver shortage. Driver's will be bale to pass class 1 driving straight from a car licence. Therefore, if you are going from a car to lorry driving you should get used to driving a smaller vehicle first. Most trainers will sensibly train you in a rigid (class 2) first and then and artic HGV.


Consequently, this will mean extra training but also, you don't have to have 2 exams!


Lastly, having a class 1 licence doesn't mean you can't drive a class 2 to get used to the road. I most definitely would recommend that. I'd get the licence pass as a class 1 driver. Practice as a class 2 driver and once confident go on to the artics.


Ultimately, It all starts with your HGV medical.

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