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Delivery Driver to Class 1 Driving Jobs: How a Driving career could be the best fit for you

Fun fact: the UK’s Road network spans 262,900 miles (423,097 km) of paved roads, longer than a trip to the Moon.1

Why wouldn’t you want a job where your office is this big?

Why choose Driving?

When it comes to choosing your career path, why choose sitting in an office instead of getting out there in a large goods vehicle, articulated lorry, or tanker?

There are many misconceptions about being an LGV (Large Goods Vehicle) or delivery van driver, such as long hours and continuous driving, that all truck drivers are men or, that there are already too many drivers. In our experience, these misconceptions simply aren’t true.

  • This infographic clearly shows that driving hours and limits are in place, and essential vehicle checks are carried out to keep you safe.
  • Woman drivers are out there! In a recent survey, women make up 16% of delivery drivers.2 To find out more, read our interview with a woman truck driver.
  • There is often a shortage of LGV drivers in the UK and not enough young people are choosing a career as an LGV driver.1

If you like driving and independent working, then this could be your ideal role. Thanks to so many people switching to online shopping, driving jobs have proved to be a resilient choice, even during tough economic times. Lorry and van driving can offer flexible shift patterns, lots of opportunities, it can pay well, and you don’t necessarily need to have a special licence or invest money in further training. A recent survey of 550 people currently working in driving revealed that 74% of them drive either a car, panel van or light truck up to 3.5 tonnes.2

If you have passed your driving test after 1st January 1997 and have a licence, you can drive cars and light vans up to 3.5 tonnes (Category B), perfect for becoming a van delivery driver or a final mile driver. ‘Final mile’ refers to the final stage in the delivery process, rather than the distance travelled, where these types of drivers deliver online shopping items or groceries.

If you passed your driving test before 1st January 1997 and have a licence, you can also drive Large Good Vehicles (LGV) up to 7.5 tonnes (Category C1 licence, as well as the Category B listed above).

What types of driving work are there?

Fun fact: in Great Britain, vans are the fastest-growing category of vehicles. Van traffic now makes up around 16% of total traffic on the roads, compared with 10% in 1993.1

Below we have listed the types of driving jobs you can apply for in the UK, with the associated vehicles size and weight categories: 

  • Final Mile Courier – usually drives cars or small vans up to 3.5 tonnes on a standard category B driving licence.
  • Van/Delivery Driver Category B – usually drives vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes on a standard category B car driving licence or up to 7.5 tonnes with a C1 licence.
  • LGV Class C – drives articulated vehicles in excess of 7,500kgs/7.5 tonnes with trailers weighing more than 750kgs.
  • LGV Class C+E Driver – drives articulated vehicles in excess of 7,500kgs/7.5 tonnes with trailers weighing more than 750kgs.
  • LGV C1 Driver – drives large goods vehicles weighing up to 7,500kgs/7.5 tonnes.
  • Forklift Truck Driver – uses a forklift truck to deliver, move, load, and unload a variety of goods.
  • Class 1 / 2 Moffett Driver – drives vehicles which are equipped with MOFFETT truck mounted forklifts. These are to safely and efficiently load and unload products into or from the trailer.
  • Tanker Driver – drives LGV weighing up to 7,500kgs/7.5 tonnes carrying bulk materials or liquids. 
  • Vehicle Mounted Crane Operator (HIAB Driver) – drives LGV weighing up to 7,500kgs/7.5 tonnes that has a crane either at the rear or just behind the cab, used to load and unload goods. 
  • The European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) – drives vehicles with tanks, certain tank components and can carry dangerous goods in packages. Can be articulated vehicles in excess of 7,500kgs/7.5 tonnes or rigid vehicles weighing over 7,500kgs/7.5 tonnes with trailers weighing up to 750kgs with a Class C or C+E licence and an ADR Certificate.

Commercial Driving Licences Explained

To be a commercial LGV Driver in the UK you need to fulfil the following criteria:

  • Be over 18 years of age.
  • Hold a full car licence.
  • Hold a Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC).

And the right licence for the vehicle that you intend to drive:

  • Category B – Main car driving licence – vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes.
  • Category C1 - Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) weighing up to 7,500kgs/7.5 tonnes.
  • Category C - rigid vehicles weighing over 7,500kgs/7.5 tonnes with trailers weighing up to 750kgs.
  • Category C+E - articulated vehicles in excess of 7,500kgs/7.5 tonnes with trailers weighing more than 750kgs.

See our infographic for a full explanation on Commercial Driving Licences.

Driving Jobs Pay

There are plenty of opportunities within driving, and with excellent earning potentialthis is a career that’s worth pursuing:

Job role

Annual rates of pay up to:

Tanker/Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) Driver

£45,000

Abnormal/Oversize Load Driver

£40,000

Transport (Fleet) Manager

£31,000

Long Haul Truck Driver

£30,000

LGV C+E Driver

£28,000

Class 1 / 2 ADR Driver

£26,000

HIAB Driver

£25,000

LGV Class C Driver

£25,000

LGV C1 Driver

£24,000

Van Driver /Delivery Driver / Multi Drop Driver / Final Mile Courier

£23,000

Driver's Mate

£20,000

 

What skills are required for driving roles?

To become a professional or commercial driver, you will need to be a skilled driver with excellent driving knowledge and experience, customer service skills and good communication. You will also require a Certificate of Professional Competence and the right licence for the size of vehicle you want to drive - see the Commercial Drivers Licences Explained section above.

Other skills include, being calm under pressure, observant, easy going and a happy nature, flexible, focused, reliable, and patient. As driving is an independent role, you will also need to be solutions-orientated, confident, practical, motivated, logical, and organised.

To make a long term and successful career out of driving you will need to obtain specific skills, such as geographical knowledge, mechanical understanding, logistical planning, road safety and industry knowledge.

In our recent driver survey, 63% consider their career as a driver to be a long-term career choice.2 Could you be one of them?

Further information

Read our 2020 year in review and forecasting 2021 blog to learn more about driving careers.

Unsure if a driving career is right for you? Read our tips on how to achieve a work-life balance as a truck driver.

If you still have questions about driving jobs, check out our Driving FAQ page here.

Where next?

Jobseekers

Visit our Driving Jobs page to keep a lookout for new opportunities or visit us on Facebook for latest updates. 

For more career advice, tips and guides click here.

Stay up to date with the latest industry news, information, tips, tricks, jobs and advice by subscribing to our newsletter and click here to keep up to date with our blog. 


References:

  1. The Ultimate List of United Kingdom Driving Statistics for 2021, [ONLINE], accessed September 2021, available at: https://toptests.co.uk/driving-statistics/
  2. Agency TK, Impellam Driver Consultation: How to convert valuable existing commercial driver communities into LGV drivers [PDF], published February 2021, accessed September 2021

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