This is the most popular HGV Licence category which people aim for as it means you can drive vehicles larger than 3.5 tonnes, with a trailer of up to 750kg. The reason this category is so popular and what differentiates it from a C1, is that there is no upper weight on the size of vehicle. It is anything larger than 3.5 tonnes.
You need to be 18 or older to apply for this licence and it is sometimes also referred to as a Rigid or Class 2 category.
So what can I drive with a Category C?
Category C is a very broad category as there is basically no upper weight limit, so with this on your licence you would have free rein to drive any non-passenger carrying vehicle. This type of licence would be required if you wanted to drive a fire engine for example.
In terms of other professions, you would need a Category C to drive home and commercial removal lorries, large home delivery lorries, waste disposal lorries, gritter lorries, so if you were thinking of applying for a job as dustbin lorry driver then you would need this category.
If your horsebox was larger than 7.5 tonnes you would also need to have this category on your licence to drive it legally on the road. Virtually all the larger HGV vehicles on the road would require this kind of licence to drive them.
With this licence you would be able to:
- Deliver shopping or building materials (become a multi-drop delivery driver)
- Drive box-container or curtain-sided lorries
- Drive tankers containing liquids, powders or gases (may require additional hazard training)
- Drive livestock transporters
- Deliver temperature-controlled goods (frozen food, flowers)
You will need to take the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence along with this category, in order to be able to work as a professional paid driver but we can help with all of the training and requirements to both pass the C category training and gain the CPC.
What’s the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence?
If you want to get a Category C on your licence because you wish to drive this kind of vehicle for a living, then you must get the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). This certificate is now in place mandatorily across Europe and means all commercial bus, lorry and coach drivers have to pass the same qualification wherever they work in Europe.
Driver CPC requires all existing category C and D licence holders to carry out at least 35 hours of driver training every five years to keep up their CPC and be able to continue working. Experienced drivers have to do the 35 hours, but are not required to sit the full CPC training qualifications – those only apply to new drivers.
New drivers who wish to work professionally have to take part in the CPC qualification process before they can start working for a living as a driver. Without this they will not be allowed to drive for a living. The new driver CPC applies after passing the basic driving licence, and includes four tests:
- The CPC theory tests – a multiple choice test containing 100 questions and a hazard perception test made up of 19 videos.
- The CPC case studies – seven case studies which the driver completes on a computer in around two hours.
- The practical tests – driving ability on the road – one and a half hour driving test
- The practical tests – vehicle safety demonstration
The aim of CPC is to improve professional driver safety, reduce road casualties and enhance the reputation of those that drive for a living by ensuring high levels of competence from the outset. We can support you with all levels of CPC training.
What if I want to tow a larger trailer?
With a category C, while there is no upper weight limit on the main vehicle you can drive, you are limited to a trailer weight of just 750kg fully laden, so if you wanted to drive a large vehicle, with a larger trailer, then you will need to go for an upgrade to your Category C licence.
Once you have gained Category C, you will need to go for Category C+E and if you pass the tests for this category it will enable you to tow any size of trailer weighing more than 750kg, behind a Category C vehicle.
The good news is that we offer full training in all aspects of HGV driver training and our advisors are always on hand to offer support and guidance on which kind of licence you require to ensure you are legal and safe on the roads.