Can you drive heavy goods vehicles with a car driving licence? Let’s find out!

It might sound weird to you, but you can drive a few heavy good vehicles without getting a commercial driving licence. There are certain norms you need to keep in mind while you drive these vehicles. Also, you can say that only in some cases you are permitted to drive a heavy goods vehicle without any HGV Driver training.

As you all know, to get a HGV licence, there are five tests to qualify. If you are driving an HGV vehicle due to any of the following reasons, you will not need a commercial driving licence. You can continue driving these vehicles with your car licence.

But before directly jumping onto the vehicles, let’s understand a few terms which will help you in future.

Commercial driving licence

It is a diving licence used to operate heavy, large or placarded hazardous material vehicles in commerce. It can include buses, trucks and trailers.

MAM ( Maximum authorised mass)

It is calculated as,

The total weight of the vehicle + the total load you can carry

It determines the licence you will need to drive HGVs. If you are driving a truck with a MAM between 3.5-7.5 tonnes, you will need a category ‘C1’ licence, and if you are driving a truck with more than 7.5 tonnes of MAM, You will need a Category ‘C’ licence.

So, now let’s find out about the vehicles you can drive without getting any commercial driving licence.

Exempted heavy goods vehicles

The government has introduced some special licensing arrangements that give you the permit to drive heavy goods vehicles without any training. People with a full category ‘B’ licence (car driving licence) can drive these vehicles:

1. Good vehicles with wood or coal-burning engines
2. All the vehicles are constructed or designed for any engineering operation.
3. The trucks or any heavy goods vehicle designed for personal use such as forklift trucks or dumper trucks.
4. The agricultural motor vehicles like combine harvesters except for the forestry and agricultural tractors.
5. Tractors specifically used off the road for haulage work. The only rule is that the vehicle should not
have an unladen weight of more than 7,370kgs, and the design speed should not exceed 20mph.
6. The digging machines are only permitted to travel on public roads for moving to the sites.
7. HGVs are used for the haulage of lifeboats to transport any essential gear of the lifeboat.
8. All the heavy goods vehicles that were manufactured before 1st January 1960 are used unladen.
9. Articulated goods vehicles should not exceed the unladen weight of 3.5 tonnes.
10. The HGVs used to serve the military force headquarters.
11. The large goods vehicles used by constables for avoiding or removing any obstruction to other road users.

So these were a few exempted heavy goods vehicles. You will not require a commercial driving licence if you are moving an HGV from one place to another for the above-mentioned purposes.

Now the question that arises is:

What is the minimum age to drive any exempted HGVs?

If the vehicle’s weights between 3.5-7.5 tonnes, the driver should have crossed 18 years of age, and if the weight of the HGV is more than 7.5 tonnes, the driver needs to be at least 21years old. So the minimum age to drive an exempted HGV depends on the weight you are carrying in your vehicle.


This was all the necessary information that you needed. Now, if you are driving for a certain reason, you can shed your burden to get a commercial driving licence and can drive with your car licence. But just in case you want to drive commercially and earn a good salary, the best option is to get HGV driver training.

Also Read : Why night Driving is Referred risky?