driving a HGV on a car licence?

  1. F.J.

    F.J. Member

    Hi all

    I am looking at doing my HGV licence so I can pick up/drop off customers wagons and trailers which means buying a truck. Ive seen an add where the owner claims that his truck can be driven on a car licence! I emailed him asking him to explain and he said it was because the truck had been re-registered as Plant and I could even tow a 40foot trailer with a certain coupling, all on a car licence.

    can anyone shed anymore light on this as I dont quite understand the jargon on the directgov/dvla website

  2. brokenbiker

    brokenbiker Member

    Llanbobyll, south wales
    if you passed your car test before 97?? you can drive up to 7.5 ton rigids I think, but still need a separate license for artics.

    if you passed after 97 you can only drive up to 3.5ton and then need a license for lgv and hgv
  3. brokenbiker

    brokenbiker Member

    Llanbobyll, south wales
    or that is my understanding of it anyway
  4. tlovatt Member

    Rugby, UK
    Seems like a good way to have a run in with the law. He is probably trying to claim that the truck is registered as construction plant, or as farming equipment. For valid businesses this can be aceptable and legal, for someone running a pick up and drop off service I would not expect to get away with it.
  5. rtbcomp

    rtbcomp Moderator Staff Member

    Sheffield UK
    My 1976 car licence entitles me to drive

    Class B - cars
    Class C1 - rigid trucks 3.5 - 7.5 tonnes
    Class D1 - Minibus >8 to <=16 seats, not for hire or reward

    The above towing a trailer

    Class F - Agricultural tractors
    Class K - Mowing machines & pedestrian controlled vehicles
    Class L - Electrically propelled vehicles
    Class N - Duty exempt vehicles
    Class P - Mopeds


    Class A - Motorbikes
    Class G - Road Rollers
    Class H - Tracked vehicels

    Three wheelers aren't permitted at all for some reason.

    PSVs are excluded, but electrically propelled vehicles arent' so can I drive a Trolley Bus?

    Is a hybrid that uses and engine to generate electricity and then electric motors to drive the vehicle electrically propelled?

    Plant is not mentioned at all, except for road rollers, Cat G.

    I suspect there may be speed restrictions on plant, and it will have to be insured as plant.

    Personally I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.
  6. madkayaker

    madkayaker Pro sparkey Pro Welder

    I did once find a dvla document saying holders of b licence could drive a recovery truck registered as plant if it was only used for that purpose (no bopping to shop for fags or taking it home as you were on call) and I think it was only for recovery of broken down vehicles owned by same fleet.

    There is allowance for older than 1960 (?) vintage trucks not for hire, reward or carrying burden to be driven on standard car licences to take to truck shows etc. perhaps very specialist converted trucks that can only have one role in life can be registered as plant but a standard truck I would be surprised
  7. AndyStobbs Member

    North West England
    I would say get the HGV under your belt. Look very carefully at the CPC as you may not need that at all, if you word things right. These pickups and drop offs could be test drives before and after repair.
  8. Robotstar5

    Robotstar5 Casanunda Staff Member

    Mine's similar but includes Class A which covers motor tricycles (3 wheeler?)

    Useful link here
  9. ben8vgte

    ben8vgte Member

    Bedfordshire UK
    Sounds a bit dodgy really, where I used to work we serviced a road line painting fleet they were 15 ton Iveco's and were driven on a car licence by the operators.

    But they were proper plant as they ran on red diesel and had donkey engines for the plant on the back, they were also twin steer with a steering wheel and controls each side! So it can be done but in this case I think you'd be bending the rules to far as you don't have a proper reason to operate a plant vehicle.
  10. normspanners Member

    I was thinking of re registering my sedak tractor unit as plant because it has a hiab on it and then wont need hgv mot because plant is exempt but i think it cannot have a fifth wheel on it. Years ago I made a rapid deployment mobile crane in the same fashion but had to remove the coupling to register as plant, with its ballast weight it was 12 ton and we could drive that on a car licence, and red up to a certain distance.
    Not sure about ring hitch type trailer though because tractors can tow a trailer
    cranes are supposed to be limited to a certain speed but nobody respects or enforces it, because it slows the traffic too much.
  11. pedrobedro

    pedrobedro Man at Matalan

    CX Derbyshire
    A friend of mine had a 6WD recovery truck which he used for his business and it did not need MOT or HGV plate and was used to recover other people's vehicles. It had to have a permanently mounted crane or spec lift to qualify but needed HGV license for later qualifiers.
  12. MCKDAVID Member

    sounds like just another excuse to get grief from the feds....

    we get enough as it is, why go looking for more, if you need to do it for a living, get the paperwork right... ask the authorities..

    at the end of the day it's not just the licence, but no doubt if that's wrong, then you can be sure that your insurance will be invalid...
  13. Gritineye Member

    Sussex UK
    Way back it used to be the case that ballast tractors, heavy locomotives and recovery vehicles could be driven on a car license.

    No Heavy Goods License was required as those types of vehicles as they clearly aren't built to carry goods.

    It was also the case that a recovery vehicle driven on a car license could legally tow a loaded artic hgv.

    I suspect the guy selling his truck is relying on some old legislation and calling it a ballast tractor, hence the reference to the coupling, he is most likely pulling draw-bar trailer.

    All very dodgy I would think in view of all the tightening up that has happened in recent years..may still be legal but I wouldn't want to chance it..
  14. F.J.

    F.J. Member

    I thought it was suspect but after realising its going to cost around £23-2500 for my licence then see an add like that I had to ask.

    All the same I'll be going down the legit route after christmas I think. Thanks for all your input
  15. J_K Member

    Exeter, Devon
    I've just done my LGV class C (rigid/class2) license. Like last week.
    My instructor told me that VOSA and the DLA are merging next year and becoming self funding...
    So expect them to be really hot so they can impose fines and make money.
    Also, after september 9th next year, you will need a drivers CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) which is basically 35hrs of courses split into 7 hour blocks. But you can do different things. If you;re doing your LGV C then ask them about getting the Eco safe driving certificate at the same time. I did. Was half the price of the taught course and you are learning it when you train. You can't get this if you passed your car test after 97 though..
    I did tachos/digi tachos/EU working time directive last weekend and that was £66 for the 7 hour course which seems to be pretty much the going rate.
    There are lots of course that you can do. First aid is another one that I want to do which gives another 7 hrs.

    You might also need an Operators license to drive other peoples units. BUT you might get away with a restricted license but either way, they are a pain in the arse.

    And don't forget you'll need to pass your LGV theory and hazard perception tests.