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Large goods vehicle

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Title: Large goods vehicle  
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Subject: Road speed limits in the United Kingdom, Vehicle Excise Duty, European driving licence, Vehicle category, Road pricing
Collection: Trucks
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Large goods vehicle

Mercedes-Benz large goods vehicle

A large goods vehicle (also heavy goods vehicle, medium goods vehicle, LGV and HGV), is the European Union term for any truck with a gross combination mass (GCM) of over 3,500 kilograms (7,716 lb). Sub-category N2 is used for vehicles between 3,500 kilograms (7,716 lb) and 12,000 kilograms (26,455 lb) and N3 for all goods vehicles over 12,000 kilograms (26,455 lb) as defined in Directive 2001/116/EC. The term medium goods vehicle is used within parts of the UK government to refer to goods vehicles of between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes which according to the EU are also 'large goods vehicles'.[1]

Commercial carrier vehicles of under 3,500 kilograms (7,716 lb) are referred to as Light commercial vehicles and come into category N1. Confusingly though, parts of the UK government refer to these as 'Light Goods Vehicles' (also abbreviated 'LGV'),[2] with the term 'LGV' appearing on tax discs for these smaller vehicles. Tax discs use the term 'HGV' for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes.


  • Driver's licensing 1
    • European Union 1.1
      • UK 1.1.1
    • Canada 1.2
  • Manufacturers 2
    • Europe 2.1
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Driver's licensing

European Union

It is necessary to have an appropriate European driving licence to drive a large goods vehicle in the European Union. There are four categories:

  • Category C1 allows the holder to drive a large goods vehicle with a maximum authorised mass (gross vehicle weight) of up to 7,500 kilograms (16,535 lb) with a trailer having a maximum authorised mass of up to 750 kilograms (1,653 lb). This licence can be obtained at 18 years of age[3] and is the replacement for the HGV Class 3 in the UK [the old HGV Class 3 being any two-axle goods vehicle over 7,500 kilograms (16,535 lb)].
  • Category C1+E allows the holder to drive a large goods vehicle with a maximum authorised mass (gross vehicle weight) of up to 7,500 kilograms (16,535 lb) with a trailer over 750 kilograms (1,653 lb) maximum authorised mass, provided that the maximum authorised mass of the trailer does not exceed the unladen mass of the vehicle being driven, and provided that the combined maximum authorised mass of both the vehicle and trailer does not exceed 12,000 kilograms (26,455 lb).[3]
  • Category C allows the holder to drive any large goods vehicle with a trailer having a maximum authorised mass of up to 750 kilograms (1,653 lb).[3] This is effectively the new HGV Class 2 in the UK, the old HGV Class 2 being any rigid goods vehicle with more than two axles.
  • Category C+E: allows the holder to drive any large goods vehicle with a trailer having a maximum authorised mass of over 750 kilograms (1,653 lb).[3] This licence could only be obtained after 6 months experience with a Class 2 truck, but more recently the law has changed so that it is now possible to take the tests back-to-back (Category C first then C+E the following week). This is the new Class 1 licence.


Drivers who passed a Category B (car) test before 1 January 1997, will have received Categories C1 and C1+E (Restriction Code 107: not more than 8,250 kilograms (18,188 lb)) through the Implied Rights issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) (more commonly known as Grandfather Rights).
All UK LGV licence holder must undergo a strict medical examination and eye test on application, at age 45 and every 5 years thereafter. On reaching 65 years of age, a medical examination must be performed on an annual basis.


In Canada's province of Ontario, drivers holding a Class A licence can drive tractor-trailers where the gross weight of the towed vehicle exceeds 4.6 tonnes (4,600 kilograms (10,141 lb)).[4] Drivers holding a Class B (school bus), C (regular bus) or D (heavy truck) licence can drive trucks weighing 11 tonnes (11,000 kilograms (24,251 lb)), with the towed vehicle weighing a maximum of 4.6 tonnes (Ibid.).



See also


  1. ^ "Towing trailers with medium sized vehicles between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes".  
  2. ^ "The cost of vehicle tax".  
  3. ^ a b c d "The vehicles you can drive or ride and minimum ages".  
  4. ^ "Licence Types". Government of Ontario - Ministry of Transportation. 23 January 2009. Retrieved 13 November 2009. 

External links

  • Lorry sizes and weights UK House of commons briefing paper
  • Weights and dimensions / vehicle plating
  • The different sizes of lorries and weights in the UK
  • 88/77/EEC
  • Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Licence Types
  • LGV Training Courses
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