Shortage of HGV drivers and how lockdown has hit training

In 2019 there was a shortage of 59,000 HGV drivers in the UK, that figure has grown to 76,000 in 2020.

There are currently 74 full time examiners across the whole country. Now training schools want changes so they can cut the wait to take a test.

Lorries queuing is a familiar site across the south east

Lorry drivers queuing is a familiar site in the South East. But now the wait begins before drivers even get their licence. The haulage industry is facing a shortfall of thousands of drivers. 

59,000

Shortage of HGV drivers in the UK in 2019

Nick Smith has clients queueing up waiting to take their test because there are just 74 full  time examiners across the whole country.

  • Nick Smith, HGV / LGV Driver trainer

Bus companies can test drivers themselves, but HGV training schools can't. Calls for a similar setup are getting louder as lockdown has now halted all lessons and all tests

A lorry heads towards Dover in Kent
74

Full time HGV/LGV examiners across the whole country

  • Nick Harvey, Commercial driver trainer

According to the DVSA, there are currently 3,626 driving test slots available for LGV candidates.

Prior to coronavirus, the average waiting time for a LGV driving test was less than 3 weeks. In common with many organisations, the pandemic severely impacted our operations. We are working on ways to increase the number of tests we have available and will open these up on our test booking system as soon as we can. We thank learners for their patience at this unprecedented time.

A DVSA spokesman

Nearly everything we buy was brought on the back of a lorry. With a shortfall of thousands of HGV drivers there could be a big problem just around the corner.