Number of HGV driving tests taken plummet 11% year-on-year, but remain ahead of recent low point

The number of people taking HGV category C and C+E driving tests has fallen 11% year-on-year, and stands almost a quarter lower than a decade ago.

After three years of improving fortunes for the transport sector, there were 58,018 tests taken in the year to 31 March 2017, compared with 65,127 the previous year.

Tests at category C and C+E were on an upward trajectory, since reaching a low of 43,589 in the year to 31 March 2013.

Expect has commented about this article:

“The figures published are indicative of the challenges which our industry faces and has faced for some time now. There is little incentive for new drivers to enter the industry and make personal investment in becoming qualified to drive. The only way in which this may change is through either government support to attract people into the industry and that would involve significant investment, which makes it very unlikely, or for operators to increase rates of pay across the board and pass those increases onto clients.

The latter is somewhat a taboo subject with both hauliers and our customers but the simple fact is that if our economy recovers and grows, the current situation will only be exaggerated and demand will completely outstrip supply.

We invest a lot of time, energy and money into recruiting drivers through many avenues and we run apprenticeship schemes alongside this but there is quite simply a lack of new drivers of quality coming onto the market”