Prospective lorry drivers could begin their theory and off-road parts of the driver CPC before they are granted their provisional licence, under plans put forward by Ministers.

A consultation about the proposals has been launched by the department for transport (DfT) to help improve HGV driver recruitment.

It said the changes would mean lorry drivers could start their training quicker and create a “stronger haulage sector, helping ensure medical supplies reach hospitals, parcels are delivered on time and supermarket shelves are always stocked.”

The DfT added that it was not proposing to allow any on-road driving to commence without provisional entitlement.

“The industry reported an acute shortage of HGV drivers that began in 2021,” the DfT said.

“The government has implemented 33 short, medium and long-term interventions to help HGV driver shortages.

“These measures are taking effect with industry bodies reporting that the number of HGV drivers is stabilising.

“The measures include specific training initiatives, for example related to apprenticeships and bootcamps.

“The second proposed action – allowing a person to undertake the theory and off-road driving tests without first being granted a provisional bus, coach, or HGV licence – would apply to HGVs and could further help improve HGV driver recruitment.

“To further address this shortage, DfT is calling for views on the impacts of amending licencing restrictions on the HGV sector,” it added.

Logistics UK broadly welcomed the proposals, but it also cautioned that safety was paramount:

“Allowing young people to start their driver theory training before obtaining their provisional licences will kickstart their route into becoming HGV drivers,” said Chris Yarsley, senior policy manager for road freight regulation at Logistics UK.

“However, it is worth remembering that driving a vehicle of this size is a technically challenging occupation, which is highly regulated for a reason, and we will be ensuring as part of the consultation that all the necessary training for qualification as a safe and compliant driver is still achieved before taking to the roads.”

The consultation can be accessed here: and it runs until 5 June.