The East Midlands ranks as the region with the highest rates of HGV driver wages and job vacancies, according to a new report.

The finding comes from a study by consumer research site NimbleFins, which used 2018 data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) to rank HGV drivers’ standards of living by region.

The research calculated job density in each area by the number of HGV driver jobs per 1,000 working people and compared pay levels to the cost of living by dividing the average pay by typical household expenses.

The study found that HGV drivers in the East Midlands came out tops, earning an average annual wage of £30,496, with 16,000 HGV driver jobs available, a job density of 6.5 HGV jobs per 1,000 working people and a pay to cost of living ratio of 1.10.

Whilst London-based HGV drivers earned the highest wage, averaging £31,110 per year, the capital ranked ninth out of 11 regions, with just 8,000 HGV driver jobs on offer, a job density ratio of 1.6 HGV jobs per 1,000 workers, and pay rates struggling to keep up with the cost of living at a ratio of 0.91.

The West Midlands took second place in the league table. Whilst the area offered more jobs than the East Midlands at 17,000, the average HGV driver wage in the area came in lower at £29,567 a year, with a jobs density ratio of 5.8 and a pay to cost of living ratio of 1.17.

Yorkshire and Humber came a close third with an average annual wage of £28,923, an estimated 20,000 jobs on offer and a ratio of 7.4 in terms of job density. However the region’s pay to cost of living ratio of 1.07 saw the area fall behind both the East and West Midlands.

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At the bottom of the league, below London, and in 10th and 11th places respectively, were the South East and South West of England.

Whilst the average HGV driver wage in South East England came in at £30,274, with 21,000 jobs on offer and a job density was 4.4 it was forced down the ranking by the gap between pay and cost of living in the area, standing at a ratio of 0.89.

In the South West pay came in at £27,934 with job density at 5.8 per 1,000 workers and pay to cost of living ration of 0.94.

Erin Yurday, NimbleFins chief executive officer, said: "Data show that the East Midlands is the best region for HGV drivers. On top of a local economy dependent upon industries like manufacturing, food processing and agriculture that rely on road transport, the East Midlands offers drivers the best combination of high pay, strong job availability and a lower cost of living.

“That means drivers can more easily find good employment and, once employed, cover their household expenses on a driver's average pay. Not only that, but the area has lots of driver training schools to help new drivers get qualified."