Cut the price of training, increase driver numbers

A Haulier has slammed the high cost of driver training for aspiring LGV drivers, saying it is not helping to encourage young people into road haulage or bring down the average age of an LGV driver.

Barry Proctor, MD at Barry Proctor Services, said he has written to business secretary Vince Cable and education secretary Michael Gove to express his concerns about the cost of training, especially the addition of VAT.

Proctor told CM that he was shocked to find that the son of one of the firm’s drivers, a 21-year-old aspiring LGV driver, was expected to pay around £1,000, plus VAT, for training to get his Class C driver’s licence, bringing the total cost up to around £1,200.

He added that the learner driver would also likely pay a further £1,200 if he decided to train for his Class C+E test.

“Much has been said about attracting young people into the industry,” Proctor said. “Even when [the driver] gets his licence, many hauliers will be reluctant to employ him because of the cost of insuring younger drivers. There should not be a tax on training.”

Skills for Logistics estimates that less than 1% of LGV drivers are under 25 years old.

Official statistics show there has been a steady decline in the number of new drivers sitting LGV tests during a prolonged period.