Just like any other job, it comes as no surprise that the single most commonly asked question by people who would like to change into HGV driving revolves around pay. New drivers want to know how much they will be compensated for their services, and rightfully so, the question is warranted. After all, the main purpose of any occupation at the end of the day is earning, and pay is thus a major factor of any job shift. Unfortunately, this recurrent question does not have a definitive answer.
Every HGV driver gets a different amount based on set guidelines, regulations and the type of training they have had from a hgv training centre. Nevertheless, there are standard statutory minimums, trends and helpful guidelines that can help you evaluate how much you would earn supposing you took the job. Here are some vital topics that can help you assess if this is for you:
The Statutory Minimums
Though the HGV industry is governed by unique rules that apply to the profession only, other bodies still inform the industry. The Apprenticeship Levy, National Living Wage, and the National Minimum Wage for example, still cover drivers. As such, standard legal wage minimums still apply. To meet these requirements, therefore, drivers are paid at a rate of this minimum wage per hour:
• £3.70 is the apprentice rate (subject to some conditions)
• £4.20 if you are aged 16-17 (though the majority will not be driving as minors)
• £5.90 if you are aged 18-20
• £7.38 if you are aged 21-24
This does not mean that you’ll be paid at the above rates, but in the worst-case scenario, this is as low as it can go, on legal grounds. Even so, many employers recognise the importance of good pay in employee motivation and productivity, and will therefore pay above the minimum rates.
The National Living Wage endeavours to protect all employees by setting minimum wage rates that should secure basic living standards. It targets employees over 25 years of age, and over time increases the minimum wage as the economy grows. Currently, their level stands at £8.21/hr which is an improvement from £7.83 in 2018, £7.50 in 2017, and £7.20 in 2016, marking a 4.85% increase.
The Apprenticeship Levy, on the other hand, was introduced on 6th April, 2017 and targets companies that have a gross payroll cost above £3m. Such firms are required by law to pay 0.5% of gross payroll. Through approved training – England, Trailblazer apprenticeships, levy payers can claim back their payment. Additionally, devolution of educational funding has made it possible for every country to work on such a system.
This is yet a recent system that was instituted in September 2017. It informs on size options that allow employers to reimburse and consistently pay drivers. Some of these include:
• Bespoke agreements
• Overseas scales rates
• Agreed industry scale rate (with a lorry drivers overnight subsistence allowance)
• Benchmark scale rate payments
• Direct expense claims
• Other allowances
Agreed Industry Scale Rate
One critical factor to note is that while there is no set payment amount, there is an agreed industry scale for payment or reimbursement of HGV drivers who are working or sleeping away from home. This has been in place for many years and has been constant since 2013. Drivers without a sleeper cab earn the highest, at £34.90 while those with a sleeper cab get £26.20. Depending on your employer, you can get the exact scale amount or be compensated as per the actual cost.
Some Good News
Even after this, you might still be unsettled and find it hard to pinpoint the exact amount that you will earn. The good news is that 85% of HGV drivers earn well above the National Living Wage, though we cannot specify by how much. Moreover, nearly 80% of drivers reported a pay rise of about 2.57% of their salary in the last year, although the rate was slightly lower in the North than the South.