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How much do lorry drivers get paid?

Generally speaking, in the United Kingdom, truck and lorry drivers get paid according to their level of experience. For example, a newly qualified HGV driver would typically earn less than an experienced driver, under the same employment. 

It is also important to remember that pay for lorry and truck drivers is set by the industry, or more specifically, by the company. So for example, a well-known supermarket chain may pay their drivers more than a logistics company, and vice versa. 

Another thing to consider is that there is a regional gap between pay scales. Drivers in London will get paid more than drivers in Yorkshire on average, for example. In 2012, the average national salary for a HGV driver was £25,360 per year, or £497.50 per week. 

Here’s some information about how much lorry drivers get paid:

Newly qualified HGV drivers

A newly qualified HGV Class 1 (Category C+E licence) holder can expect to earn from £20,000 to £22,000 per annum. Pay generally increases after two years, to between £21,000 and £23,000 per annum, based on performance.

HGV drivers with 3-9 years’ experience

HGV drivers with 3-9 years’ experience get paid more than newly qualified drivers, with a pay of between £23,500 and £25,000 on a starting salary. However, there are drivers who get paid more than this, up to around £27,000.

HGV drivers with a lot of experience

HGV drivers who have worked on the roads for over 10 years generally get paid between £27,000 and £35,000 per annum. This depends on the company in question, however, and some HGV drivers with a lot of experience do get paid less than £27,000.

Tanker drivers

It is also important to include a section for tanker drivers, who tend to get paid more than regular haulage drivers because of the greater risks involved (such as transporting explosive fuels). In 2012, the Government said that tanker drivers are paid on average £45,000 per year, and up to double that of regular haulage drivers. So if you want to earn as much money as possible on the road the smart money is on being a tanker driver, although this is not always the case, with some tanker drivers earning as little as £27,000 per annum. 

Please note that the above examples are just that, examples. It’s also important to consider that some HGV drivers get medical insurance, dental insurance, life insurance and other perks as part of their job, but this depends on the company they work for. 


  • How much do lorry drivers get paid?