This is the first and most common question that new drivers who are fresh out of the hgv driver training centre ask. And why not? No matter what career you are going into, you want to know what you are going to earn, and pay is probably the most important consideration in any job choice.
However, the question does not have a simple answer. There is no single, set amount that HGV drivers earn. There are some guidelines that can be of assistance such as statutory minimum pay and the current market trends in calculating whether the income will be sufficient to meet your needs.
Statutory Minimum Pay
Although the HGV industry is largely governed by its own rules and regulations, there are some factors such as minimum wage that are still applicable. This ensures that you are at least assured compensation for your work in accordance with the National Minimum Wage, National Living Wage and the Apprenticeship Levy.
The current National Minimum Wage hourly rate that you can expect to be paid is:
– £7.38 per hour for ages 21–24
– £5.90 per hour for ages 18–20
– £4.20 per hour for ages 16–17 (although you probably won’t have your driver’s licence yet)
– Apprenticeship rate is £3.70 per hour
The National Living Wage
The National Living Wage was created to ensure that employees above the age of 25 years receive a minimum wage that provides security and a liveable income. When the National Living Wage was first introduced in 2016, the wage was set at £7.20. Since then it has steadily increased: £7.50 in 2017, £7.83 in 2018 and from 1 April 2019 it increased to £8.21. This is an increase of 4.85%.
This is not to say that this is the wage that you will be offered as an HGV driver – only the minimum statutory requirement. Most employers understand that paying their drivers more leads to better job satisfaction and performance.
The Apprenticeship Levy
In April 2017, the Apprenticeship Levy came into effect for companies with a gross payroll exceeding £3 million. The levy is currently 0.5% of gross payroll and can only be reclaimed through training that has been approved. The aim is skills development due to a lack of adult educational funding in line with measures that other countries are employing.
Driver Subsistence System
In September 2017, a new system was developed to provide employers with better guidelines to reimburse drivers more consistently. The Driver Subsistence system includes the following:
– Benchmark scale rate payments
– Agreed upon scale rate for the industry (including overnight subsistence allowance for lorry drivers)
– Bespoke agreements
– Additional allowances
– International scale rates
– Direct claims for expenses
Agreed Industry Scale Rate
As mentioned above, there is no set rate to pay HGV drivers. However, an agreement has been reached in the industry for a scale rate according to which drivers should be reimbursed when working and sleeping away from home. The scale was first introduced in 2013 and has remained constant ever since. Drivers with a sleeper cab should be reimbursed by £26.20 according to the scale and drivers without a sleeper cab should receive £34.90 per night. It is up to each individual employer to choose to pay the scale rate or increase the amount as they see fit.
The Good News
If you are concerned about how much you will actually be paid as an HGV driver, consider the following:
– 79.1% of HGV drivers received an increase in the last year.
– On average, this increase was 2.57% of their salary.
– 85% of HGV drivers, on average, are currently being compensated well above the National Living Wage. It has not been established by how much.
– Salary increases were found to be slightly higher in the South than in the North.