What is involved in a HGV Driver Medical?

As an HGV and PCV training company, we are often asked about the HGV driver medical which is needed in order for potential drivers to get their provisional licence. Hopefully, this article will ease all the worries you have before you go. The main thing to remember is DON’T WORRY you just need to be in reasonably good health not the perfect human specimen! Do not be prevented from applying due to minor medical conditions. At least undergo the driver medical and see how you do. You may be in better health than you think! Every time your licence comes up for renewal you will be required to complete another driver medical.

Who Can Carry Out a HGV Driver Medical?

Any doctor who is registered in the UK can carry out your HGV/PCV medical –  you can go to your own GP or a private doctor. People are finding it harder and harder to find someone who will do driver medicals. This is due to events such as the bin lorry crash in Glasgow which killed six people in December 2014. Doctors are finding it too difficult to get insured to provide driver medicals due to such incidents.

Prices will vary from surgery to surgery – some GPs charge up to £150! It’s worth checking how much your own doctor charges. If you are looking for a cheaper option we like Fit 2 Drive Medicals as they have locations throughout the UK and only charge £55. There is also Carlisle-based Border Med who only charge £55.

 The Medical

Don’t forget to take the following with you to the medical:

– Driving Licence
– Driving glasses – if you wear contact lenses do not wear them as they will need to be removed for the eye test
– D4 medical form – you can download a copy of this here
– List of any medication you are currently taking
– Any hospital letters or details of hospital consultants who are treating you

To speed up the process complete the front page of the medical form and fill out your name and date of birth on the bottom of all the pages before your appointment.

The medical is comprised of two parts and usually takes no more than 30 minutes.


This is with the doctor to discuss any existing medical conditions that may interfere with safe driving. Your medical history will be discussed. You are expected to be honest during the discussion. Remember: it is a criminal offence to make a false medical declaration to obtain a driving licence and can lead to prosecution.

You will be asked about the following:

  • Neurological issues (Seizures, strokes, blackouts, narcolepsy, brain tumour etc.)
  • Diabetes
  • Mental health (depression, dementia, psychosis, substance abuse etc.)
  • Heart conditions (heart disease, cardiac arrhythmia, circulation etc.)
  • General health (drinking, smoking, sleep disorders, hearing etc.)
  • Current medication

This is not an extensive list, please check the D4 medical form for full details of what will be asked during your medical.

 Physical Examination

This is the part that most people get worried about. Once again DON’T WORRY, no one is trying to catch you out! The doctor just needs to establish you are healthy enough to drive a large vehicle without putting yourself or anyone else at risk.

The doctor will check:

  • Blood pressure
  • Urine
  • Eyesight
  • Weight
  • Height

If your eyesight does not meet the standard of 6/7.5, 6/60 then you may need a further assessment by an optician.

Please be aware that the doctor may need to do additional tests such as an ECG if you have indicated health problems.

Before you leave the doctor’s office check your medical form to make sure the doctor has completed all the necessary sections – we’ve seen doctors forget to sign forms and the provisional application is sent back by the DVLA. Your driver medical is valid for 4 months so make sure you send off for your provisional entitlement as soon as possible. You don’t want to have to pay for a second medical because they didn’t get the forms sent off in time.

 Developing Medical Conditions

Don’t forget once you have passed your test you are required to report any medical conditions that could potentially affect your driving to the DVLA. The conditions include any of those listed in the interview section and also other medical conditions such as cancer.

Once you report a developing medical condition you may be required to undergo a new driver medical in order to continue driving. Passing the medical may result in the restoration of full driving privileges or the transition to a short-term licence. In either case, you must continue to keep your doctor updated about your condition.

Should your driving privileges be suspended as a result of a failed medical, there are processes in place to enable you to get your licence restored. Some of these processes can take months to complete. This is not intended as a punishment, but rather to ensure both your and the safety of others on the road.

Remember that the medical is YOUR responsibility and that falsifying a medical test is against the law and will be punished with severe consequences. The health of drivers who work on public roads is taken very seriously.

Remember the driver medical is not just to make sure you are going to be OK being in control of a large vehicle but ensuring that you are not going to put others in danger.

To find out more about gaining your HGV or PCV licence click here 

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