Call 0203 006 5730 / 07747 686118 or email

Get an HGV Licence – with 20% off!

Get an HGV Licence – with 20% off!

In our new series Equine Careers: How Grooms Can Increase Their Salary, we are keen to highlight ways that grooms can proactively swell relatively modest pay packets each month, and it really is easier than you might think. By having a 7.5 tonne+/HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) license, and a certificate to legally transport horses (as part of your job, or as your job) you can add anything from circa £200 up to £1000 or more to your monthly wage. If you are a freelance Groom to add this service to your skills repertoire can really improve your “offerings” to prospective clients which in turn will improve your business/earnings potential, it may even be worth chatting with your accountant about any potential benefits which can be gained through additional training?

The outlay required to get these qualifications can be steep for many, but at The Grooms List we have many jobs that come in where the employer is happy to fund this training in return for a contractual promise to remain in the role for which you were employed for a mutually agreed fair period of time.

The Grooms List by Caroline Carter has negotiated a cracking 20% discount for you or your employer to make this more affordable for you by partnering with a specialised HGV trainer who trains over 200 people per month. They are the UK’s largest specialist vehicle training company, training for some of the UK’s biggest organisations.

Becky Parker has done some further research on the nuts and bolts of the subject. You need to read this…


Drive your way to a higher wage

Driving a Horsebox - Get an HGV LicenceI’m going to let you in on a little secret here, did you know there is a way to get paid for working with horses……. whilst sitting down! Never! Ok ok, so you do also have to be in charge of an 18 tonne vehicle, several live, highly valued animals and avoid the many other idiot road users. If you incorporate this skill into a working groom role it means you can be indoors, warm, dry and most importantly earning extra dollars so overall, I think you’ll agree this could be a winning option. Let me tell you some more about it…


Understanding the licence types and options

Here is a very basic run through in layman’s terms of the various licence categories.


This is the normal standard driving licence that for anyone post-January 1st 1997 only allows you to drive a total weight of 3500kg including a maximum weight 750kg trailer.

However, being old has its perks here! If you passed your test before January 1st 1997 you can drive a vehicle of Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) 8250kg inc trailer. In other words, you can drive a 4X4 and trailer or small horsebox (up to 7.5 tonnes) without the need for any extra licences.


Better known in the horsey world as your trailer licence. This allows the licence holder to tow a MAM (maximum authorised mass) of 3,500kg, fully loaded car and trailer.


With this licence the holder can drive any rigid lorry up to 7.5t. Many training providers recommend skipping this category and going straight for your full category C as the price and training are the same and you are automatically awarded the C1 as part of it.


The maximum HGV licence that any groom is every likely to need this qualification allows you to drive any rigid vehicle over 7.5t.

Note – Holding a C1 or C licence does not allow you to tow a trailer over 750kg, this requires a separate test to add the + E category.


Being in charge of such a large vehicle (or trying to negotiate reversing a trailer) can seem like a scary and daunting prospect. Yet, it’s silly to let our fears get in the way of our progress. Specialised HGV training have a proven track record producing proficient and safe drivers. They are one of the few companies to offer horsebox specific training. They teach their drivers to operate in a thoughtful way for happy, injury and stress-free passengers. I spoke to some of their staff to find out exactly what the training and exam process looks like and how much it will set you back.


What does the training and driving test involve?

Get a Trailer LicenceTrailer licence

The recommended training time for a driver with some prior experience or the capacity to practice at home is 12 hours split into 4hr sessions over 3 days. For a complete beginner it would be 5 days.

The training will cover all areas involved in the test which are;

  • Eyesight test
  • Show me – tell me – vehicle safety questions
  • Reversing
  • General driving ability
  • Independent driving
  • Uncoupling and recoupling the trailer

The test involves a 50-minute driving exam.

Cost – Approximately £799. (Don’t panic…keep calm and read on!)


Horse Transport - Get an HGV LicenceHGV Licence

The Category C training is a little different though the exam would be very similar to a car driving test. The full process follows this timeline.

  • The driver is first required to pass a medical test
  • They will then be issued with a provisional licence
  • All the online training software is then provided to study for your theory test including mock examples. Once these are consistently passed you are entered for the theory exam.
  • This passed you attend 20 hours of practical training, 4 hours a day Monday – Friday.

The final test is a 90-minute driving exam.

Cost – Approximately £3,400 for all-inclusive with no prior experience and 2 free retries at final exam. (Don’t panic…keep calm and read on!)


What are the benefits for Grooms to get an HGV licence?

As the echo fades of grooms universally crying “How much!?!” at what is a good couple of months’ wage for most let me pick you up off the floor with a reminder of what you will gain once the shock wears off!


Top priority here – more money in your pocket.

In the region of £200-£500 more a month to be specific, that is a lot by anyone’s standards!


Grooms with an HGV licence earn more money - get an HGV licence

Increased chance of landing your dream job.

Often the higher earning, better package, yard manager type top jobs will specify the need for an HGV and/or trailer licence. No matter how good you are at taking care of the horses, if you don’t tick this box many employers won’t even consider you.


New opportunities and greater freedom in a Freelance career.

As we discussed in our article on Employed vs Self-Employed, some grooms find that going it alone suits them. The ability to offer a transport service be it to competitions, training or a horse swap service for the dedicated hunting crew at 2nd horses, can greatly increase your chance of finding work and successfully establishing yourself as a small business.


Taking it a tad easier.

Inevitably, we all grow a little older and creakier eventually, some of us are young and creaky too!  At this point, our bodies might not appreciate the physical nature of yard work anymore. Widening your horizons to encompass lorry driving is another string in your bow towards keeping involved in the horse world, earning good money and staying off the end of a pitchfork. Yorkie bars at the ready!


Generous Bosses

If money is really tight and you’re comfortable in your current role it can be worth broaching the subject of gaining your HGV with employers. Some will be willing to help with the cost in exchange for an agreed contract length but think carefully before entering into such an agreement.


At the end of the day being the lorry driver isn’t for everyone. If driving your car on the motorway gives you palpitations or it took you 10 attempts to pass your test, possibly this one isn’t for you. Never fear, in our special series Equine Careers – How grooms can increase their salary we suggest a few other ways to boost your income and there are more ideas in the works to come soon.


Not convinced?

Save 20% on your HGV training with The Grooms List!

For those of you thinking this could be just the boost your pay packet was needing, Caroline Carter Recruitment is proud to announce a new partnership with Specialised HGV driving training, giving you 20% off ALL Horsebox HGV and Trailer Licence courses. Specialised HGV trains over 200 people per month. They are the UK’s largest specialist vehicle training company, training for some of the UK’s biggest organisations, so you can be assured you are in safe hands when investing in your equine career via this route.

To get a 20% discount on your training fees all you need to do is call Specialised HGV driving on 0333 220 7080, ask to speak to Solomon and mention this article on The Grooms List by Caroline Carter Recruitment!

Just another little way for us to show how dedicated we are to helping you improve your career and land that dream job! Sometimes it is worth gritting your teeth and making that brief painful outlay in order to advance with some strategic career planning. Invest in yourself and reap the rewards for years to come.

Get FREE equine recruitment advice

Both employers and jobseekers alike, if you would like free, friendly, no obligation recruitment advice from Caroline please do get in touch!

The content provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that the information they are working to is correct and appropriate for their specific circumstances.

© Caroline Carter Recruitment Ltd and The Grooms List, 2018. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Caroline Carter Recruitment Ltd and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

We’re on social media!

Follow us on social media and stay up to date with the latest from The Grooms List. We are quite happy to chat via social media too!

The Grooms List by Caroline Carter Recruitment is on FacebookThe Grooms List by Caroline Carter Recruitment is on Twitter The Grooms List by Caroline Carter Recruitment is on Google Plus The Grooms List by Caroline Carter Recruitment is on Instagram



Featured Job Vacancies

Job Description An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Head Person at our yard in Newmarket. The applicant will need to be experienced and able
I am looking for a weekend freelance groom for lovely private yard at my home in Cobham, Surrey. – Saturday and Sunday morning and afternoon
Job Description Racing yard with many exciting horses to run for the 2018/2019 season is now looking for work riders and yard staff required to
Job Description Internationally renowned consignor of quality bloodstock who has produced horses to the world’s top sales on behalf of the world’s leading breeders now
Job Description *Own horse and dog a possibility *Live in or out *Riding optional   Eventing training and competition yard with fantastic facilities set amongst
Urgently looking for a full/part time groom or trainee for a small professional event yard with horses ranging from 4 yo to 3*. Must be
Job Description Sole charge/Groom/Rider A family run yard with daughter competing on youngsters and up to 3*. Need a capable jockey who is happy to
*£17-£20K. * Huge accommodation in family home but separate space on top floor of 6 bed house or cottage a possibility *Dog and horse welcomed
*Salary range from IRO £18-£23K * shared apartment *Dog welcomed Professional Stud with impeccable track record breeding Arab horses is looking for a  Stud hand
*Salary range from £25-£40K pa entirely dependent and negotiable on experience * 2 bed cottage available *Dog welcomed *Double world champion heritage stock to foal
Job Description  OXON/BUCKS BORDERS FULL OR PART-TIME  Flexible position available for experienced groom/rider, or someone keen to learn. Excellent single accommodation if required.  Good salary
Overall responsibility for the on-going management of yard staff and a small team of International Show jumpers (to potentially include travel to shows in the
Intermediate event rider/Hunting client is looking for a live out, experienced 2nd in command Groom and ideally a decent rider (flat/jumper).  7 quality horses. Grooms
Job Description General assistant in busy, popular Cotswold riding School. All yard duties, and horse care. Working as part of a team. Lots of riding.
Job Description Experienced Groom required for cheerful family hunting/eventing yard in the Cotswolds. We are looking for someone that is motivated with a can do
Groom/Rider required for a Livery business with equestrian coaching for private individuals or equestrian clinics. Although minimal practical involvement with the liveries required, the role
Job Description Full Time Groom Wanted Groom required to join our 5 star family run Livery Yard based in Oxfordshire reporting to the Yard Manager
Job Description Full time groom job available in Colchester (Junc 28 A12). We are a small private dressage yard with 4-5 competition horses looking for
Beautiful family Estate situated 5 miles west of Morpeth is looking for an experienced, reliable groom to head a small team in providing top
Job Description You will have overall responsibility for all Estate matters, working directly with the owner in order to ensure smooth day to day running
Job Description We are looking for an enthusiastic, cheerful and highly motivated live-in Au Pair/Groom with experience and high standards in working with children as
*3/4* Eventing * Own horse welcomed This is an excellent opportunity for a competent No 2 to step up. Our Client is a talented Event
*Superb hacking on farm * Opportunity to hunt & one horse to lightly compete if interested*£350-£400pw + accommodation *Dog and horse welcome and partner considered
*Salary very negotiable IRO £350/£370 * 5 or 5.5 day week neg *Live in or out *Dog can be accommodated Experienced and capable temporary grooms
*Beautiful yard *One bed barn conversion & own garden (dog & partner welcomed) *Exercise riding and hacking Small private yard is looking for someone FT
£400PW+ accommodation Riding or non riding Access to Badminton Park 🙂 Own accommodation. Lovely position for experienced Groom who loves the Hunting/Showing scene. Must be
Wonderful opportunity for a couple to work on a family farm. Positions are both full time and involve  Grooming/Riding a yard of hunters, racehorses, pointers
Wonderful opportunity for a couple to work on a family farm and within an equestrian home (hunters, racehorses, pointers and some young stock). Farm Work
* £18K -£23K  *Horse and dog welcomed (free livery and use of lorry possible) *Cottage on the estate with garden *Excellent facilities *Exercise riding These
*Horse and dog welcomed *Salary £23/£23.5K plus training,accommodation etc *Chance to go as far as your talent and the horsepower available can go plus all

© Caroline Carter Recruitment Ltd and The Grooms List, 2018. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Caroline Carter Recruitment Ltd and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Quick Search Jobs

Equine Careers | Equine Grooms | Equine Jobs | Equestrian Jobseekers

Quick Search Candidates

Equine Careers | Equine Grooms | Equine Staff | Equestrian Employers

Ask us a question!

Please wait...


Caroline Carter Recruitment Ltd
The Stables
Fildyke Road
SG17 5LU
0203 006 5730 / 07747 686 118

Registered company number 10657796

Caroline Carter Recruitment Ltd is registered with the UK Information Commissioner as a data controller with registered number ZA250621

Endorsed by the British Grooms Association

The Grooms List by Caroline Carter Recruitment - Equestrian Employers AssociationEndorsed the Equestrian Employers Association