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HGV driving offers a fantastic opportunity to enjoy a rewarding career in a sector that’s literally crying out for new people. Now, if you’re someone looking to get your HGV licence and you have diabetes, you might wonder whether it precludes you from working in the industry.

To provide some clarity on the situation, we now look into what the DVLA says about the condition. It’s important to inform the DVLA if you have or about to have diabetes treatment as failing to do so may result in up to a £1,000 fine coming your way. So, it’s crucial to know where you stand.

Interestingly enough, having diabetes itself isn’t what the DVLA are interested in. It’s more about whether you’re having treatment for it. This is evidenced by the fact that standard vehicle and HGV driving isn’t affected by diabetes if it’s controlled by your diet*. (source: https://www.gov.uk/diabetes-driving)

Of course, if you develop any symptoms that hinder your driving, this is another matter that should be discussed with your GP.

HGV driver speaking to doc

The Personal Responsibility

Perhaps the most important thing to say at the outset is that if you have type 1 diabetes or have developed type 2 diabetes, you have to be honest and declare it. If you don’t mention it, get your HGV licence and then end up having an accident because of your condition, you could be prosecuted as a result.

To that end, the rules about telling the DVLA are quite clear. When talking about all types of vehicle driving on UK roads, you must inform them online or via phone if:

For obvious reasons, it’s even more important that you take the right steps if you’re an HGV driver. Let’s take a look at what the rules state on the matter.


The Rules for HGV Licence  Holders

Now, when you’re having your HGV medical, you are tested for diabetes, so whether you mention it or not, it’s going to get picked up. As mentioned, if it’s controlled by diet, then you’re good, but if it’s treated by insulin, non-insulin injections or tablets, you need to tell the DVLA, but the good news is, it still doesn’t necessarily stop you from HGV driving.

That’s because thanks to a device called Accu-chek* which allows you to monitor your blood glucose levels. Since the February of 2019, the DVLA’s rules have stated that if you use one of these devices to conduct a finger prick test, you are allowed to continue driving a bus, lorry or any HGV vehicle. (source: Accu-chek)

HGV driver diabetic check

Even under these conditions, it’s still necessary to carry blood glucose strips and your meter when you’re driving, just in case you need to do another check along the way.

This is advisable if:

It goes without saying that if you’re using a real-time blood glucose monitor (BGM), it must not be used while HGV driving, for the same reasons you shouldn’t use a mobile phone. If you do need to check, you must pull over in a safe location before using it.


HGV Driving  Represents a Well-Paid, Secure Job

So, as you can see, whilst diabetes is a condition that needs to be closely monitored, it doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying a rewarding, well-paid role that’s very much in demand because of the UK’s ongoing HGV driver shortfall. All that’s required is that you make the DVLA aware and take the necessary steps to ensure you always remain in full control of your vehicle.

At HGVT, we are the nation’s largest provider of HGV training across our network of training centres across the United Kingdom. With our renowned Driver Academy and an exclusive partnership with Manpower, the path to professional HGV driving has never been more achievable for those with the desire to succeed.

So If you’d like to know more about anything discussed here or about HGV driver training or career program, please get in touch our friendly advisors are ready and waiting to help you.


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