HGV Driver Shortage in the UK

Understanding and Addressing HGV Driver Shortage in the UK – Policy Briefing

The UK is currently experiencing an HGV driver shortage that is resulting in supply problems for a wide range of goods across many sectors. This has become most apparent in relation to fuel supply difficulties to petrol stations in September 2021 that, following media attention, led to panic buying among the public which resulted in traffic, economic and social impacts. However, the HGV driver shortage is not new to the UK; the problem has existed for many years but until now has received relatively little media attention.

This briefing report investigates the current and longer-term HGV driver shortage in the UK and the composition of the driver workforce. It considers the potential longer-term causes that have led to driver recruitment and retention problems, and summarises the actions now being taken by the industry and UK Government to address it.

A full version of the report, including all references and data is available from the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight.


Piecyk, M. and Allen, J.  ‘Understanding and Addressig HGV Driver Shortages in the UK’, Technical Report CUED/C-SRF/TR14, Centre for Sustainable Road Freight, January 2020.

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HGV Driver Shortages in the UK – briefing report