How to become an ambulance driver?

How to become an ambulance driver

What are the requirements to be an ambulance driver in the UK?

There are a few different routes you can take to train to become a member of the ambulance service.  If you want to train as a paramedic technician you will need to attend university and achieve a degree in paramedic science.  Alternatively, you could apply for an apprenticeship with your local Ambulance Service NHS Trust. Click here to apply.

If you do not want to go to university you could apply to become an emergency care assistant.  You will need at least 3-4 GCSE’s including English, maths and a science subject.

You may also consider becoming an ambulance care driver.  This role involves driving patients in the community to the hospital for appointments. Apply to become an ambulance care driver now!

Click the link for more information about the types of jobs in the ambulance service.

Ambulance Driver Training

How much can I earn as an ambulance driver?

The average pay for an Ambulance Care Driver (Patient Transport Services) in the UK is around:

£18K – 21K (upwards)

The average pay for a fully trained paramedic starts at around:

£25K (upwards)

For more information about the type of jobs and the pay ambulance drivers can expect to receive, click here.

Which driving qualifications do I need to have to drive an ambulance?

To drive an ambulance as a Paramedic or Care Driver, you will need to obtain the class C1 on your driving licence.

To acquire your C1 licence you will need to be over 18 years old and hold a car driving licence. You will need to take the relevant theory and practical driving tests.

If you passed your car licence test (class B) before January 1997 you will benefit from acquired rights. You will already have this entitlement on your licence and you will not have to complete any further tests.

Check your current licence for entitlement here

How do I get my C1 Licence?

In order to become an ambulance driver, you will need to obtain your C1 licence. Once you have gained your C1 licence, you will be able to drive vehicles from 3.5-tonnes up to 7.5-tonnes with a trailer of up to 750kgs.

C1 driver training can be completed in 4 parts: Attend & pass an LGV medical assessment, apply to the DVSA for provisional entitlements to be added to your licence, complete your theory tests which include both Multiple Choice & Hazard Perception tests and finally, you will need to complete your practical driver training to show you can safely operate a C1 category vehicle on the road.

To acquire your licence, you must be over 18 years old and already hold a licence to drive a car (class B). If you gained your car licence before January 1997 you will have benefited from acquired rights and already have the C1 entitlement on your licence. You will not need to take any additional tests. If you passed your car licence test after January 1997 you will need to complete the following steps.

  • 1. Attend and pass an LGV medical assessment. You will need to take a D4 medical form with you for the doctor to complete. 2 Start Training can assist you with arranging your medical or you can contact your local GP, they will be able to inform you of the relevant fees.
  • 3. Theory tests. You will need to complete 2 theory tests to obtain your C1 licence to become an ambulance driver. There is a 100-question multiple-choice test which you must get 85% correct to pass. The second test is a hazard perception test where you will watch small video clips from the point of view of the driver of the vehicle. You will need to indicate when a hazard appears. The test pass mark is 67/100 and the test contains 19 clips.
  • 2. Apply to the DVSA for the provisional entitlement to be added to your current driving licence. Completing form D2 and sending this with your completed D4 form, along with your current driving licence to the DVSA. They will send back your driving licence with the C1 provisional entitlement added.
  • 4. Your practical driver training and test will show you how to drive the vehicle safely on the road. You will be shown the test routes and practice the reversing manoeuvre. The practical driving test is approximately 1 hour long and the examiner will assess your ability to drive safely on the road. Once you have successfully passed your practical test you can send off your licence to the DVSA who will update your licence to show the C1 entitlement.

Once you have completed the steps, you can be driving an ambulance in no time!

If you wish to use your C1 licence for another job such as a delivery driver, you would need to pass an additional qualification, the Driver CPC qualification. If you are going to use your C1 licence to drive a large goods vehicle for a reward you will need this qualification. Ambulance drivers do not need this qualification.

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Comments (20)

  • James waynne lauder Reply

    Am looking to join the ambulance service

    19th October 2022 at 9:26 am
  • Sonny leasuasu Reply

    Hello, I am interested in becoming an ambulance driver.

    4th November 2022 at 1:00 am
  • Joseph kilui asava Reply

    Hello am interested in becoming ambulance driver . I already have a driving license before all this need to be a volunteer

    19th November 2022 at 10:03 am
  • Suzanne Hassett Reply

    I’m 49 am I too old to be an ambulance driver and only a driver?

    12th December 2022 at 9:48 pm
    • 2 Start Ltd Reply


      There is no age restriction as such but there are the D4 medical, theory test and practical tests (3a & 3b) that you will need to pass in order to obtain your C1 licence.
      I would recommend you speak with one of our training advisors who will be able to clarify any queries you may have in obtaining your C1 licence which is the typical licence required to drive up to a 7.5-tonne vehicle which is the category most UK Ambulances fall into. Feel free to call our team of advisors on 02392 123 555 and they will be able to assist you further.

      13th December 2022 at 9:56 am
  • Pete Priest Reply

    I’m looking to become an ambulance Driver,
    I passed my driving test around mid 80s
    And my motorcycle 2010 I’ have the entitlement of C1 on my driving license
    Can you possibly point me in the right direction?
    Thank you.

    12th January 2023 at 11:52 pm
  • Alin-Emanuel Murea Reply

    Hi, I’m looking to become ambulance driver, I have full driving license

    20th January 2023 at 9:17 am
  • Nicki Hitchcox Reply

    Hi I’ve been thinking about becoming an ambulance driver
    I’m 45 and already have my C1
    But I worried it might be too much for me as I suffer with anxiety and am peri menopausal but I want to help
    I’m a very caring person and have the time to give. What do you suggest
    I know I can help

    17th March 2023 at 1:03 am
    • 2 Start Ltd Reply


      As you hold your C1 licence, this is only the training we would provide as the C1 licence is the typical category required to drive an ambulance.
      As for actually becoming an ambulance driver, only the NHS ambulance service can assist here, I would suggest reaching out to their team to discuss options as I suspect all help would be welcomed.
      Speak with the South Central Office (Southern Headquarters) to see what they suggest maybe on 01962 898 000.

      17th March 2023 at 10:08 am
  • Ahmed Ayub Reply

    I am 56 years old got my full uk drivers license 1987 . Was just thinking about driving a london ambulance . What other training would I need .

    10th August 2023 at 10:32 pm

    I want to apply

    13th September 2023 at 1:22 am
    • 2 Start Ltd Reply


      Please see our responses to the other comments on this article which provide all of the information and links you will require.

      19th September 2023 at 4:07 pm
  • Daniel Foldvari Reply

    My question is that:
    Can I drive an ambulance in the uk as a novice driver.
    Just because I read somewhere that after I received my first driving licence (B) and right after that I got my (C) driving licence, I won’t be able to drive an ambulance or any emergency vechicle, because I will be counted as a novice driver for 2 years after I received my first driving licence.
    So my question: Am I allowed to drive an ambulance in the UK as a novice driver?

    6th November 2023 at 5:36 pm

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