The information below regarding taking a driving test has been taken directly from the Driving Standards Agency website. It is up to date and caters for everything needed to know about an LGV or PCV driving test.
- Bus and lorry driver theory test
- Minimum test vehicle requirements
- Lorry and bus driver practical test
- Manoeuvering and Braking Exercise
- Further Reading
Bus and lorry driver theory test
The theory test is made up of two parts; the multiple choice part and the hazard perception part.
The multiple choice part is delivered using a touch screen computer and mouse and the hazard perception part records your responses through the use of a computer mouse button.
From 4th August 2008 the LGV theory test will be divided into two separate parts. The LGV multiple choice test and the LGV hazard perception test. The two parts can be taken at different times but both parts must be passed within a 24 month period for a valid theory test pass.
The questions in each multiple choice test vary according to the category of vehicle you are hoping to obtain a licence for, ie a motorcycle theory test will contain specific questions that do not appear in any other test.
For the hazard perception test there are no separate versions for different vehicles, each vehicle category takes the same test, however the pass mark is different for different categories of tests.
Part one - multiple choice
Before the test starts you will be given instructions on how the test works. You can also choose to go through a practice session of the
multiple choice questions to get used to the layout of the test. At the end of the practice session the real test will begin.
A question and several answer options will appear onscreen and you have to select the correct answer to the question by touching the screen or using the mouse. Some questions may require more than one answer.
You will be asked 100 questions in 115 minutes. You can navigate between questions and 'flag' questions that you want to come back to later in the test.
The pass mark for the multiple choice part of the theory test is 85 out of 100.
After the multiple choice part you can choose to have a break of up to three minutes before the hazard perception part starts.
Part two - hazard perception
After the break you will then be shown a short tutorial video clip about how the hazard perception part works.
The hazard perception part is also delivered on a computer but you respond by clicking a button on the mouse. You will be presented with a series of 19 video clips which feature every day road scenes. In each clip there will be at least one developing hazard, but one of the clips will feature two developing hazards.
To achieve a high score you will need to respond to the developing hazard during the early part of its development. The maximum you can score on each hazard is five. You will not be able to review your answers to the hazard perception test; as on the road, you will only have one chance to respond to the developing hazard.
The pass mark for the hazard perception part of the theory test is 50 out of 75.
At the end of the test
At the end of the hazard perception part of the theory test you will be invited to answer a number of customer survey questions. You do not have to answer the questions if you do not want to, and any information given is anonymous and confidential. The survey questions do not affect the result of the test.
When you have finished the test you may leave the examination room. Once you have left the room, you will not be allowed to enter it again.
You will then be given your result letter by a member of the test centre staff.
The result letter tells you if you passed or failed, and it gives you feedback on your test. It tells you in which topic areas you answered questions incorrectly, so you know which topics to look at again, and it tells you the breakdown of points you scored throughout the hazard perception part ie how many 5's, 4's, 3's you scored.
If you scored mainly 0's, 1's and 2's you are reacting slowly to the hazard that is developing onscreen, whereas if you scored mainly 5's and 4's you are identifying the developing hazards in good time.
Minimum test vehicle requirements
Any vehicle or vehicle/trailer combination presented for use at test must meet minimum test vehicle standards. These standards are part of European Community legislation on driver licensing. Great Britain as a member of the European Union is obliged to comply with these requirements.
All vehicles presented for test must have externally mounted nearside and offside mirrors and seatbelts fitted to seats used by the examiner or any person supervising the test.
All vehicles presented for test must be fitted with a tachograph and an anti-lock braking system (ABS). Trailers do not need to be
fitted with ABS.
The table below shows the category of vehicle and vehicle requirements needed for Bus and Trucks that are acceptable to be used as a vehicle for a driver to take their driving test on.
|LGV Categories||Vehicle requirements|
|C1||A medium sized lorry with a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of at least 4 tonnes, at least 5 metres in length, capable of 80 km/h (50 mph) and with a closed box cargo compartment at least as wide and as high as the cab. Tachograph, ABS, seatbelts and examiner mirrors.|
|C1 + E||
There are two types of test vehicle in the C1 + E category.
1. A drawbar outfit made from a combination of a category C1 vehicle towing a trailer of at least 2 tonnes MAM with a combined length of at least 8 metres, capable of 80 km/h (50 mph) and with a closed box trailer at least as high and as wide as the towing vehicle. The trailer may be slightly less wide than the towing vehicle, but the view to the rear must be by use of external mirrors only. Tachograph, ABS, seatbelts and examiner mirrors.
2. A medium sized articulated lorry with a MAM of at least six tonnes with a combined length of at least 8 metres, capable of 80 km/h (50 mph) and with a closed box trailer at least as high and as wide as the towing vehicle. The trailer may be slightly less wide than the towing vehicle, but the view to the rear must be by use of external mirrors only. Tachograph, ABS, seatbelts and examiner mirrors.
|C||A rigid goods vehicle with a MAM of at least 12 tonnes, at least eight metres in length and least 2.4 metres in width, capable of 80 km/h (50 mph). The vehicle should have at least eight forward ratios, a closed box cargo compartment at least as wide and as high as the cab. Tachograph, ABS, seatbelts and examiner mirrors.|
|C + E||
There are two types of test vehicle in the C + E category.
1. A drawbar outfit made from a combination of a category C vehicle and trailer with a MAM of 20 tonnes and a length of at least 7.5 metres from coupling eye to extreme rear and a combined length of at least 14 metres with a trailer at least 2.4 metres in width. The vehicle combination should be capable of 80 km/h (50 mph), with at least 8 forward ratios and a closed box cargo compartment at least as wide and as high as the cab. Tachograph, ABS, seatbelts and examiner mirrors.
2. An articulated lorry with a MAM of at least 20 tonnes, with a minimum length of 14 metres and and minimum width of at least 2.4 metres. The vehicle should be capable of 80 km/h (50 mph) and have with at least 8 forward ratios and a closed box cargo compartment at least as wide and as high as the cab. Tachograph, ABS, seatbelts and examiner mirrors.
Notes1. A tractor unit is not a suitable vehicle for category C or C1 test.
|PCV Categories||Vehicle requirements|
|D1||A Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) with 9 - 16 passenger seats with a Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) of at least four tonnes, of at least five metres in length and capable of 80 km/h (50 mph). Tachograph, ABS, seatbelts and examiner mirrors.|
|D1 + E||A category D1 vehicle towing a trailer of at least 1.25 tonnes MAM, with a closed box trailer at least two metres high and two metres wide. Tachograph, ABS, seatbelts and examiner mirrors.|
|D||A PCV with more than eight passenger seats, at least 10 metres in length, at least 2.4 metres in width and capable of 80 km/h (50 mph). Tachograph, ABS, seatbelts and examiner mirrors.|
|D + E||A category D vehicle towing a trailer of at least 1.25 tonnes MAM, with a closed box trailer at least two metres high and two metres wide. Tachograph, ABS, seatbelts and examiner mirrors.|
Notes1. Stretched limousines and prison vans based on a lorry chassis are not suitable vehicles for a PCV (category D) test.
2. PCVs with restricted rear vision such as Highliners and Neoplans are suitable vehicles for test, as the braking manoeuvre is carried out off road
3. All vehicle combinations must operate the appropriate service brakes and utilise a heavy duty coupling arrangement suitable for the weight.
What will the test include?
Drivers seeking vocational licence entitlement should be experienced and technically expert, the assessment criteria reflects this. At the beginning of the test you will be asked five vehicle related safety questions which will be a combination of "show me" and "tell me". A driving fault will be recorded for each incorrect answer to a maximum of four driving faults. If the candidate answers all five questions incorrectly, a serious fault will be recorded.
After the safety questions you will be examined on your general driving and on set exercises. The set exercises will include:
- an 'S' shaped reverse into a bay
- a braking exercise
- demonstrating the uncoupling and re-coupling procedure if you're taking a test with a trailer
The drive on the road last about 60 minutes and the overall test takes about 90 minutes.
What happens during the test?
During the driving test the examiner will give you directions which you should follow. Test routes are designed to be as uniform as possible and will include a range of typical road and traffic conditions.
Throughout the test you should drive in the way your instructor has taught you. If you make a mistake, donít worry about it, it might be a less serious driving fault and may not affect your result. The examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving.
You can make up to 15 driving faults and still pass the test (16 or more results in failure). However, if you commit one serious or dangerous fault you will fail the test. If at any time your examiner considers you to be a danger to other road users your test will be stopped.
You are allowed to take someone with you on the test; this person must be over 16 years old and cannot take any part in the test.
Driving test standards
All examiners are trained to carry out the test to the same standard, they do not have pass or fail quotas. So as long as you demonstrate the standard required you will pass your driving test.
Weather conditions/ mechanical problems etc
The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) do not conduct tests in bad light or in adverse weather conditions for the safety of the candidate and the examiner. They will arrange another appointment at no further cost, but compensation is not payable. Candidates should call the telephone number quoted on the appointment letter to check whether their test will go ahead.
If the driving test is not completed for reasons attributable to you or your vehicle, you will have to take another test at your own cost.Source - Driving Standards Agency (DSA)
There are two exercises to complete at the test center prior to embarking upon the actual driving test. These exercises consist of a
manoeuvering and braking exercise.
The width of the bay (C) will be 1.5 times the width of the vehicle. The length of the bay will be either the length of the vehicle, or 3 ft longer, 3ft shorter or 6ft shorter at the examiner's discretion. The precise length will not be disclosed in advance.
The manoeuvring area should be set at 92.5 metres in length to accommodate vehicles up to 18.5 metres long. For vehicles greater in length and up to 18.75 metres, the two cones A should be set on the yellow line and be twice the length of the vehicle combination. Cone B should be set two vehicle lengths away. This will have the effect that these larger vehicles will manoeuvre in an area less than five times the actual length of the vehicle combination.
The stopping area will have a solid yellow line and a black hatched section. There will also be a barrier at the end of the reversing bay, and the vehicle must stop with its rear inside the 75 centimetre wide yellow and black stopping area.
For further information regarding the pcv and lgv driving tests including examinations and booking, please use the links to the Driving Standards Agency below.