Changes to the HGV driving tests

Autumn 2021 will see new changes implemented to the HGV driving test procedure. These changes will affect what vehicle type you’re allowed to learn and take your driving test in and how the driving test works.

What vehicle type can you learn to drive and take your test in?

Currently, before you can learn to drive and take a test in large articulated lorry (Category C+E) you must learn to drive and take a test in a lorry more commonly known as a rigid (Category C).

This Autumn, the HGV law is going to change so that you can learn to drive in an articulated lorry when you get your first provisional lorry licence. You will also be able to take your test in an articulated lorry without having to pass a driving test in a rigid lorry first.

What can I drive after passing my test?

After passing your Category C+E test in an articulated lorry, you will be able to drive:

  • A medium-sized lorry – Category C1
  • A medium-sized lorry towing a trailer – Category C1+E
  • A large ‘rigid’ lorry – Category C
  • A large ‘articulated’ lorry – Category C+E

Other changes

In addition to the above changes to the HGV driving test procedure, the same new laws will apply for medium-sized lorries (Category C1), and buses and coaches (Category D). Therefore, should you take a Category C1+E or Category D+E test, you will no longer need to have taken the Category C1 or Category D driving test as a pre-requisite.

Driver CPC

Changes are also set to be made to the Driver CPC part 3 (driving ability) test. This test is one of the four Driver CPC tests required to legally drive a lorry or bus for a living.

The driving ability test will be split into two parts:

  • Driver CPC part 3a – off-road exercises test
  • Driver CPC part 3b – on-road driving test

The Driver CPC part 3 (driving ability) test will still be assessed to the same standard, however you will be required to pass the 3a test before taking the 3b test. In addition, the length of the 3b (on-road driving) test will be reduced slightly, as you will have already completed the off-road exercises during the 3a test.