Increasing lorry tests

DVSA plans to help address the lorry driver shortage by prioritising vocational tests.

Since vocational testing restarted following the easing of restrictions, DVSA says it has typically made a total of 3,000 vocational tests available per week, compared to 2,000 pre-pandemic. This has helped approximately 1,500 new HGV drivers pass their test each week. 

DVSA has increased test availability by:

  • Asking all those qualified to conduct vocational tests
  • Offering additional out of hours tests where possible and where there is a demand

DVSA plans to help address the lorry driver shortage and meet the demand for lorry tests by prioritising vocational tests. Unfortunately, this will lead to a reduction in the number of car and trailer test appointments in the future.

All existing booked tests will still go ahead.

DVSA plans to introduce changes that mean you will be asked to choose the type of test you want to book at the time of booking. You will no longer be able to change the type of test you’ve booked between categories if this involves a car and trailer test. You will still be able to change the candidate details.

This change will help DVSA allocate vocational driving examiners more efficiently and make sure it is carrying out as many lorry tests as possible.

All your existing booked tests will still go ahead and will be converted to the category of tests chosen at the time of booking.

You will be given separate booking limits for vocational and car and trailer tests. This will be based on your trainer booking history for both categories.

DVSA plans to launch a recruitment campaign in the coming weeks to recruit 40 new vocational examiners across Great Britain to help reduce vocational waiting times. Successful applicants will need to have a full lorry licence.

The new recruits will initially have to carry out car driving tests as part of their training, but will quickly progress to carrying out vocational tests as soon as possible.    

DVSA will temporarily pause the training of delegated examiners for at least six months to prioritise the training of DVSA vocational examiners.

DVSA will continue to provide driving tests for the emergency services and has launched a consultation on changes to the arrangements for delegated testing in the ambulance, fire and police services.

The government has also confirmed plans to seek views on:

  • The delegation of the off-road manoeuvres to trainers issuing provisional licence entitlements to drive articulated lorries and rigid lorries at the same time to allow candidates to take an articulated lorry test, without having to pass a rigid lorry test first
  • Allowing car drivers to tow a trailer without the need for an additional test

DVSA will let you know how you can share your views on these proposals in due course.

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