HGV Driving Test Changes

HGV Driving Test Changes


The government has announced plans to help to tackle the shortage of lorry drivers.
The strategy includes creating an extra 50,000 lorry tests and making changes to tests that will come into force “as soon as possible”.
Following a public consultation over the summer, steps will be taken to help the sector tackle the lorry driver shortage.


The consultation had over 9,500 responses with the majority supporting the proposals.
Since the pandemic, driving tests have increased by 50%, but there is still a backlog of candidates with many having to wait before becoming qualified.


Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
“The shortage of drivers is a global problem, but we’ve been taking action here in the UK to help industry leaders attract drivers and build a more resilient sector.
We’ve already delivered 50% more tests than were available before the pandemic, but today’s additional measures will deliver up to 50,000 more a year, helping more and more people to kickstart their career as a well-paid HGV driver.”

What are the changes?

  • Learner lorry drivers will be able to take an articulated lorry test without the need to pass a rigid lorry test first
  • The removal of the ‘reversing exercise’ element
  • Car drivers will no longer need to take the second test to tow a trailer or caravan


Research from the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) show that the national pass rate for B+E driving tests was:
  • 69.6% in 2019/20
  • 58% for 2020/21
That means on average 36% of people tested do not demonstrate the minimum standard of driving needed to become an HGV driver on their first attempt.
The government stressed that there will not be a change to the standard of driving required to drive an HGV. They also reiterated that they would continue to proritse road safety.

Useful Links


DVSA – https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/driver-and-vehicle-standards-agency

Official Story – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-takes-further-action-to-tackle-hgv-driver-shortage



HGV Driving Test Changes