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Legal guide to UK motoring, sections for law enforcement, Driver licensing, learner and new drivers, buying and selling, speeding fines, owning a vehicle, wheel clamping, traffic information.

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DVLACategory B LicenceCPC QualificationGetting a HGV Licence

Getting a HGV Licence

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Driving tests to get your professional driving licence

To drive a lorry, bus or coach, you will usually require a driving licence for that category of vehicle. To get this, you will first need to apply to add provisional entitlement to drive larger vehicles to your current licence, and then pass the theory and practical driving tests.

There are some exceptions when you may be able to drive a lorry, bus or coach on a car - category B licence.

To drive a lorry, bus or coach for a living, you will need to pass initial qualification tests to gain a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC). These can be taken at the same time as your vocational theory and practical tests.

This guide will tell you how to book a theory and practical driving test and how to choose a driving instructor. It will also give details of the requirements for these tests, and how to prepare for the tests.

What you will need before taking your lorry or bus driving tests


Before you can apply for provisional entitlement to drive a lorry, bus or coach, you must pass your theory and driving test to drive a car - category B licence.

You must meet the minimum age requirements for the type of vehicle you want to drive.

You will also need to have a medical assessment from a doctor to assess your fitness to drive before the provisional entitlement can be granted

When you have provisional entitlement, you can take lessons and the necessary theory and practical driving tests to drive a lorry, bus or coach. If you want to drive a lorry, bus or coach for a living, you will also need to pass the Driver CPC Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) initial qualification tests. See our guide on Driver CPC: the basics for more information

Theory and practical tests for lorry, bus and coach drivers


To drive a lorry, bus or coach, you will need to take a theory and a practical driving test.

The theory test



To drive a lorry, bus or coach, you will need to take a theory and a practical driving test. The theory test The theory test is made up of two modules. Module 1a is the multiple-choice test. Module 1b is the hazard perception test. The modules can be taken in any order, and at different sittings, but both parts must be passed before you can book your practical driving test.

If you are required to take the case studies test, you may sit this test either before or after completing both theory test modules.

The practical test

This is designed to test the skills you will need to be a professional driver. The practical test involves:

• vehicle safety questions
• a test of driving ability, which will usually take about an hour
• a test of specific manoeuvres, including a braking exercise and reversing into a bay

Booking a test

You can book theory and practical tests for any vehicle online, by phone or by post.

Fees vary depending on the test you take and whether you are taking it during the week or weekend.

If you plan to drive a lorry, bus or coach for a living, you will also need to pass the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) initial qualification tests. This involves taking and passing two further tests - a case studies exercise and a practical exercise - as well as the theory and practical tests. For more information, see our guide on Driver CPC initial qualification for lorry, bus and coach drivers.

Choose a lorry, bus or coach driving instructor

To become a lorry, bus or coach driver you need to demonstrate a high degree of vehicle handling skill, which is why you need the right training before you take your test.

You should look for a qualified instructor who is experienced at driving the type of vehicle you wish to drive. They need to be patient, tactful and good at building your confidence. If you are already employed, your employer may be able to find or provide an instructor.

To become a professional driver you will also need to know about the regulations that relate to your work and have a strong knowledge of the Highway Code - especially of road markings and signs that relate to large vehicles.

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has developed an accreditation scheme for LGV instructors. You can view a here

When you are practicing on public roads, you must display 'L' plates - or 'D' plates if in Wales. The vehicle must also be insured and roadworthy.


Find local training Centres Here


Driver licensing requirements for lorry, bus and coach drivers

If you want to drive a minibus, bus or coach, you will normally need to apply to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to add provisional entitlement for buses to your driving licence.

To drive minibuses with between nine and sixteen passenger seats, you will need a category D1 entitlement. For larger buses, and coaches, a category D entitlement is needed.

Lorries

If you want to drive a lorry, you will normally need to apply to DVLA to add provisional entitlement to your driving licence.

The licence you will need depends on the vehicle's maximum authorised mass (MAM). The MAM is calculated as the total weight of the vehicle plus the maximum load it can carry. If the vehicle has a MAM of more than 3.5 tonnes, but not more that 7.5 tonnes, you will need a category C1 licence. If the MAM is more than 7.5 tonnes then a category C licence is needed.


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