Instructor driving ability test: preparation and booking

The second qualifying test to become a registered heavy goods vehicle (HGV) instructor is a practical test to show that your own driving is of a suitable standard. The test covers all the elements of the practical HGV test but at an advanced level: you’ll need to show a very high standard of competence. You must show that you have a thorough knowledge of the principles of good driving and road safety, and that you can apply them in practice.

You must pass the theory test before you can book the practical test, and you should not book it until your instructor says you’re ready.

You’ll need to take your practical test within one year of passing your theory test – otherwise your theory test pass certificate will expire.

The practical driving test costs £142.80: for full details of the HGV instructor test costs, visit GOV.UK.

See GOV.UK for more information about the driving ability test.

Taking lessons with an LGV instructor trainer should prepare you for your practical test.

For more information and help with practical skills, and what you should know and be able to do, visit the Driver Training Knowledge Centre.

Booking your driving ability test

Use the form you’re given when you pass your theory test to book your driving ability test.
You can find your nearest test centre at GOV.UK.

You can also use GOV.UK if you need to change the test date or centre or cancel your test.

Taking your LGV instructor driving ability test

The driving ability test makes sure you can drive a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) to the standard required for driving instructors and that you know The Highway Code (and can show this by the way you drive). It lasts about 90 minutes.

The qualifying process for becoming an HGV instructor is similar to the process for becoming an approved driving instructor. Watch DVSA’s video about the driving instructor practical test for a guide to what will happen at your test.

Independent driving

For about 10 minutes of the test you’ll drive independently: your examiner will ask you to follow signs or give you directions to reach a destination. This is so you can show you can drive safely on your own.

Instructor on the test

You’re allowed to take your instructor with you on your test. This is useful because they can help you work on any problems the examiner notices, either to help you pass next time or if you want to keep learning after you pass your test. Having someone you know with you can also help you to stay calm during the test.

Nervous about your test?

Almost everyone gets nervous about their driving test: you’ve done lots of preparation and you really want to pass. But to pass, you’ll need to keep your nerves under control. Here are some tips to help you.

  • Do not book your test at a time when you know other stressful things are happening.
  • Before the test, make sure you get a few good nights’ sleep: you’ll feel more stressed if you’re tired.
  • Avoid too much caffeine before your test: it might make you feel jittery and nervous.
  • Arrive at the test centre about 15 minutes before your test is due so you’re not hurried but you’re also not waiting too long.
  • If you want to talk to the examiner during the test, that’s fine – but remember that they might not say much because they do not want to distract you from your driving.
  • Remember, your examiner wants to make sure you’re safe on the road with the skills needed to become an instructor. They’re not trying to catch you out. If there’s anything you’re not sure about, just ask.
  • Be positive: focus on passing your test rather than worrying about failing it.

If you pass

Well done! You’ll be given a form to apply for the final part of the qualifying test: the instructional ability test.

Your examiner will give you feedback on your test. Remember to listen carefully to this: just because you passed your test, it does not mean you drove perfectly!

If you fail

If your examiner sees more than 6 driving faults during your test or one serious or dangerous fault, you’ll fail your test.

If you fail, you’ll be given a driving test report showing the faults you made, and your examiner will also explain to you why you have not passed. Although you’ll probably feel disappointed, listen carefully to the feedback because it will help you get things right next time.

You can take the test again if you fail it at your first or second attempt. If you fail the test a third time, you’ll have to retake and pass the theory test before you can retake the driving ability test again. You’ll have to wait one year from when you first passed the theory test before you can take it again.

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