An approved driving instructor (ADI) can help you learn to drive a specialist vehicle if your vehicle has 2 seats and its controls are similar to those of a car. If there’s only one seat, the instructor will have to call out instructions to you from outside the vehicle. Only an ADI can accept payment for teaching you to drive.
Alternatively, you can find someone to help you learn and practise who is an experienced driver of the type of vehicle you’re learning in. This should be someone who
- can explain clearly and simply the skills you must learn
- is patient and tactful
- builds your confidence.
If your employer needs you to take a test in a specialist vehicle, they should arrange instruction for you.
What to study
You’ll need to study the Highway Code (GOV.UK) and Know Your Traffic Signs (GOV.UK) because you’ll be asked questions on these in the practical test. The Official DVSA Guide to Tractor and Specialist Vehicle Driving Tests eBook (TSO Shop) explains the standards required to pass your practical test.
You’ll also find a general driving guide useful, such as The Official DVSA Guide to Driving – the essential skills.
Practising your driving
You must be at least 17 years old to practise driving a specialist vehicle on the road, and you must put red L plates (or D in Wales) on the vehicle.
Make sure you’re insured to drive the vehicle – if possible, your instructor should be insured too so they can demonstrate the skills you’re learning.
When you first start to learn, try to find somewhere
- quiet with lots of space
- where there are no pedestrians, obstructions or moving vehicles
- with a good flat surface.
If you’re driving on private land, make sure you have the landowner’s permission.