Taking Your HGV License Practical Test

When you first learn to drive, you have to take a 2 separate tests to make sure you are competent and know how to drive safely. In order to become a professional HGV driver, you have to take a very specific set of tests. The basic Driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) is essential for every HGV driver, and the test for this certificate is split into 4 parts. Parts 1 and 2 are both theory based, while parts 3 and 4 are practical. In this post we will take you through each of the practical stages of your Driver CPC test, step by step.

Part 3 – Driving Ability

The first practical part of your Driver CPC is part 3, giving you plenty of time to log a lot of hours practical driving experience with your instructor. Your driving ability test will be an awful lot like your standard driving test – which may come as a shock if you did it a long time ago! The assessor will get into the vehicle with you and direct you around a route, watching your performance. You will need to remember all of the basics of driving (checking your mirrors and blind spot etc.) as well as be able to demonstrate how to do simple manoeuvres like reversing around a corner or a hill start. These might sound like basics, but they it’s a completely different experience doing it in a HGV! Your driving ability test will cost £115 (£141 on evenings, weekends and bank holidays) and last around an hour.


Part 4 – Practical Demonstration

Once the driving ability test has been taken, you also need to take a practical demonstration test. This might sound like the same test again, but it is slightly different. For starters, you probably won’t be asked to do any driving in this section! Instead, the practical demonstration test is all about demonstrating your knowledge of vehicle safety and operation. You will be asked to demonstrate how to load and unload your vehicle safely, how to lock and secure the contents and show the instructor what checks need to be carried out before the vehicle is safe to drive. You will also be asked about emergency procedure, basic maintenance and risks to the vehicle, including checking for risks of criminal acts and trafficking being carried out in your vehicle. There are 5 sections to the test, each worth a total of 20 points. In order to pass you will need to get at least 15 out of 20 questions and demonstrations right for each section. That’s a total of 80 points out of 100 for a passing mark. This portion of the test only lasts 30 minutes and costs £55 (or £63 on evenings, weekends and bank holidays).


Tips From The Professionals 

Of course, there’s a lot to remember there! As well as working on all of your basics and ensuring you can drive well and know the exercises, we have a few pieces of advice for the practical portion of your test: 

  • Keep a watchful eye on traffic at all times and remember that a truck takes substantially longer than a car to stop.

  • Remember to take your basic driving license to both parts of the practical test with you. If you forget either part, you won’t be able to take the test.

  • Try to take a 40- 60 pre-drive before your practical test. Just don’t make it too long – driving for 4 hours before you test will leave you tired and unfocused!

  • Wear sensible, comfortable clothing on the day of your test, and get a good night’s sleep beforehand.

  • You can take up to 2 shunts for the reversing exercise if required. You are allowed to get out of the vehicle only once, so make good use of the shunt to make sure the back of the vehicle is in the right place.

  • You can still pass your test with up to 15 minor faults, so if you make a mistake don’t dwell on it, just move on.

For more information about taking your practical HGV license test, or to book in your training sessions, get in touch with us today.