First things first, LGV stands for Large Goods Vehicle. In the industry, this is another way of grouping all of the lorry categories (C1 7.5t, Category C / Class 2 & Class 1 / C+E) into one umbrella term. This is exactly the same scenario with ‘HGV’ which stands for Heavy Goods Vehicle. So, don’t panic there is no difference between a ‘lorry test’ and an ‘LGV test’. Only one test is needed when going for your chosen vehicle category.
The LGV test will look like this on the day:
The whole LGV lorry test will take no longer than 1 hour and 30 minutes. Within that time, you will answer approximately 5 show me tell me questions, the ‘S’ shaped reversing exercise and then the on-road drive. Within the drive, there will also be 10 minutes of independent driving, designed to test your ability to drive safely while making independent decisions.
The LGV pass rate for the UK in 2018/2019 was 58.9%. Remember though this is a total of all tests taken. If there are drivers out there that failed 5 times before passing on the 6th test then that will contribute to these figures and bring the pass rate down. 10 years ago in 2008/2009 the LGV pass rate was nearly 10% lower at 49% for the year!
But the answer to this question is …. Everyone is different. Generally, if you listen to your LGV instructor, absorb their tuition and work hard there is no reason why you don’t have a great chance of passing your lorry test first time!
Unlike the LGV theory tests (Multiple choice, Hazard perception and CPC case study) there is no minimum pass mark. For example, in the Multiple choice theory test you have to achieve at least 85/100. It works differently for the practical test. If you gather any more than 15 driving faults, also known as minors, you will be unsuccessful. Also, if the driving examiner deems any of your driving manoeuvres to be serious or dangerous – only one of these occurrences will result in a failed test. A simple example of this would be pulling out of a roundabout / junction causing another motorist to either stop, slow down or change direction.
The cost of a lorry test will vary from company to company and sometimes what area of the UK you take your test in. Some training providers will include training before the test and others won’t so make sure you know what is included within a test, or a retest fee!
Get a good night sleep the night before. You want to be fully rested with lots of energy on the day of your test.
Stay hydrated. If you are dehydrated it can massively affect your ability to concentrate. Make sure you have drunk enough water or other suitable drink prior to the test. You can also take a bottle of water with you for the test.
DON’T FORGET YOUR DRIVING LICENCE. Sounds simple but lots of people forget. Pack your bag the night or day before and know exactly where it is leading up to your LGV test. No licence = no test!
The DVSA examiners are not there to fail you nor do they need to see the perfect drive to pass you. They are humans like the rest of us and their job is to make sure you drive the lorry safely in a calm and controlled manner.
The examiner may see you’re nervous and engage in conversation to try and keep you calm so you can do your best. But they may say absolutely NOTHING! This is not a bad thing – don’t take it personally either way. They are there to do their job and you do yours passing the test.
Examiners now have Ipads that they record all faults on. Some may still have a classic DL25 paper sheet but either way, don’t be disheartened if you see them make a note of something from your drive. On the reverse of this, don’t get overconfident if they don’t seem to have marked anything – some examiners remember what has happened and mark towards the end.
EXAMINERS DO NOT MIND IF YOU ASK AGAIN FOR INSTRUCTION. Very important point. If you haven’t heard clearly where they would like you to go, then ask again. They would much prefer this to going the wrong way and having to navigate you back onto route.
Positive mental attitude can account for an awful lot in testing scenarios. Thinking positively is going to put you in a much better frame of mind to pass than thinking ‘I’m going to fail’. Be confident in what you have been taught and if at the end of the test you know you did your very best then you are much more likely to get that desired LGV licence!
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Yes, it is important. Yes, you want to pass. But if you don’t, the sun will still come out tomorrow! A retest is not the end of the world. Come back with the experience from this test and the feedback from the examiner at the end of what you can improve on and get it right next time.
If you make a mistake on your lorry test, let it go straight away. Quite often what you think you may have just failed doing is not a fail at all! Keep driving to your high standard. If you keep worrying about mistakes you think you’ve made then you are far more likely to make more as you continue on the drive.
As long as you have done so safely with the correct signalling then that will not constitute a serious fault. The examiner will adapt the route to get you back on the right path. It is when you know you are in the wrong lane and do something crazy to get where you should be that it becomes a problem! Going the wrong way? Stick with it safely.