Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) announced an update on 10th September informing the industry about the changes the Government plans to introduce to help tackle the LGV driver shortage.

Booking car and trailer tests ceased on 16th September via DVSA’s online service.

This change and the other planned changes will come into force as soon as possible and follow a public consultation held over the summer.  To explain more about what these changes mean to you and your candidates, DVSA has published guidance on changes to lorry and bus driving tests from autumn 2021 on GOV.UK.

Extra bus and lorry tests available

As a result of stopping car and trailer tests, DVSA has added an additional 2,759 bus and lorry tests between Monday 20th September and 21st November in various locations across Great Britain.

This includes:

  • 728 appointments in the Midlands
  • 1,055 appointments in North of England
  • 590 appointments in Scotland
  • 1,052 appointments in London and South
  • 188 appointments in Wales

DVSA is sharing this information to help give an up-to-date picture of test availability in your area. You can use the trainer booker service to book these appointments.

There were 316 unsold vocational test appointments last week. We all have a crucial role to play in helping to tackle the worldwide LGV driver shortages.

The booking service is constantly changing, so all the figures above will change regularly.

Requesting extra appointments in your area

If you need extra test appointments and there are not currently any available in your area you can contact DVSA directly by telling them how many test appointments you need and the area you need them in and they will see if have the available resource to support you. You can do this through the online booking service by:

  • logging in to the booking service
  • clicking on the ‘requests to the DVSA’ tab on the top menu
  • choosing ‘request additional trainer booking slots’ from the drop down menu
  • filling in the details for the test you need, and press send

DVSA recommend you take a screen print of the request confirmation screen and save this for future reference. The date and time you sent the request will be the request reference e.g.1509211059 – 150921 is the date the request was made and 1059 is the time the request was submitted.

Extra tests – removal of staging

DVSA will also be increasing the number of lorry, bus and coach tests once the law has changed to allow:

  • learner lorry drivers to take an articulated lorry test without the need to pass a rigid lorry test first
  • learner bus and coach drivers to take a bus and coach test with a trailer, rather than having to pass a test without a trailer first

The Government laid the legislation in Parliament for the change to the car and trailer testing on 16th September and they are aiming to introduce the change in November.  

The legislation for the change to staging is due to be laid in October and the earliest this change can be brought in would be 4 weeks afterwards however, this will be dependent on Parliamentary processes so is likely to take longer.

We will work closely with DVSA to keep you updated on the progress of both changes and confirm dates for the changes to be brought in when we can.

Off-road manoeuvres

To clarify, the change to allow a DVSA-approved trainer to assess the off-road manoeuvre in the future applies to lorry, bus and coach driving tests.

We will work closely with the industry on these plans and keep you updated.