Taking your LGV instructor driving ability test

Taking your LGV instructor driving ability test

The driving ability test makes sure you can drive a large goods vehicle (LGV) 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 LGV 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.


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.

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.

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.

  • Don’t 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 don’t 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 your examiner sees more than six 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 haven’t 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.

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 doesn’t mean you drove perfectly!