The UK Rules
Driving Test Vehicles

Lorries Used for Practical Driving Test

The lorries used for practical driving tests must meet certain rules and regulations. In some cases, the vehicle and trailer must also be carrying a minimum weight.

Note: If your vehicle fails to meet the rules the practical driving test will get cancelled.

In this case, it means you would also lose the driving test fees that you already paid.

The information provided in this section applies to England, Wales, and Scotland. The rules on lorries used for practical driving tests differ in Northern Ireland.

Driving Test Rules for All Lorry Types

Any vehicle used in category C1, C1+E, C and C+E tests must be capable of reaching 50mph. The vehicles must be fitted with:

Note: The rules on test vehicles do not allow the use of a tractor unit for a category C or C1 test.

If you are using a trailer cargo compartment it must be:

A trailer used in category C1+E tests may be slightly less wide than the towing vehicle. But, the view to the rear must be by the use of external mirrors only.

Driving Test Rules for Medium-sized Lorries (C1 & C1+E)

For the practical driving test a category C1 vehicle is a medium-sized lorry at least five (5) meters long with:

Note: MAM refers to the maximum weight of the vehicle including the maximum load it can carry safely while used on the road. This is also referred to as the 'gross vehicle weight'.

The category C1+E test allows the use of two different types of vehicle, which are:

Driving Test Rules for Large Goods Lorries (C & C+E)

For the practical driving test a category C vehicle is a large goods lorry at least eight (8) metres long with:

Note: This type of vehicle must have a closed box cargo compartment at least as wide and as high as the cab.

Category C+E vehicles must be at least 2.4 metres wide. There are two different types of C+E test vehicle:

Driving Test Rules for all Bus & Coach Types

Any vehicle used in category D1, D1+E, D, and D+E tests must be capable of reaching 50mph. The vehicles must be fitted with:

Note: Category D testing does not allow prison vans or stretched limousines on a lorry chassis.

Test Rules for Minibuses (sub-category D1 & D1+E)

For the practical driving test a category D1 vehicle is a minibuses which is a passenger carrying vehicle (PCV):

Category D1+E vehicles are D1 vehicles towing a closed box trailer:

Test Rules For Buses and Coaches (category D & D+E)

Category D vehicles are buses and coaches which are PCVs:

Category D+E vehicles are category D vehicles towing a closed box trailer:

Table Showing Minimum Load Requirement

The chart shows which vehicles and trailers need to carry a minimum weight for the practical driving test. It also shows the requirements for the minimum load.

Category Affects Minimum Real Weight Minimum Load Requirement
C Vehicle 10,000 kg 5 x 1,000 litre IBCs
C+E 'drawbar' vehicle Towing lorry and trailer 10,000 kg for lorry and 5,000 kg for trailer 5 x 1,000 litre IBCs (lorry) and 3 x 1,000 litre IBCs (trailer)
C+E articulated lorry Semi-trailer 15,000 kg 8 x 1,000 litre IBCs
C1+E Trailers 800 kg 600 kg of aggregates or one IBC of 1,000 kg or 600 kg capacity when filled with water
D1+E and D+E Trailers 800 kg 600 kg of aggregates or one IBC of 1,000 kg or 600 kg capacity when filled with water

Rules about the Load

As a rule, a vehicle load is usually bagged aggregates or water for the practical driving test. It must be attached to the trailer or the vehicle in a secure manner.

A load containing bagged aggregates should be of recycled material. That means sand, gravel, or chippings (no toxic materials). But, they are only allowed only for vehicle category C1+E tests.

Each sealed transparent bag must be the same weight when carrying bagged aggregates. The bags must weigh at least 10 kilograms and the weight must be 'clearly' stamped on each one.

You should use intermediate bulk containers (IBC) to carry water as load. IBCs should be of molded semi-transparent plastic containers. Test examiners may need to verify the water levels of each intermediate bulk container.

Note: The minimum real weight is the actual weight of the vehicle and load combined. It cannot be more than the maximum authorised mass (MAM).

A Guide to Vehicle Weights

The weight of the vehicle often determines driving licence categories. Here is a simple guide to some of the common terms you might see.

Unladen Weight

The definition of unladen weight is the weight of the vehicle when it does not have any passengers and there are no goods or other items inside.

Thus, it is the weight of the vehicle body and all parts that are usually used with it (or the trailer) when driven on a public road or highway. The term unladen weight does not include the weight of:

Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM)

The term maximum authorised mass refers to the weight of a vehicle or trailer, along with its maximum load that it can carry safely, when the vehicle is being used on a public road.

Other terms used to describe MAM are gross vehicle weight (GVW) or permissible maximum weight. You can find the rating listed in the owner's manual and usually shown stamped on a plate or a sticker fitted to the vehicle.

You might see a plate or a sticker showing the term gross train weight (GTW) or gross combination weight (GCW). It refers to the total weight of the tractor unit, plus the trailer, plus the load.

Down Plating a Vehicle

Down-plating a vehicle means that it is unlikely that it will be used at its potential maximum weight. Thus, a lower weight shows on the plate or the sticker attached to the vehicle.

Note: You may need to find a weighbridge near to your location to weigh your lorry, van, trailer, tractor or other kind of vehicle.


Lorries Used for Practical Driving Test in United Kingdom

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