PCV Driving Test

What are the steps in a PCV driving test to become a professional bus or coach driver?

First, you need to make sure you qualify to take the tests. The criteria you need to meet are

  1. Being at least 21 years old (some exceptions do exist for drivers over 18 years old on 16-seater vehicles or on bus routes within a 50 km radius).
  2. Passing an eye test.
  3. Passing a medical exam that shows you are medically fit to drive a PCV.
  4. Holding a full car license.
  5. Holding the appropriate provisional license (D or D1, depending on the vehicle you wish to drive).

You can apply online to have the necesary forms sent to your home address: go to the DVLA website and click on D2 Pack.

Once you’ve met the criteria listed above, you can start training to pass the various tests involved.To become a professional driver, you will need to take the full tests, which is now made up of 5 parts. Some of the tests will check your knowledge of the theory, while other parts of the test will assess your driving skills or your ability to apply your theoretical knowledge to practical situations. The actual test to acquire your PCV license is divided into 5 parts - designated as 4 modules – and makes sure that you not only know how to drive a vehicle, but also have an understanding of how to cope with a range of scenarios that you could encounter as a professional coach or bus driver.

Module 1 – The Multiple Choice and Hazard Perception tests


These two parts are pretty much similar to the “old” Theory Test. The multiple choice part consists of 100 questions, while the hazard perception test contains 19 clips. Both tests can be booked (link to DSA booking page) simultaneously at a test centre near you, or taken at different times if you prefer. The total time of both tests combined is 2 and a half hours and are mandatory for anyone who wants to become a bus or coach driver, even if you don’t plan on making it your profession.

Module 2 – The Case Study test

This module is only mandatory for those intending to drive professionally, or for “hire and reward” as it is called. This test gauges your ability to “translate” your knowledge into practical skill through the use of real-life scenarios. You will be presented with 7 scenarios, each accompanied by 5 to 10 questions which have to be answered by either selecting from a multiple choice list, an illustration or by providing a written answer. This test can be booked together with the tests of module 1 and takes about 1 and a half hours. This test is not mandatory for coach and bus drivers who won’t be driving for a living (volunteer drivers).

Module 3 – Practical Driving test

This is still much the same as the old practical driving test, only now it is slightly longer and the pre-set routes are being phased out. During the test, you now also will be evaluated on your fuel efficient driving for example. These additional factors are not however items you can be failed on. The examiner will only advise on those areas that could use improvement.

Module 4 – Practical Demonstration test

A second “practical” test that assesses your knowledge and abilities with regards to safety and security through a show-&-tell format. The examiner will ask you to demonstrate and explain how to perform a safety check of the vehicle before driving off, how to make sure your load is secure or how to check for passenger comfort inside the vehicle for example. Like module 2, this test is not required for those not intending to drive professionally.

Order in which tests can be taken:

Module 2 can be taken before module 1 and module 4 can be taken before module 3. It is not possible to take module 3 before module 1 or module 4 before module 2.

In other words: you cannot take either of the practical tests before you have passed the relevant theory part of the test.

Price list of the PCV driving tests:

Test

Hazard Perception Test

Multiple Choice Theory

Case Study CPC

Practical Driving Test

Practical Demonstration CPC

Prices correct on 1 June 2012

Fee

£15

£35

£30

£115

£55


More on getting your licence


Vocational Training
It's long been standard practice for unqualified drivers to supervise the training of learner-drivers, but now the rules have changed.

Eyesight Standards
New eyesight standards for bus and coach drivers have been made tougher.

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