Reversing is not being removed from HGV driving tests

14 September 2021
What was claimed

They’re removing the reversing element from HGV tests to make them easier to pass.

Our verdict

The reversing part of certain medium and large vehicle tests will be assessed by an authorised third party instead of a DVSA examiner.

A screenshot of a tweet going viral on Facebook claims that the reversing element of HGV driving tests is being removed in order to make them easier to pass, amid a shortage of lorry drivers.

This is not quite the case.

Initially, a now-closed government consultation from the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) suggested that the part of driving tests for certain types of medium and large vehicles, that included doing manoeuvres off the road, could be assessed by a third party, instead of the DVSA.

These manoeuvres include a reversing exercise.

The consultation said: “Testing these manoeuvres separately to the other elements of the practical on-road test will free up examiner time to enable an additional on road test to be added to the daily test schedule for full time vocational driving examiners.

“The manoeuvres part of the test could be assessed by nominated authorised third parties from the driver training industry. Whilst DVSA might continue to provide this part of the test, we are keen to share the responsibility with the training industry.”

So the suggested change was not to remove the reversing element from HGV tests completely, but to test them separately in order to speed up tests.

The government has since announced that it would be going ahead with this change, although some concerns have been raised about it

On September 10 it said in a press release: “[HGV driving] Tests will also be made shorter by removing the ‘reversing exercise’ element – and for vehicles with trailers, the ‘uncoupling and recoupling’ exercise – and having it tested separately by a third party. 

“This part of the test is carried out off the road on a manoeuvring area and takes a significant amount of time. Testing such manoeuvres separately will free up examiner time, meaning they can carry out another full test every day.”

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