Become a lorry or bus driver

6. Driver CPC part 3 test: driving ability

You must have passed the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) part 1 theory test before you can book the Driver CPC part 3 test.

What to take to your test

You must bring a lorry or a bus or coach that meets the rules.

You must also bring one of the following:

  • a Great Britain photocard driving licence
  • a Northern Ireland photocard driving licence and paper counterpart
  • an EU photocard driving licence (and paper counterpart, if you have one)

If you don’t have a photocard driving licence, bring your paper licence and a valid passport.

Your test will be cancelled and you’ll lose your fee if you don’t bring these.

How the test works

Your practical test will last about 1 hour and 30 minutes and includes:

  • vehicle safety questions
  • practical road driving
  • off-road exercises

Vehicle safety questions

During your test you’ll be asked vehicle safety questions on either:

Practical road driving

During your practical road driving, the examiner will see how you:

  • use the vehicle controls
  • move away at an angle, uphill and downhill
  • do a controlled stop
  • use the mirrors
  • give appropriate signals
  • show awareness and anticipation of other road users’ intentions
  • manage your progress and control your vehicle speed
  • deal with hazards
  • select a safe place to stop

There will also be 10 minutes of independent driving, designed to test your ability to drive safely while making independent decisions.

Off-road exercises

The off-road exercises will include:

  • an ‘S’ shaped reverse into a bay
  • showing the uncoupling and recoupling procedure if you’re taking a test with a trailer

Test result

After you’ve taken the practical test your examiner will tell you if you’ve passed and explain how you did.

You’ll pass your test if you make:

  • 15 or fewer driving faults
  • no serious or dangerous faults

If you fail, you can book another driving test straight away, but you can’t take it for another 3 clear working days.

Cancelled tests

You can apply for a refund of out-of-pocket expenses if the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) cancels your test at short notice.