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If you want to become a professional driver who transports people rather than good, you may not be surprised to hear that the process of becoming qualified is slightly different from the process of becoming an HGV driver.


Passenger-carrying vehicles (or PCVs) need to take even more care than HGVs do because they have other people to consider apart from themselves and other road users. This translates to the kind of tests you need to do to become qualified, as well as the type of training you need to get there.

The PCV test explained

The same tests apply whether you want to become a bus driver in a confined local area, a cross-country coach driver, a tour bus driver, a school bus driver or any other kind of driver who transports people from A to B.


As a potential passenger carrying driver, you’ll need to take the PCV test, which is a test specifically designed to ensure you have all the skills needed for this type of job.


Just as with any other driving test, you’ll also find a theory element within your test as well as a practical element. You’ll need to pass this theory test before you are allowed to take the practical.


The theory test itself is made up of two parts. There’s a hazard perception part and a multiple choice part, and you must take both of these within two years of each other but not necessarily at the same time. Once you’ve passed both of these you’ll have a theory test certificate.


How to prepare for the PCV theory test

The first thing you should bear in mind when preparing for the PCV theory test is that the questions will be taken from a small number of books, all of which you can buy and read to give you all the information you need or you can use the online software provided by HGVT to learn and practice test using your mobile or PC. These books are: The Official DVSA Guide to Driving Buses and Coaches; The Official Highway Guide; and Know Your Traffic Signs.


Between them, these books cover a wide range of topics, all of which are related to things you may encounter as a professional PCV driver. These are as diverse as vehicle weights and dimensions, carrying passengers, road and traffic signs, and drivers’ legal working hours.

Theory test

If you’re able to read these books several times or practice through the online app, consider the scenarios and think about how you would apply them to your own driving, you’re most of the way towards taking your theory test successfully. The online mock-test also helps you to understand if you’re ready to take teh actual test or no. 


You can revise for the hazard perception test by going out on the road with your driving instructor and paying close attention to the potential problems he or she points out to you. During this part of the actual test you will be asked to spot potential hazards in a series of scenarios, all of which are relevant to the problems you might have to spot on the roads every day during your professional driving career. Or you can also use our online practice videos where you can click on the hazards and get instant results. 


Get the right mindset

With a company like HGVT Training, you don’t need to worry about any of the admin of booking your tests, because our friendly and efficient staff can take care of all of this for you. This means you can concentrate on cultivating the right attitude to pass your test.


Although this test might seem daunting at first, it’s designed to keep you, your passengers and other road users safe, and is entirely based on the real-life working environment you’ll find yourself in once you successfully pass your theory and practical tests.


Bear this in mind as you prepare for your PCV theory test, and think of it as a practice run for when you really get out there on the road as a professional driver.


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