• A Freedom of Information request to the DVSA has revealed the current waiting times for HGV test centres around the UK.
  • The request revealed that 43 out of the 69 test centres currently have a waiting list of at least 11 weeks.
  • Cumbria, Isle of Wight and South Yorkshire were revealed as the UK counties with the average shortest waiting times of just one week.

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that 62% of test centres across the UK currently have a waiting list of at least 11 weeks, with some test centres facing 24 weeks.

The FOI, requested by HGV training specialists, Driver Hire Training, has investigated how long the current driving test waiting periods are across the UK as lockdown restrictions start to come to an end and the demand for HGV drivers continues.

As the government look to make changes to the current regulations for sitting a lorry test from Autumn 2021, the study revealed the average waiting time across all UK test centres was 9 weeks. The highest waiting times were found in Aberdeen, Lerwick and Machrihanish where there is a current waiting time of 24 weeks for a HGV driving test.

Test centres where waiting times are currently the longest:

Test Centre

County

Waiting Tim (Weeks)

Aberdeen South (cove)

Aberdeenshire

24

Lerwick

Shetland

24

Machrihanish LGV

Argyll

24

Wick

Caithness

12

Aberdeen North

Aberdeenshire

11

Atherton (Manchester)

Greater Manchester

11

Beverley LGV

East Yorkshire

11

Birmingham (Garretts Green)

West Midlands

11

Bishopbriggs

Lanarkshire

11

Blackburn with Darwen

Lancashire

11

Bredbury (Manchester)

Greater Manchester

11

Burton on Trent

Staffordshire

11

Camborne

Cornwall

11

Darlington LGV

County Durham

11

Dumfries LGV

Dumfries and Galloway

11

Elgin

Moray

11

Exeter LGV

Devon

11

Featherstone

South Staffordshire

11

Glasgow LGV

Lanarkshire

11

Gloucester

Gloucestershire

11

Gosforth

Tyne and Wear

11

Guildford

Surrey

11

Kilmarnock LGV

East Ayrshire

11

Kirkcaldy

Fife

11

Kirkham LGV

Lancashire

11

Lancing

West Sussex

11

Leicester (cannock Street)

Leicestershire

11

Leighton Buzzard (Standbridge Road)

Bedfordshire

11

Livingston

West Lothian

11

Llantrisant

Glamorgan

11

Newport (Gwent) LGV

Monmouthshire

11

Perth (Arran Road)

Perth and Kinross

11

Shrewsbury

Shropshire

11

Southampton LGV

Hampshire

11

St Helens (Liverpool)

Merseyside

11

Steeton

West Yorkshire

11

Swindon LGV

Wiltshire

11

Switch Island

Merseyside

11

Thurrock LGV (London)

Essex

11

Walton LGV

Suffolk

11

Watnall

Nottinghamshire

11

Weedon LGV

Buckinghamshire

11

Wrexham LGV

Denbighshire

11

On the other hand, it was also revealed that one in five test centres only had a waiting time of 1-4 weeks, showing that waiting times are starting to clear up in some areas.

Although seven test centres had waiting times of one week, Cumbria, Isle of Wight and South Yorkshire were the counties with the shortest waiting times across their test centres, averaging out to just one week.

Test centres where waiting times are currently the shortest:

Test Centre

County

Waiting Time (Weeks)

Carlisle LGV

Cumbria

1

Chelmsford (Hanbury Road)

Essex

1

Lincoln

Lincolnshire

1

Plymouth LGV

Devon

1

Rookley LGV

Isle of Wight

1

Sheffield (Handsworth)

South Yorkshire

1

Taunton

Somerset

1

Poole

Dorset

2

Stornoway LGV

Outer Hebrides

2

Culham LGV

Oxfordshire

3

Greenham

Berkshire

3

Gillingham LGV

Kent

4

Orkney

Orkney Islands

4

Peterborough LGV

Cambridgeshire

4

John Keelan-Edwards at Driver Hire Training comments on the analysis: “The demand on the supply chain is continuing across the globe, with Britain experiencing everything from chicken shortages to Co2 shortages.  Key shopping dates, such as Black Friday and the festive period are coming up, which is always a busy time for the supply chain.  We can guarantee this is only going to be adding more pressure to the supply chain as a whole, with the increasing number of people shopping for these events online.

“The pressure on driver supply is down to so many factors including the likes of Brexit, tax regulations, and a significant fall in the number of people who are actually able to take a commercial vehicle driving test due to the prolonged effects of the pandemic.

“Although the government are changing rules to HGV tests to help pass eager drivers through their exams quicker, it’s no surprise to see the waiting list for these exams is still up to 24 weeks in some areas, as coronavirus is still adding pressure to examiners up and down the country. However, it’s also great to start to see those waiting times come down in some places.

“There is however a positive that we’ve been able to take from this situation and the pandemic as a whole.  The mass appreciation the public have gained for skilled commercial drivers, and the stronger understanding of just how finely tuned the supply chain is has been fantastic to see! Hopefully as more people come to realise this, the conditions will continue to improve for lorry drivers.”