PCV Practical Test Vehicle

What vehicle can I take my test in ?

When taking your test, you will need a PCV Test Vehicle in which to take your practical PCV Licence test! It sounds obvious but you need to think about how you will obtain a Practical PCV Test Vehicle.
Below are the details for the vehicles you can use for your Practical PCV Test.

Rules for all types of buses and coaches

All the vehicles used for categories D1, D1+E, D and D+E tests must be capable of 50mph.

The vehicle must be fitted with:

  • L-plates (“L” or “D” plates in Wales) on the front and rear – BUY L PLATES HERE
  • 2 sets of externally mounted nearside and offside mirrors – one for the driver and one for the examiner
  • a seat belt for the examiner or any person supervising the test
  • a tachograph
  • anti-lock braking (ABS)

All the vehicles used for categories D1, D1+E, D and D+E tests must be capable of 50mph.



Rules for buses and coaches: categories D and D+E

Category D vehicles are buses and coaches, which are PCVs:

  • with more than 8 passenger seats
  • at least 10 metres long
  • at least 2.4 metres wide

Category D+E vehicles are category D vehicle towing a closed box trailer:

  • with a MAM of at least 1.25 tonnes
  • at least 2 metres high
  • at least 2 metres wide

Minimum load requirement

If you are towing a trailer, there is a minimum load requirement on the trailer which is 600 kg of aggregates or one IBC of 1,000 kg or 600 kg capacity when filled with water.

Rules about the load

The load can be water or bagged aggregates like sand, stone chippings, gravel or any other recycled material packages (but not toxic materials).

Bagged aggregates must be in sealed transparent bags and must:

  • all weigh the same
  • be at least 10kg
  • have the weight clearly stamped on them
  • Water must be in intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) made from semi-transparent moulded plastic usually reinforced with a wire framework.

The examiner can inspect an IBC used as “load” for the test, so it’s important that they can see it has the correct water level.

You can’t use any other type of load.

The load must be secured appropriately onto the vehicle or trailer.

Minimum real weight

The “real weight” is the actual weight of the vehicle and the load combined. This cannot be more than the MAM.