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 Time (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.”

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