UK Government announces changes to trailer and HGV tests

It is particularly noticeable in some areas of the UK that the shortage of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers is having an impact on the food supply chain.

The Haulage and Logistics industry has reported that the shortage of HGV drivers in the UK has increased from 45,000 in 2016 to 76,000 by today.

While there are likely to be a number of different reasons for these shortages, the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions and the Brexit immigration system have placed great pressure on haulage and logistical services.

Therefore, following a recent consultation, the UK Government has confirmed that changes will be made to the trailer and HGV testing regimes in order to speed up the process for drivers to qualify.

Currently, those who passed their driving test after 1st January 1997 cannot tow anything where the trailer and towing vehicle is more than 3,500 kg Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM). To tow anything over this threshold, they must pass a car and trailer (B+E) test.

However, it has been confirmed that the requirement to pass a B+E test will be scrapped so that those who passed their test after 1st January 1997 will be able to tow with a car and trailer combination of up to 8,250 kg MAM, the same as those who passed their driving test before that date can.

Therefore, the B+E trailer test will be scrapped from 20th September onwards and the change in law will be announced later in the Autumn.