PCV (Passenger Carrying Vehicle)

Knowing where to start with getting your PCV licence can be very confusing. Be assured that the Ben Shaw Training team will always give you correct advice and have your best interests at heart. Happy customers means good word of mouth.

The first thing to understand is some basic terminology.

  • PCV means Passenger Carrying Vehicle, which used to be called PSV (Public Service Vehicle). This changed in the 1990's when they stopped calling the different licences: Class I, II & III.
  • Licence Category D allows you to drive any rigid coach or bus. 
  • Licence Category D+E allows you to drive any bus and trailer combination.
  • Simply, when it comes to PCV licence categories, D means rigid coach or bus, and E means trailer. The same applies for B+E (B is car, E is trailer). And again C+E (C is bus or rigid lorry, E is trailer).
  • Now to confuse things a little, there is a 'Medium Passenger Vehicle' called D1 minibus licence (up to 16 passenger seats, which up until 1997 car drivers passing their car test got this given to them automatically, but not for hire or reward. As was the same with the B+E (Car & Trailer), and the C1 (7.5 tonne). But now you literally only get a car licence.
  • The Driver CPC - not to be confused with the 'Operator CPC' - is extra training for professional bus and lorry drivers who want to drive commercially. Basically there are two different PCV or LGV Driver CPC routes: The 'Initial Qualification' and the 'Periodic Training'. This topic is complicated and has a whole page devoted to itself. All you need to know here is that if you are planning on taking your PCV Cat. D test, and want to drive a coach or bus for a living, then it is far better to go down the Initial Qualification route. And it's best to decide this before you go for your PCV theory tests.

How do I get started?

The first thing is to book an LGV / PCV medical. Anybody wanting to drive an PCV must meet minimum medical requirements, before the DVLA will issue you with a provisional licence.

Next you need to send off the doctors medical report along with form D2 which has all your details on to DVLA.

When your licence comes back from DVLA with LGV category D provisional on it, you can then take your PCV theory tests.

There're three theory tests, but you may only need to take two depending on your Driver CPC decision. The three theory tests are: Multiple Choice, Hazard Perception, and Driver CPC Case Study.

Only when the theory tests are passed can you go on to take the practical tests!

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