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Tracked Vehicle UK Road Driving Licence


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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been wondering about this as well.

A friend of mine is thinking of buying a Scorpion.

He's got a yard and field to practise in.

Can we just hire a mini-digger for the day and get the examiner to come out on site to do the test in that ?

Do we have to take the test in a road legal vehicle on a public road ? He can register it first and I can transport it to the test venue on my trailer if we have to.


The only information I have got so far is on http://www.dvla.gov.uk/drivers/minimum_test_vehicles.htm.

Any cat H vehicle can be used to take a cat H test, but no mention about it being road registered or where the test takes place.

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  • 2 weeks later...



I took my H test some years ago as a civvie in a FV434.


Basically you apply for a test in the normal way, stating the class of vehicle you wish to be tested on. Now not all test stations have an approved tester, so best to check with your local office.


The test was a "normal" test, turns, 3 pointer, emergency stop etc.


Just on the road in road legal tracked vehicle!


(A bv206 type won't do, as its steered by articulation).


Check the MV mags though, I am sure some enterprising type is offering a driving course and test.



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I took my test in 1988. The method was the same as for a car, same forms, same cost but the tester came to me. So far as practical, the test is the same as well: correct road positioning, correct use of gears, turn vehicle around using forward and reverse gears, emergency stop, show due consideration for other road users, give signals (hand in this case) etc. The tester was very insistant that it was a ROAD test so should be taken in a road registered vehicle, properly taxed and including driving on the public road although the maneuvers that would damage the tarmac were done off road.

The problem was I took it in a Valentine tank and no signals were possible, nor really showing due consideration for other road users. How we got around that was to have two people taking the test at the same time: one driving and the other in the turret giving signals and showing consideration to other drivers. Then we swapped over so that at the end we had both done both parts.

You could take the test in a road registered bulldozer etc but taking it in a tank is much more fun!

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  • 2 months later...

In an Armoured Recce Regiment in 1976, I did a Scorpion Driving and Maintenance (D&M) course at Tidworth.


We had a Qualified Testing Officer (QTO) in our squadron, the Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant in fact. Already holding a car licence, I was put to the front of the queue for my Group H (track-laying vehicle steered by its tracks) test. My instructor told me to take him over the driver training area at the back of camp and for ten minutes I took him over knife-edges, up and down impossible slopes and so on until, on the IC, he asked, "How long before you reach the road so we can start the test then?"


I got him to the road, drove down the A338 to its junction with the A303 then turned off. He told me he'd seen enough, get out and swap places with the second candidate (who'd been sat in the gunner's seat the whole time). After the cock-up in that he didn't want to see the driver training area and the short test, I was convinced I'd failed, but upon return to barracks he presented us both with pass certificates. Note that I also had to pass a maintenance test:


Carry out vehicle first parade

Change oil filter

etc etc


Not a clue how it would work at a civvy test centre - haven't seen one of them in 30 years. Maybe if you know someone who knows an Army QTO you might be able to sort something?

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  • 5 years later...

It has been possible to do the training and take the test with a DSA Examiner in a simulated road environment, which meant the vehicle being used didn't necessarily have to be road legal. However, this will very shortly no longer be the case; at least part of the training and part of the examination will have to take place on public roads, so the vehicle will have to be up to scratch. This will clearly make it much more expensive to organise and undertake.


I used SVT Training to get my H license; he used a combination of a Sultan and Scorpion and a marked-out section of runway as the roads. It wasn't a cheap course as I recall, but he's a good trainer with a good set-up.

Edited by Mike Allmey
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we keep our spartan on a farm so i had the opportunity to familiarise my self with the controls and vehicle on the tracks around the site. I then booked a day with terry brooks down in kent to do a bit of training in his scorpion then the DSA examiner came from the local office and tested me in the afternoon. Terry's place is ideal for the test because it is done on a short length of road on a quiet factory estate, a short length of highway and a piece of old runway. I was observed going clockwise around the circuit the anticlockwise, whilst exhibiting full control over the vehicle, proper obs and placement etc. Get yourself a new copy of the highway code and study it hard, you will be asked 5 or 6 questions on roadsigns and roadcraft- some of which will be about tracked vehicles in particular.

My personal view regarding the test is- if you intend to drive your tank on the road, you should train on that type of vehicle and do your test in the same. I dont think passing on a mini digger or similar resembles your intended use. I wanted to exhibit that i was safe and competent of driving my spartan on the road and when you think i carry my kids in it to shows etc, playing safe was my main aim. Its a massive kick taking tracked military on the road, the reaction of other roadusers and pedestrians is fantastic.

I believe I'm right in saying that you can put L-plates on a road legal tracked vehicle and drive on the road because your car licience acts a provisional for other classes. Incidently its only £90 to insure my spartan fully comp and qualifies for free road tax. Big downside however- 3MPG

Try terry brooks, he is a top guy. Also the guys from DSA were dedicated to getting me and the other trainee through the test, they loved getting out of the office and watching the tank go round


regards mick

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I believe I'm right in saying that you can put L-plates on a road legal tracked vehicle and drive on the road because your car licience acts a provisional for other classes.


This is the case.


I've also heard - please correct me if I'm wrong - that combined steer and brake controls (a la FV432) will no longer be allowed very soon, if not already, which was why SVT were using CVRTs.

Edited by Mike Allmey
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Another 10/10 for SVT from me, and I'd also agree that if you want to take your H test to drive an AFV, then surely you should take it in an AFV, not a mini-digger. Tim from SVT told me that he uses CVR(T)s instead of the FV432s he used to use simply because they're more difficult to drive and therefore more of a challenge.



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The lady who books all the H tests at DSA (in Newcastle I think) is called Holly and she's dead helpful. If you phone the general number and ask to be put through to her she will answer all questions. She is the only Holly there apparently...

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I took mine 3 months ago


A very nice lady came on a very rainy day and I thought...easy life...WRONG !


She explained that I would have to do a road test and that she would be watching from the pavements, she told me where I would be going and where I would be doing the emergency stop.

Pulling away from the kerb and coming alongside a kerb were part of it as were constant and I mean constant nodding dog in the mirrors and realy go to town on safety...bob up and down in the hatch to check for traffic.

I suppose it depends on who you get on the day

My advice is to make sure its fit for the road and hammer home how safety concious you are


Good luck and keep on tracking



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The test should be a standard format but have found a great deal of difference in what each examiner wants from you . Its supposed to be the same as a car test only difference is the vehicle and also the fact teh examiner is outside. Though did find 1 examiner who was to go in the turret and another who was happy to do it on private land which simulated road conditions. If you get chance try and steak dirrectly with your examiner and ask what he or she wants to do . If you can get one who will do it on private land jump at it and hire a mini digger.



Good luck.

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  • 5 weeks later...

A friend of mine did his H test in a Samson on roads, with the instructer in the commanders hatch, he was gone ten minutes and when he came back the instructer was grinning from ear to ear, I beleive the emergency stop was a corker, nose dipped, arse in air moment.


I used to go out with him as the commander and the amount of people that followed so close that I had to wave them away from the back of the vehicle was unbeleivable. Even had a motorcyle follow us at a about 1m away, could only just see his helmet.




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