Transporting dangerous goods across the country is the ideal HGV career for those wishing to push their driving skills to the limit and earn attractive salaries. But you’ll need a specific additional ADR qualification under your belt to enter this specialist field.

To build on your HGV licence, you must earn your ADR Training Certificate by completing the ADR test – which we’ll explore within this blog!

So, what is the ADR exam, and how difficult is it? Keep reading to find out what our experts have to say!

What is the ADR test like? - HGV Training Network

What is the ADR exam?

The only thing standing between you and becoming a more specialist driver earning some of the industry’s highest salaries is the ADR test. This exam is intended to test your knowledge of ADR safety regulations and determine if you are ready to carry hazardous materials safely.

Just like a standard driving test, this examination helps to keep you and other road users from harm by ensuring that you know exactly how to handle this type of HGV correctly.

Additionally, it’s also designed to assess your vehicle, and whether it meets the industry standard for carrying dangerous substances in bulk by road. 

Your official test is completed on the last day of your ADR training – and unsurprisingly, you must pass it to gain this additional qualification.  

ADR Certificate for the Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road – Course Contents

Here’s a more detailed look into the ins and outs of the ADR training course:

Core Modules

All aspiring ADR drivers must complete the core element, which includes topics such as:

  • Relevant Regulations
  • UN Class Hazards
  • Health and Safety implications
  • Transfer and Disposal of Wastes
  • UN Packaging Scheme
  • Material Safety Data Sheets or Tremcards
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Site Rules
  • Fire Safety
  • First Aid
  • Emergency Action Procedures
  • Emergency Action Incident Test
  • Packaged Goods / Tank Regulations


  1. Class 1: Compressed Gases – such as butane and aerosols
  2. Class 2: Flammable Liquids – including petrol
  3. Class 3: Flammable Solids – like firelighters and matches
  4. Class 4: Oxidising Substances and Agents – such as organic peroxides
  5. Class 5: Toxic and Infectious Substances – including biological cultures and medical waste

Did you know
At the HGV Training Network, you can split the cost of your training over 36 months thanks to flexible financing from Snap Finance. Find out more here!

What is the ADR test like? - HGV Training Network

How hard is the ADR test?

Many consider the ADR test much simpler, given its multiple-choice format. However, you shouldn’t assume you’re more likely to pass just because of this.

As mentioned earlier, the purpose of the ADR examination is to assess your suitability to transport dangerous materials by road safely and assess any risks you could face, so it only makes sense that it challenges you to some degree.

Like any other test or examination, there’s a greater chance that you’ll breeze through the ADR exam the first time if you’re tutored well and revise, revise, and revise! Our Department of Transport-approved course will offer specialised training and equip you with the knowledge to pass your ADR examination with flying colours.

How is the ADR test formatted?

The ADR exam consists of multiple-choice questions throughout, testing your understanding of dangerous goods and ADR regulations. Per each question, you’ll have to choose between options A, B, C, or D, for which there is only one correct answer.

A fantastic advantage of the multiple-choice format is that you don’t have to worry about articulating your own written response, which is music to many ears!

How many questions are on the ADR test?

To earn your ADR Vocational Training Certificate, which permits you to transport dangerous goods in an HGV, you’ll need to answer 120 questions, split into the following sections:

  • The core section of your exam will consist of 25 questions, and the minimum pass rate is 18/20.
  • The Tanks module is made up of 20 questions, with a minimum pass threshold of 14.
  • Packages – this section includes 15 questions, and you’ll need to answer 11+/15 correctly.
  • Classes 2, 3, 6, and 8 consist of 36 questions, with the pass mark sitting at 25/36.
  • Classes 4, 5, and 9 contain 24 questions, with a minimum passing score of 17/24.

Contact the HGV Training Network today for a bespoke, free no-obligation quote!

Can you do an ADR mock test?

We highly recommend completing several mock ADR exams to prepare you for the real deal. Mock tests should consist of multiple-choice questions similar to those you can expect in your real examination.

They’ll include exam questions testing your knowledge of corrosive materials, dangerous goods, and safety regulations, plus much more! You’ll be provided with study material and will attend 4 days of classroom training taking your exams on the 5th day. 

Can you do the ADR test online?

Your 5-day ADR course will conclude with the official DVLA ADR examination, which you’ll complete in person either online or on paper at your training centre. You’ll need to bring your driving licence with you to take the exam!

Candidates who pass will receive their official ADR driver card shortly afterwards in the post, which is required before you can start carrying dangerous materials on UK roads.

For more information, you can visit the official page for becoming a dangerous goods driver.

What happens if I fail my examination?

If you fail your ADR test, there’s no need to panic! You can retake the test module/modules you didn’t pass as many times as needed. What’s more, if you do this within the first 16 weeks after failing your first test, you won’t need to redo your ADR training.

Any test completed online can be retaken the same day if there is an available slot – which is great news if you want to get it over and done with as quickly as possible.

If you’d rather take more time to practice more mock ADR examinations, that’s fine, too!

What is the ADR test like? - HGV Training Network

Book your ADR training with the HGV Training Network

Does an exciting career transporting hazardous goods across the UK appeal to you? Maybe the prospect of a mouth-watering salary is too good to resist? If so, we can help you here at the HGV Training Network.

As a leading training provider, you’ll learn under an experienced instructor and receive all the tools and guidance you need to pass this course confidently.

To book your place on our ADR course, or to request a bespoke quote, don’t hesitate to contact our head office today on 0800 254 5007 – or email us at and we’ll be in touch.

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