The Complete LGV & PCV Theory and Hazard Perception Tests 2011 Edition by Focus Multimedia review

Learn to drive larger vehicles that carry goods and passengers in the UK
Photo of The Complete LGV & PCV Theory and Hazard Perception Tests 2011 Edition by Focus Multimedia
£34.99 inc VAT

Think learning to drive a car is difficult? Then imagine what it must be like swinging into action behind the wheel of something rather larger. Focus Multimedia’s Complete LGV & PCV Theory and Hazard Perception Tests (that’s Large Goods Vehicle and Passenger Carrying Vehicle, to you and me) pulls all of the official UK Driving Standards Agency (DSA) theory questions and 100s of hazard perception video clips together onto a single DVD to help anyone wanting to drive larger vehicles.

Range of tests
The program’s divided into two sections – Theory and Hazard Perception. Although both have simple, utilitarian designs, they’re well organised. We liked the clarity and were impressed with the smoothness of the – nearly 300 – video clips.

There’s not a lot the software can do to pep up the inherent dullness of the Theory section, but it lets you wander through the full bank of questions, poses unlimited mock tests against the clock, analyses your performance over time to tell you when you’re ready to sit the real thing, and has a selection of useful best practice driving videos.

Trouble ahead
The Hazard Perception video tests differ slightly from those run by the Driving Standards Agency, mainly in the way that the notional markers which are used to measure the way you react to an upcoming hazard are positioned. Focus reckons it’s got these as close to the real thing as possible, but confirms there might be some small variations.

The software also uses an additional camera view from inside the cab, as well as the DSA’s own from-the-top-of-the-vehicle-view – and because this in-cab view introduces realistic distractions such as windscreen wipers and windscreen flare, it’s probably quite a useful thing. As with the Theory section you can practice, take mock tests, track your progress and review your performance. The software’s designed to be used by individuals but it will also be of use to driving instructors looking after a group of learners, which makes it good value.

Company: Focus Multimedia

Contact: 01889 570156

Positives
  • Number and quality of the video-based Hazard Perception Tests.
Negative
  • The program's interface looks a bit dated.

Verdict

Learning to drive any vehicle is expensive, but given the amount of content included here, the quality of the information, crispness of the video clips, the helpfulness of the review mode (which lets you assess your response to individual hazards) and the built-in progress tracking, this is well worth the money.