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B + E Trailer Towing Training

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Car and Trailer or Caravan Practical Driving Test Details:

 

If you passed your car driving test on or after 1 January 1997 and you now want to tow a caravan or certain trailers, you may have to take another driving test.


Maximum authorised mass (MAM)

In this article reference is made to the maximum authorised mass (MAM) of vehicles and trailers. This should be taken to mean the permissible maximum weight, also known as the gross vehicle weight.


Category B: Vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes MAM and with up to eight passenger seats

Category B vehicles may be coupled with a trailer up to 750kgs MAM (allowing a combined weight up to 4.25 tonnes MAM) or a trailer over 750kgs MAM provided the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen weight of the towing vehicle, and the combination does not exceed 3.5 tonnes MAM.

For example:

  • a vehicle with an unladen weight of 1.25 tonnes and a MAM of 2 tonnes coupled with a trailer with a MAM of 1.25 tonnes could be driven by the holder of a category B entitlement. This is because the MAM of the combination does not exceed 3.5 tonnes and also the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen weight of the drawing vehicle

Whereas

  • the same vehicle with an unladen weight of 1.25 tonnes and a MAM of 2 tonnes when coupled with a trailer with a MAM of 1.5 tonnes would fall within category B+E. This is because although the combined weight of the vehicle and trailer is within the 3.5 tonnes MAM limit, the MAM of the trailer is more than the unladen weight of the drawing vehicle
  • Vehicle manufacturers normally recommend a maximum weight of trailer appropriate to their vehicle. Details can usually be found in the vehicle's handbook or obtained from car dealerships. The size of the trailer recommended for an average family car with an unladen weight of around 1 tonne would be well within the new category B threshold.

Towing caravans

As for towing caravans, existing general guidance recommends that the laden weight of the caravan does not exceed 85% of the unladen weight of the car. In the majority of cases, caravans and small trailers towed by cars should be within the new category B threshold.

An exemption from the driver licensing trailer limit allows a category B licence holder to tow a broken down vehicle from a position where it would otherwise cause danger or obstruction to other road users.

By passing a category B test national categories F (tractor), K (pedestrian controlled vehicle) and P (moped) continue to be added automatically.


Category B+E: Vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes MAM towing trailers over 750kgs MAM

Category B+E allows vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes MAM to be combined with trailers in excess of 750kgs MAM. In order to gain this entitlement new category B licence holders have to pass a further practical test for category B+E. There is no category B+E theory test. For driver licensing purposes there are no vehicle/trailer weight ratio limits for category B+E.


Where you can take your Practical Test:

Lancing, West Sussex,  Rookley Ventnor (IOW),  Southampton, Hampshire, Guildford Surrey,  Greenham Newbury Berkshire.


How to Book your Practical Test.

Click on the Links Page on the left

Telephone: 0300 200 1122.

Opened from: 0800hrs to 1800hrs Monday to Friday

Allow 9 weeks.


Cost ( Payable to the D.S.A.): Practical Test: Car & Trailer £115.00

( Summer Evening Weekends £141.00)


What you need to bring to your test

Documents you must bring

You must bring the following documents with you. If you do not bring the right documents:

  • the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) may refuse to carry out the test
  • you may lose your fee

For all types of tests


You do not need to pass an additional theory and Hazard perception test  if you have already passed one for your Car Practical Driving Test.


You must bring both parts of your driving licence - the photocard and the paper counterpart.

If you have an old-style paper licence, you must take your signed driving licence and you must also bring a valid passport.

No other form of photographic identification will be accepted.


The rules for vehicles used for driving test.


Your vehicle must be fitted with the following:

  • an interior rear-view mirror for the examiner
  • L-plates

The vehicle you use for your test must:

  • have four wheels
  • be capable of reaching at least 62.5 miles per hour (mph) or 100 kilometres per hour (km/h)
  • be fitted with a speedometer that measures speed in mph
  • have no warning lights showing - for example, the airbag warning light
  • display L-plates ('L' or 'D' plates in Wales) on the front and rear, but not interfering with yours or the examiner's view
  • have a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of no more than 3,500 kilograms (kg)

MAM is the maximum weight of the vehicle including the maximum load that can be carried safely while used on the road. This is also known as 'gross vehicle weight'.


What the vehicle needs to have by law

The vehicle you use must:

  • be appropriately insured
  • display a valid tax disc
  • be legal and roadworthy and have a current MOT if it needs one
  • be a smoke-free environment

What the vehicle must be fitted with for the examiner

The vehicle must be fitted with:

  • a seatbelt for the examiner
  • a passenger head restraint - it doesn't need to be adjustable, but must be an integral part of the seat as 'slip on' types aren't allowed
  • an interior rear-view mirror for the examiner to use.

Extra rules for the car and trailer or caravan combination

The combination of the car and trailer or caravan must be:

  • a car not carrying any goods or burden
  • a trailer or caravan not carrying any goods or burden, with a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of at least one tonne

The examiner may ask for evidence of the trailer's MAM - for example, the manufacturer's plate.

 

What the vehicle must be fitted with

The vehicle must be fitted with:

  • externally mounted, nearside and offside mirrors for use by the examiner or any person supervising the test
  • a device that shows that the trailer indicators are working correctly - this could be something you can see or hear

Brakes and coupling

All vehicle combinations must:

  • have appropriate brakes
  • use a coupling arrangement suitable for the weight

Cargo comparment of the trailer

The cargo compartment of the trailer must:

  • consist of a closed box body
  • be at least as wide and as high as the towing vehicle

The trailer may be slightly less wide than the towing vehicle. However, the view to the rear should only be possible by using the external rear-view mirrors of the towing vehicle.


Before you start the driving ability part of your test

Before you start the driving ability part of your test, you'll have an eyesight check and be asked five vehicle safety questions.

The eyesight check

The examiner will ask you to read the number plate on a parked vehicle to test your eyesight.


You'll have to read the number plate from a distance of:

  • 20 metres for vehicles with a new-style number plate
  • 20.5 metres for vehicles with an old-style number plate

New-style number plates start with two letters followed by two numbers, for example AB51 ABC.


Vehicle safety questions: 'show me, tell me'

You'll be asked five vehicle safety questions - they'll be a mix of:

  • 'show me' questions, where you'll have to show how you'd carry out a vehicle safety check
  • 'tell me' questions, where you'll have to explain how you'd carry out the check

A driving fault will be recorded for each incorrect answer to a maximum of four driving faults. If you answer all five questions incorrectly, a serious fault will be recorded.


The driving ability part of your test

Your test will last for approx 90 minutes.

Your test will include:

  • thereversing exercise
  • general driving ability
  • independent driving
  • a controlled stop
  • uncoupling and recoupling

The test is designed for you to prove to the examiner that you have the skills required to tow a trailer or caravan safely.

The reversing exercise

The reversing exercise will usually take place before you leave the test centre. You'll have to show that you can manoeuvre your car and trailer in a restricted space and stop at a certain point.


Your general driving ability

During your test the examiner will give you directions which you should follow. You'll drive in various road and traffic conditions. This will include, where possible:

  • dual-carriageways
  • one-way systems
  • motorways

You will not be asked to:

  • do an emergency stop
  • reverse around a corner
  • reverse park
  • turn in the road

Independent driving section of the driving test

Your driving test will include around ten minutes of independent driving.


Uncoupling and recoupling

You'll normally be asked to uncouple and recouple your car and trailer at the test centre at the end of the test.

The examiner will ask you to:

  • stop where there is safe and level ground
  • uncouple your car from the trailer or caravan
  • park the car alongside the trailer or caravan
  • realign the car with the trailer or caravan and recouple them

Your driving test result


You'll pass your test if you make:

  • 15 or less driving faults
  • no serious or dangerous faults

When the driving test has ended the examiner will:

  • tell you whether you passed or not
  • explain how you did during the test

www.solent-driving.com
email:
kevin@solent-driving.com

Kevin O'Neil Crowley D.S.A. A.D.I (Car)
Registered Office: 10 Marine Gardens, Selsey, CHICHESTER, West Sussex, PO20 0LJ
Telephone: 01243 603112, Mobile: 07913 551489