Are you legal to tow?
Rules that changed more than 20 years ago could put points on your licence, or even void your insurance...
Who needs to take the B+E Car & Trailer test?
Drivers who tow medium and large trailers or caravans using a car, van, or 4x4 usually require the Category B+E entitlement on their licence. Anyone who passed their car driving test before 1997, automatically acquired 'grandfather rights' for categories: B+E (car & trailer), C1 (7.5 tonnes), and D1 (minibus - not for hire or reward).
Drivers who passed their car driving test after January 1, 1997, are only given the Category B entitlement, which allows them to drive a car, van, or 4x4 with a plated weight (Maximum Authorised Mass) no greater than 3,500kg. The B+E Car & Trailer Towing vocational driving test needs to be passed to acquire this category at a DVSA Driving Test Centre.
What to expect during the B+E Car & Trailer Test
There are 6 parts to the driving test:
- an eyesight check
- ‘show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions
- reversing your vehicle
- general driving ability
- independent driving
- uncoupling and recoupling the trailer
You’ll have to read a 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 2 letters followed by 2 numbers, for example, AB51 ABC.
You’ll fail your driving test if you fail the eyesight check. The test will end.
‘Show me, tell me’ questions
You’ll be asked 5 vehicle safety questions known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions. These test that you know how to carry out basic safety checks.
Reversing your vehicle
You’ll have to show that you can manoeuvre your car and trailer into a restricted space and stop at a certain point.
Your general driving ability
You’ll drive in various road and traffic conditions, including motorways where possible.
The examiner will give you directions that you should follow. Driving test routes aren’t published, so you can’t check them before your test.
You’ll have to drive for about 10 minutes by following either:
- traffic signs
- a series of verbal directions
- a combination of both
Uncoupling and recoupling the trailer
You’ll be asked to:
- uncouple your car from the trailer
- park the car alongside the trailer
- realign the car with the trailer and recouple them
How to get started in taking your B+E Car & Trailer test:
Step 1, Book in for your first lesson / assessment.
Step 2, Decide how many extra lesson you require and book your test.
Step 3, Take your test!