Introduction to the Car & Trailer B+E Test
B+E is the Driving Standards Agency practical driving test for a car and trailer. No medical examination or additional theory test is required. The test is regarded by the DSA as the first step to driving Large Goods Vehicles and is examined accordingly.
The duration of the test is about an hour and a half. This driving test takes the candidate through a number of different exercises including a reversing exercise, coupling, uncoupling and various trailer checks. In addition to the trailer manoeuvring exercises the candidate must show the examiner skill and competency on the highway including junctions, roundabouts, lane control, mirror routines, hill starts, angled starts etc.
During the test you will be asked a number of preset questions called ‘show me, tell me’ which must be answered either verbally or practically demonstrated.
Successfully passing this test allows a driver to tow a trailer up to a gross weight (trailer including load) of 3500kg.(3.5 tons). This means a vehicle and trailer with a gross train weight of 7,000kg.(7 tons)
Car & Trailer
- Trailer lessons cost £55 per hour,
- We would recommend you have an assessment lesson to see how many hours training you will probably need,
- Your assessment includes 2.5 hours in car training, covering general safety advice – reversing, driving with a trailer, general awareness, trailer loading, vehicle checks, coupling and uncoupling. By the end of the lesson we will have assessed your level, started your training and at the end we will let you know from our experience roughly what you will need to go on and Pass your B+E. Introduction to Towing / Assessment lesson £100 (saving £10)
Once you have had the assessment we will discuss with you your needs,
The test cost £115 on a week day,
We will tailor a course for your needs. We find that in general people need between 4-10 hours dependent on experience,
Trailer Training Courses
1 Day trailer Course – £230 For drivers who have lots of experience in towing and driving well.
Add £115 To Include Trailer Test
1 Day + 2hrs Trailer Course – £295 For drivers who have lots of experience in towing and driving well but think a bit longer will be advantageous.
Add £115 To Include Trailer Test
2 Day Trailer Course – £460
For drivers who have some experience in towing
Add £115 To Include Trailer Test
3 Day Trailer Course – £690
For drivers who have little or no experience in towing
Add £115 To Include Trailer Test
If you passed a car test on or after 1 January 1997 you are limited to vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes maximum authorized mass (MAM), Towing a trailer up to 750kgs, or a vehicle and trailer combination up to 3.5 tonnes MAM providing the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen mass of the towing vehicle.
You will need to pass an additional driving test in category B+E if you wish to tow a caravan, horsebox trailer etc which exceeds these weights.
The Car and trailer test (B+E) lasts for approximately 90 minutes. The towing test includes:
- Vehicle safety questions
- An off-road reverse manoeuvre
- Safety inspection
- Uncoupling and coupling of the trailer
- High standard on-road drive to include motorways
For car drivers who have limited or no experience in towing, an extended course may be offered enabling the driver to gain more experience before sitting their test.
The B+E Test is the DVSA practical driving test for car and trailer. No medical examination and no additional theory test is required.
The test is regarded by the DVSA as the first step to driving Large Goods Vehicles and is examined accordingly.
The duration of the test is about an hour and a half. the candidate will need to demonstrate a number of different exercises including a reversing exercise, coupling, uncoupling and a controlled stop. In addition to the trailer manoeuvring exercises the candidate must show the examiner skill and competency on the highway including junctions, lane discipline, mirror & signalling timing, hill starts, angled starts etc. covering a variety of different roads.
During the test you will be asked a number questions called ‘show me, tell me’ (i.e. Show me how you would check that your vehicle & trailer doors are secure) it must be answered either verbally or practically demonstrated.
Successfully passing this test gives the category B+E that allows driver to tow a trailer up to a gross weight (trailer including load) of 3500kg.(3.5 tons). This means a vehicle and trailer with a gross train weight of 7,000kg.(7 tons)
What happens during the car and 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 drive for around 50 minutes.
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.
The examiner will show you a diagram of where to reverse your vehicle.
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.
Pulling over at the side of the road
You’ll be asked to pull over and pull away during your test, including:
- normal stops at the side of the road
- pulling out from behind a parked vehicle
- a hill start
You’ll have to drive for about 10 minutes by following either:
- traffic signs
- a series of verbal directions
- a combination of both
The examiner can show you a simple diagram to help you understand where you’re going when following verbal directions.
You can’t use a sat nav.
If you can’t see traffic signs
If you can’t see a traffic sign (eg because it’s covered by trees), the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next one.
Forgetting the directions
You can ask the examiner to confirm the directions if you forget them. It doesn’t matter if you don’t remember every direction.
Going off the route
Your test result won’t be affected if you go off the route, unless you make a fault while doing it.
The examiner will help you get back on the route if you take a wrong turning.
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
If you make mistakes during your test
You can carry on if you make a mistake. It might not affect your result if it’s not serious.
The examiner will only stop your test if they think your driving is a danger to other road users.
Rules for the trailer you use
The trailer you use and the load it carries must meet certain rules.
The trailer you use must:
- be a closed box body, such as a horsebox
- be around the same width and height as the car – you must only be able to see to the rear by using external mirrors, and not through the rear window
- have a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of at least 1,000kg – you need proof to show the examiner, for example, the manufacturer’s plate
The MAM is the limit on how much the trailer can weigh when it’s loaded.
Rules about the load
The trailer must carry a load of at least 600kg. The combined weight of the trailer and load must be at least 800kg.
The load can be either:
- bagged aggregates weighing at least 600kg, for example, sand, stone chippings or gravel (but not toxic materials)
- a 600 litre or 1,000 litre intermediate bulk container, completely full of water
Intermediate bulk containers are industrial containers for transporting liquids. They’re made from semi-transparent plastic and are usually reinforced with a wire frame.
Bags of aggregate
Each bag of aggregate must:
- be sealed
- weigh at least 10kg (all bags must weigh the same)
- have the weight clearly marked on it
You can also use a single bag if it weighs 600kg or 1,000kg.
Water in containers
Water must be in an intermediate bulk container. The examiner must be able to see that it is full.
Rules for the car you use
The car that you use to tow the trailer must meet certain rules.
Rules about the car
Your car must:
- be taxed
- be insured for a driving test (check with your insurance company)
- be roadworthy and have a current MOT (if it’s over 3 years old)
- have no warning lights showing, for example, the airbag warning light
- have no tyre damage and the legal tread depth on each tyre
- be smoke-free – this means you can’t smoke in it just before or during the test
- be able to reach at least 62mph and have an mph speedometer
- have 4 wheels and a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of no more than 3,500kg
The MAM is the limit on how much the car can weigh when it’s loaded. It’ll be in the car’s handbook.
Things that must be fitted
The car must have:
- extra mirrors mounted onto the wing mirrors on both the passenger and driver side (for the examiner to use)
- L-plates (‘L’ or ‘D’ plates in Wales) on the front of the car and rear of the trailer
- a passenger seatbelt for the examiner and a proper passenger head restraint (not a slip-on type)
Manual and automatic cars
You can take the test in a:
- manual car – these have 3 pedals
- automatic or semi-automatic car – these have 2 pedals
The type of car and trailer you can drive after passing the test depends on:
- what your licence is already for
- what type of car you take the test in
What you can drive after passing the car and trailer test
|Existing car licence||Car you use for the test||Cars you can drive when towing||Cars you can drive when not towing|
|Manual||Manual||Manual and automatic||Manual and automatic|
|Automatic||Manual||Manual and automatic||Manual and automatic|
|Manual||Automatic||Automatic||Manual and automatic|
You can take your test in a hire car if it’s fitted with dual controls and meets all the other rules.
You can use a car with:
- an electronic parking brake
- hill-start assist