TRAILER TRAINING  (B+E)

Need to tow?

Towing courses can be tailored to suit the customer and can be adapted to suit , this maybe from doing a fully qualified course to take the DVSA B+E test or just a refresher to cover caravans and limits below the BE requirement.


(If your combination goes over 3.5 tonnes the driver will need Category B+E as a minimum.)

Licences issued from 19 January 2013


Course contents will cover

  • Legal requirements

  • Towing combinations

  • Coupling/Un-coupling procedures

  • Vehicle and trailer loading

  • Vehicle/Trailer daily checks before and during use.

  • Trailer  reversing

  • On and off road assessments

If you passed your car driving test (category B) from 19 January 2013, you can tow:


small trailers weighing no more than 750kg

a trailer over 750kg as long as the combined weight of the trailer and towing car or van is no more than 3,500kg (3.5 tonnes) maximum authorised mass (MAM)


MAM is the limit on how much the vehicle can weigh when it’s loaded.


You have to pass the car and trailer driving test if you want to tow anything heavier.

Licences issued from 1 January 1997


If you passed your car driving test between 1 January 1997 and 18 January 2013, you can:


drive a car or van up to 3,500kg MAM towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM

tow a trailer over 750kg MAM as long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg


You have to pass the car and trailer driving test if you want to tow anything heavier.

Licences held before 1 January 1997


If you passed your car test before 1 January 1997 you’re usually allowed to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8,250kg MAM. View your driving licence information to check.


You’re also allowed to drive a minibus with a trailer over 750kg MAM.


The Test

B+E is the Driving & Vehicle Standards Agency practical driving test for car and trailer. No medical examination or 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. This driving test takes the candidate through a number of different exercises including a reversing exercise, coupling, uncoupling. 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)



What the Examiners expect


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.

Eyesight check


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, eg 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


Independent driving


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.