Driving Licence Category B+E: Car & Trailer
Towing Driver Training / Tuition / Lessons
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Car & Trailer Length: 8m (26'3")
Car licences obtained before 1 January 1997
All drivers who passed a car test before 1 January 1997 retain their existing entitlement to tow trailers until their licence expires. This means they are generally entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8.25 tonnes maximum authorised mass (MAM). They also have entitlement to drive a minibus with a trailer over 750 kgs MAM. N/B. From @6 Dec 2921: Licences issued from 1 January 1997 to 18 January 2013 If you passed your car driving test from 1 January 1997 to 18 January 2013, you were allowed to drive either of the following: a car or van up to 3,500kg MAM towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM (up to 4,250kg in total) a trailer over 750kg MAM, as long as it is no more than the unladen weight of the towing vehicle (up to 3,500kg in total) You’ve had to pass a car and trailer driving test if you want to tow anything heavier. Licences issued from 19 January 2013 If you passed your car driving test from 19 January 2013, you were allowed to drive either of the following: a car or van up to 3,500kg MAM towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM (up to 4,250kg in total) a trailer over 750kg MAM as long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg You’ve had to pass a car and trailer driving test if you want to tow anything heavier. What changed on 16 December 2021 If you passed your car driving test from 1 January 1997, you’re now allowed to tow trailers up to 3,500kg MAM.
Car licences obtained on or after 1 January 1997
Drivers who passed a car test on or after 1 January 1997 are limited to vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes maximum authorised mass towing a trailer up to 750 kgs, 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 B+E if you wish to tow a caravan or trailer combination which exceeds these weight limits.
The car and trailer practical driving test
The car and trailer test (B+E) is based on the lorry driving test and lasts for approximately one hour. Please note that B+E tests are conducted at vocational (bus and lorry) driving test centres.
The towing test (B+E) includes vehicle safety questions, an off-road reverse manoeuvre, a controlled stop (off the public road), uncoupling and coupling of the trailer (when re-coupling the trailer this should be done as if it was a different trailer, and include all the relevant safety checks) and driving on the road. This may include motorway driving. (You may practice on the motorway as B+E is a sub-cateogry and you already hold a full licence).
You will not be expected to carry out the following exercises:
emergency stop on the public road
reversing round a corner
turning in the road
The off-road reverse manoeuvre is normally done at the start of the test.
The uncoupling and recoupling of the trailer is normally done at the end of the test.
During the test you can make up to 15 driver errors.
If you make 16 driver errors or any one serious or dangerous error you will not pass.
Your examiner will use a DL25 Driving Test Report to record your errors in different categories.
Most people who fail the test do so during the drive on the road. You need a good standard of driving as
the number of faults you are allowed is the same as a car (Cat.B) test, although this test lasts longer.
Vehicle safety questions
These are basic safety checks that a driver should carry out to ensure the vehicle is safe for use. Although some checks may involve the candidate in opening the bonnet to identify where fluid levels would be checked, pupils will not be asked to touch a hot engine or physically check fluid levels.
As vehicle technology advances, more and more vehicles are being equipped with electronic diagnostic systems, which inform the driver of the state of the engine fluid levels and tyre pressures. It will be acceptable for a candidate to refer to the vehicle information system (if fitted) when answering questions on fluid levels or tyre pressures.
Candidates will be asked five questions, which will be a combination of ‘show me’ and ‘tell me’. A driving fault will be recorded for each incorrect answer to a maximum of four driving faults. If the candidate answers all five questions incorrectly, a serious fault will be recorded.
B+E Show Me / Tell Me Questions
Minimum requirements for a category B + E test vehicle
Cars or vans presented for test must be a category B vehicle towing a suitably braked, unladen trailer of at least one tonne maximum authorised mass (MAM) . The examiner may ask for evidence of the trailer MAM, for example, the .manufacturer's plate. All vehicle combinations must operate on appropriate brakes and utilise a coupling arrangement suitable for the weight.
All vehicles and trailers presented for test must be unladen.
Category B vehicles must also:
have a speedometer that measures speed in miles per hour and kilometres per hour
have no warning lights showing e.g. the airbag warning light
be legal and roadworthy
It is not a legal requirement that the head restraint be adjustable, but the passenger seat head restraint must be fitted as an integral part of the seat,
‘slip-on’ type head restraints are not permissible
Test vehicles used for large vehicle and vehicle-trailer combination tests (bus and lorry) and car plus trailer tests will need to be fitted with outside, nearside and offside mirrors for use by the driving examiner during the test.
For B + E the following
additional standards will apply:
the cargo compartment of the trailer must consist of a closed box body which is at least as wide and as high as the towing vehicle; the closed box body may also be slightly less wide than the towing vehicle provided that the view to the rear is only possible by use of the external rear-view mirrors of the towing vehicle. (The overall width of the trailer must be as wide or wider than the towing vehicle e.g. have wheels outside the box rather than under the box).
All test vehicles with a trailer must have either an audible trailer indicator buzzer or the trailer indicator warning light must be visible to the examiner.
This combination is not suitable for test as the trailer is narrower than the towing vehicle.
If the trailer wheels were on the outside of the body making the trailer as wide or wider than the towing vehicle
it would be acceptable even though the box body is narrower than the towing vehicle.
This combination is suitable for test.
If you intend using your own vehicle for training please be sure your insurance is valid
for learning to tow a trailer & if you need to take a test,
it meets the minimum test vehicle requirements.
If you accompany a provisional licence holder you must have held the full category for at least 3 years
and be at least 21 years old.
Provisoinal entitlement is shown on the paper counterpart of a full photocard licence.
Driving licence information
supplied by Buntings (Agri) Ltd., Agricultural Engineers.
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