B&E Car and Trailer Training and Test
licence rules and what you can tow:
The rules on what you can tow are different depending
on when you passed your driving test.
Licences held from 1 January 1997
If you passed your driving test after 1 January 1997
and have an ordinary category B (car) licence, you can:
|drive a vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes or
a trailer of up to 750kg
|tow a trailer over 750kg
MAM as long
as the combined weight of the trailer and towing vehicle
is no more than 3,500kg |
Licences held before 1 January 1997
If you passed your car test before 1 January 1997 you
are generally entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer
combination up to 8.25 tonnes
This is the weight of a vehicle or trailer including
the maximum load that can be carried safely when it’s
being used on the road.
You also have entitlement to drive a minibus with a
trailer over 750kg
Towing heavier combinations
If you want to tow heavier combinations, you’ll have to
apply for provisional entitlement to the new C1+E
entitlement. You’ll then have to pass the category C
theory test and C1+E practical test.
Once you’ve done this you can drive vehicles and
trailers with a combined weight of up to 12 tonnes
What If you are caught towing without the appropriate licence:
|Both vehicles put into compound at a possible cost of £150
charge per vehicle per day|
|Three to eight penalty points |
|Fined from £1000|
You should also remember that if you are towing without the
appropriate licence then it is likely that you will not have
appropriate insurance and this can lead to disqualification of your
licence and a further £2500 fine !
Car towing weight and width limits:
Most cars have a maximum weight of what they can tow.
It’s usually listed in the handbook or specification sheet.
Alternatively the vehicle’s gross train weight
may be listed on the vehicle identification number (VIN)
plate on the car. This is normally under the bonnet or
inside the driver’s door. The gross train weight is the
weight of the fully loaded car plus fully loaded trailer and
must not be exceeded.
If your VIN
plate doesn’t list a train weight, you should not use your
vehicle for towing.
Width and length
The maximum trailer width for any towing vehicle is 2.55
metres. The maximum length is 7 metres for a trailer towed
by a vehicle weighing up to 3.5 tonnes (3,500 kilograms).
Rules for cars used for driving tests:
You must bring a suitable vehicle to
your driving test.
Your test will be cancelled and you could lose your fee if
your car doesn’t meet the rules.
Your vehicle must:
insured and have a valid tax disc|
and have a current MOT if it needs one|
|be checked and
fixed if it has a
known safety fault |
seatbelt for the examiner|
interior rear-view mirror for the examiner |
|have a proper
passenger head restraint (not a slip-on type)|
smoke-free environment (you can’t smoke in the vehicle
just before or during the test)|
|have 4 wheels|
|be able to
reach at least 62mph|
speedometer measuring speed in mph|
warning lights showing - for example, the airbag warning
(‘L’ or ‘D’ plates in Wales) on the front and rear|
|have a maximum
authorised mass (MAM)
of no more than 3,500 kilograms|
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’.
In some cars the spare tyre is a space-saver and only
supposed to be for temporary use. Vehicles with space-saver
tyres in use can’t be used for a test.
Electronic parking brakes
Vehicles fitted with an electronic parking brake can be
used for a test.
Vehicles with ‘hill-start assist’
Vehicles with hill-start assist can be used for a test.
Hill-start assist is a feature that stops vehicles rolling
back when they start on steep slopes.
The equipment you use with your trailer or caravan must
meet certain safety standards.
If you get a tow bar for your car, it needs to be ‘type
approved’. This means it meets
EU regulations and is designed for your car.
A type-approved tow bar will have a label with an
approval number and details of the vehicles it’s approved
If your car was first used before 1 August 1998, your tow
bar doesn’t need to be type-approved.
You must have an adequate view of the road behind you. If
your caravan or trailer is wider than the rear of the towing
vehicle, you may need to fit suitable towing mirrors.
If you tow without proper towing mirrors you can be:
|prosecuted by the police|
|given 3 points on your licence|
Any trailer weighing over 750 kilograms, including its
load, must have a working brake system.
Some smaller trailers also have brakes, although these
Any brakes on a trailer or caravan must be in good
You must display the same
plate as your towing car on the trailer. If you tow
more than one trailer, fix the number plate to the trailer
at the back.
A-frames and dollies
If you attach an A-frame to a car in order to tow it with
a larger vehicle, the car plus A-frame counts as a trailer.
If you use a dolly to tow a broken-down vehicle, the
dolly counts as a trailer.
In both cases the usual safety regulations for trailers
Read more in the
‘A’ frames and dollies’ factsheet.
The car and trailer practical test:
You may have to take a further test if you want to tow a
caravan or certain types of trailer.
Licences held from 1 January 1997
You’ll need to take a practical test to get a B+E
entitlement on your licence if you passed your driving test
after this date and hold a category B (car) licence.
You’ll need to do this if you want to tow a trailer or
caravan heavier than 750 kilograms (kg)
when the combined
maximum authorised mass (MAM)
of the towing vehicle and the trailer or caravan is more
weight of a vehicle or trailer including the maximum load
that can be carried safely when it’s being used on the
road. This is also known as gross vehicle weight.
Rules for the vehicle you use
rules for the car you can use for the practical driving test.
Extra rules for the trailer test
You must tow a minimum weight for the practical test.
Trailers must have a minimum real weight of 800
kg and carry a minimum load of
600 kg of aggregates or 1
intermediate bulk container (IBC)
of 1,000 kg or 600
kg capacity when filled with
water. You can read more about
rules covering load requirements.
The trailer must have an
MAM of at least
1 tonne. The examiner may ask for evidence of the trailer’s
MAM, eg the
The vehicle must be fitted with:
|externally mounted nearside and offside mirrors (for
the examiner to use)|
|a device that shows the trailer’s indicators are
Brakes and coupling
All vehicle combinations must have appropriate brakes and
use a coupling arrangement that’s suitable for the weight of
Trailer cargo compartment
|be a closed box body|
|be at least as wide and as high as the towing vehicle|
What happens during the test
Before you start the driving ability part of your test,
you’ll have an eyesight check and be asked 5 vehicle safety
The 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
Vehicle safety questions: ‘show me, tell me’
You’ll be asked 5 vehicle safety questions. These are
also known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.
The examiner will ask you ‘show me’ questions, where
you’ll have to show them how you’d carry out a vehicle
You’ll also be asked ‘tell me’ questions, where you’ll
have to explain to the examiner how you’d carry out the
You’ll drive in various road and traffic conditions. If
possible, these should include:
You’ll also be asked to do around 10 minutes of
You’ll have to show that you can manoeuvre your car and
trailer in a restricted space and stop at a certain point.
Uncoupling and recoupling
During the test you’ll be asked to uncouple and couple
your car and trailer.
It costs £115 to take the test on a weekday and £141
during evenings, weekends or bank holidays.
You must bring your driving licence - the photocard. You must take your
signed driving licence and a valid passport if you have an
old-style paper licence.
Your test will be cancelled and you’ll lose your fee if
you don’t bring the right documents.
No theory test is required.
For information on our training fees please go to the following
OUR TRAINING FEES FOR
You will need
- The minimum of a full car driving licence (category B)
- A road legal vehicle fit for purpose
- A trailer fit for purpose*
- A secure recognised load*
* We supply
Tom and Andrew will provide professional comprehensive
practical training to reach the DVLA test standard. They
will also book your practical driving test at the
completion of training.
For further information please contact
Tel. 01896 822452