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GENERAL QUESTIONS

Car and trailer B+E pass

To help with the smooth start of your course it is best for you to complete the details at https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence so that Drive2Succeed! can begin your tuition quickly. You will need your Driving Licence Number; your National Insurance Number and the postcode on your driving licence before you start on the website.

Obtain your check code, your driving licence number and contact us with your details.

This a little bit more complex than it first seems, If you wish to tow a large trailer and you have passed your car driving test after the 1st of January 1997, you may need to take a higher licence category B+E. This would depend on both the weight and size of both the towing vehicle and trailer type. 

For example, a Category B licence allows you to drive vehicles up to 3,500kg MAM (Maximum Authorised Mass) with up to 8 passenger seats, plus a trailer with a MAM of 750 kilograms in weight.  You can also tow heavier trailers if the total plated MAM of both the vehicle and trailer does not exceed 3,500kg.  Call Drive2Succeed! (07971 515597) today and we will talk you through the various options.

Category B licences mean drivers are qualified to use vehicles up to 3,500kg and with up to 8 passenger seats, and a trailer with a MAM of 750kg.  They can also tow heavier trailers if the combined weight is under 3,500kg.

Category B + E licences applies to drivers wishing to tow larger trailers exceeding the MAM of combined weight 3,500kg for both towing vehicle and trailer, but a key factor is when you passed your driving test. If you have passed your car driving test after the 1st of January 1997, you may need to take a higher licence category B+E.

Category C1 drivers can operate vehicles weighing between 3,500kg and 7,500kg, with a 750kg or less trailer.

The various weight allowances of the vehicles and trailers are the deciding factors across the scale of categories, hence you can apply for more advanced licences for categories such as C1+E, C and C+E for medium and larger size vehicles.

Vehicle categories on driving licences can depend on the weight of the vehicle – the different terms you might see are explained below.

Unladen weight

The unladen weight of any vehicle is the weight of the vehicle when it’s not carrying any passengers, goods or other items.

It includes the body and all parts normally used with the vehicle or trailer when it’s used on a road.

It doesn’t include the weight of:

  • fuel
  • batteries in an electric vehicle – unless it’s a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair
Maximum authorised mass

Maximum authorised mass (MAM) means the 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 (GVW) or permissible maximum weight.

It will be listed in the owner’s manual and is normally shown on a plate or sticker fitted to the vehicle.

The plate or sticker may also show a gross train weight (GTW), also sometimes called gross combination weight (GCW). This is the total weight of the tractor unit plus trailer plus load.

Down-plating

If a vehicle is unlikely to be used at its potential maximum weight, it may be ‘down-plated’. This means that a lower weight is shown on the plate or sticker attached to the vehicle.

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 a minimum of 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, 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. For Example:Open the bonnet, identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.

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.

There are 3 types of faults you can make:

  • a dangerous fault – this involves actual danger to you, the examiner, the public or property
  • a serious fault – something potentially dangerous
  • a driving fault – this isn’t potentially dangerous, but if you keep making the same fault, it could become a serious fault

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.

The simple truth is that you should always check for appropriate credentials and qualifications as many driving instructors do not have the experience or accreditations required to undertake the kind of specialised training Drive2Succeed! can deliver for many of the listed category licences.

Fortunately, Drive2Succeed! instructors are fully qualified, industry approved and accredited by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. (DVSA)

We look after drivers of all abilities, so if you have any particular requirements, including any medical or physical concerns that you may feel we should be aware of, please let us know as soon as possible and we will endeavour to cater for your needs.

CARAVAN COURSES

Caravan

With the right category of licence, you can tow a trailer or caravan up to a maximum gross vehicle weight of 3500kg, a maximum length of 7 metres and a maximum width of 2.55 metres.

Yes this is a real must for safety and peace of mind, especially if your trailer or caravan is wider than your towing vehicle.  Always be safe and make life easier for yourself by putting them on whenever you are towing.

Using some types of adapter may be problematic. Double check and check again that all your lights including your reverse lights work properly, if fitted. If in doubt, ask your towbar fitter to check it all out for you. If you choose to use an adapter from 7 pin to 13 pin or 13 pin to 7 pin, be aware that all your trailer lights must work.

This really depends on what type of ‘hitch’ you have on your caravan or trailer. If it is a stabiliser ‘hitch’, then do not put grease on the tow ball. The tow ball should be an Alko type and the ball should have the paint removed – free from all contaminates. Putting grease on will contaminate the stabiliser pads and it will not work properly, possibly requiring new pads.   If in doubt, ask your caravan dealer or service agent.

B+E LICENCE COURSES - (Required for towing)

B+E Trailer

A B+E licence can only be obtained through a practical driving test conducted by a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency Examiner.  In that regard, it’s a similar process to taking your original car driving test.

Caravans are not suitable for the B+E practical test. You will need a closed box body type trailer designed to carry loads, and this will need to be loaded for your test. Drive2Succeed! can provide you with a tow car and trailer to appropriate test specifications

We can tailor your training for a wide range of trailer types, with the right package to suit the driver operator. 

We can train you to tow:

  • Horseboxes
  • Plant trailers
  • Catering trailers
  • Boat trailers
  • Flatbed trailers
  • Car transporter trailers
  • Cattle trailers
  • Water bowsers
  • Specialised trailers

There is no theory test yet, just a practical driving test.

We strive to ensure you get the best possible experience with our courses, so as well as the expert one-to-one tuition from a DVSA Approved Driving Instructor, we include:

  • Use of the tow car and trailer to the test specifications
  • Fuel.
  • Insurance cover.
  • Learning materials.
  • 1 to 1 instruction

We will put our utmost effort into helping you achieve your goals, so at the outset we will perform a driving licence check, arrange your appointments and send over your confirmation of course details.

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