What Happens On A Trailer Driving Test?
There are 2 main courses available for trailer training and these are completed on consecutive days and normally have 5 to 6 hours per day. The last 1.5 hours are arranged as the trailer and car practical test. There is no theory test with the trailer B+E category.
After completing your B+E (car & trailer) training you will need to take your Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). On arrival at the test centre the driving examiners will ask to see both parts of your driving licence and from there you will go outside to perform an eyesight check. You will need to be able to read a number plate from 20.5 metres (62 feet) away. If you cannot read the number plate, with or without glasses/lenses you will not be allowed to take your driving test.
After successfully reading the number plate you will need to answer 5 safety check questions. Driving instructors commonly refer to these as the show me tell me questions as they all start with – Show me how to check or Tell me how you would check.
Its then time to complete the reversing exercise. You will need to drive the car and trailer onto a purpose built pad and reverse from one end of the pad to the other whilst avoiding a cone in the middle of the reversing area. The trailer will need to end inside a box, made of cones and with the back of the trailer over hanging a hatched area.
After the reversing exercise you will be taken out on the road for approximately 40 minutes. Whilst out on the road you will be expected to be able to deal with all the normal junctions and hazards you will find in and around town as well as deal with the traffic on a dual carriageway.
Common things to fail on, whilst out on the road are,
- Hill starts
- Clearance to vehicles
- Crossing lanes on roundabouts
- Checking Mirrors
- Blind Spot Checks when pulling away
Once back at the test centre you will need to perform an un-hitch and hitch exercise. During this you will need to unhitch the trailer from the car and park the car next to the trailer. Then you will need to be able to re-hitch the trailer making sure you have performed the checks needed to ensure it is connected properly.
Then it’s the big moment when the examiner tells you whether you have passed or failed. It is at this point that your trainer should listen to the debrief to ensure you understand what when wrong and when, if you did do anything wrong of course.
The steps of the test are:
- Document Check
- Eyesight Check
- Safety Check Questions (Show/Tell)
- Reversing Exercise
- On Road Drive
- Hitch – Unhitch exercise
Presuming you pass you will get a new driving licence with the B+E (car + trailer) category on it. This will allow you to tow larger and heavier trailers.
There are rumours that the car and trailer test will be changing to be in line with the changes presently being made to the car practical test. This has not been confirmed and if it does happen your trainers will be given lots of notice so they can make adjustments to your trailer training.
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