Based on the lorry driving test, the trailer towing test (B+E) allows drivers to demonstrate their competency when towing a load. For many drivers, even those with years of standard driving experience, it can be a nerve-wracking experience. Here’s what to expect:

What is the trailer test comprised of?

There are several parts to the car trailer driving test, many of which mirror a general driving test. Like a standard test you’ll have your eyesight checked and partake in independent driving time – where you’ll have to follow a combination of road signs and verbal directions from your instructor. Like a standard driving test, you’ll also have to answer several questions on the safety of your vehicle (widely known in tests as a ‘show me, tell me’).

You’ll be asked to manoeuvre your vehicle and trailer and reverse it into a designated point (which the instructor will highlight to you on a diagram), and to demonstrate that you can pull-over and pull-out safely, as well as performing a hill start correctly.

Finally, you’ll be asked to align your car and couple and uncouple the trailer securely.

What ‘Show Me, Tell Me’ Questions Will I Be Asked?

There are various questions you may be asked during the vehicle safety part of your test, including:

  • “Tell me the main safety factors involved in loading your vehicle”
  • “Show me the main safety factors involved in securing a load on this vehicle”
  • “How would you check the parking brake for excessive wear?”
  • “Show how you would switch a dipped beam to full beam, and demonstrate how you would know if the main beam was on”

You’ll be asked five questions, and for each incorrect answer one driving fault is recorded (up to a maximum of four faults). If you answer all the questions incorrectly a serious fault will be recorded by the instructor.

How long will the test take?

The test takes around an hour. You should expect to be driving for as much as up to 50 minutes of this time.

Around ten minutes of this will be independent driving, during which you’ll be following a mixture of instructor verbal commands and road signs. It’s important to remember that even if you take a wrong turning and deviate from the route, you won’t be penalised by the instructor (as long as you don’t commit a driving fault whilst doing so). Similarly, if you forget any instructions given, you can ask the instructor to repeat them as many times as you like.

Will I Have To Reverse Around A Corner During The Towing Test?

No, although you will be expected to perform a reverse manoeuvre in a designated space, you won’t have to reverse the trailer around a corner, or perform any reverse parking.

For more information on taking a training course or booking your test, read more about our centre here.