Trailer towing test London, Surrey, Kent, Essex, Sussex

The B+E towing test is to ensure the candidate can handle the combination in a safe and controlled manner.  


The test is broken into a number of sections:

  1. The eyesight test
  2. Safety questions
  3. Reversing
  4. The driving element
  5. uncoupling/coupling

The candidate must bring their photocard driving licence or if they still have the old style driving licence they must also bring photographic id such as a current Passport.


The candidate must ensure that the photocard is in date as the photocard is only valid for 10 years.


The DSA's has a strict policy of "NO LICENCE - NO TEST"

The eyesight requirement:


The candidate must be able to read a number plate at the correct distance with or without corrective lenses. If corrective lenses are worn to read the number plate, these must be worn during the test and every time they drive thereafter.



Safety Questions:


The candidate will be asked a number of questions relating to the combination/outfit. These will be either a 'show me?' questions where the candidate must demonstrate by performing a task such as turning on the rear fog lamps, or a 'tell me?' question where the candidate must explain what they would do to ensure safety.  Such as explaining how they would load the trailer with payload.


The safety questions are available on our documents and downloads page.



The candidate will be able to safely reverse the combination through a designated course demonstrating fairly accurate steering and speed control whilst taking effective all round observations.  The candidate will not cross outside the boundaries of the manoeuvring area or touch any marker cone or pole during the exercise.  To complete the exercise the trailer must be positioned within the yellow painted box without striking the barrier to the rear of the trailer.


The candidate is allowed to shunt the vehicle forward twice only and is allowed to exit the vehicle once only to inspect the final position of the trailer within the yellow painted box and re-enter the vehicle to adjust the position of the trailer if required.


If the candidate is unsuccessful on the reversing section, the next section of the test need not be taken.


The course layout is available from our documents and download page.

On the road:


The candidate will be expected to drive safely and under full control of the combination/outfit at all times taking effective all round observations and to act correctly on what they see.  The candidate must not make any road users, including cyclists and pedestrians, alter their speed or direction by their actions.


The candidate must take effective all round observations, including blind spot checks, when moving off and must ensure that when parking they position in a safe, legal and convenient location taking in the size and length of the combination/outfit. Before parking they must ensure they use their mirrors effectively to ensure they are aware of all following traffic and road users on the inside of the combination/outfit then give the correct signal if required.


The candidate must be aware of all speed limits and drive at a safe speed making progress when required and not being over cautious at junctions.  The candidate must use their mirrors effectively and be aware of traffic behind them, next to them and ahead and must give appropriate signals when required.  They must anticipate the actions of other road users, including cyclist and pedestrians and act safely being aware of how the trailer will respond during braking, accelerating and cornering.  All traffic signs and road markings must be obeyed.


The candidate will be allowed up to 15 driving faults.  Overall 16 driving faults or recording numerous repeated driving faults on the same fault will result in an unsuccessful test.


If the candidate records one serious fault (one in which a potential danger occurred) or one dangerous fault (and actual danger occurred) the test will be marked as unsuccessful.




The candidate must demonstrate correct, safe and best practice techniques when uncoupling and coupling the combination/outfit.  The must ensure that the trailer is secured by applying the handbrake before beginning the uncoupling process and then uncouple in the correct sequence to avoid potential dangerous or damage to other road users, other vehicles or property.  Before releasing the 'breakaway' cable, the candidate must ensure that the trailer is secure.


Before coupling the candidate must ensure that the trailer is legal and road worthy as well as within the technical permissible towing weight (TPTW) of the vehicle. They must demonstrate the safety checks correctly before attempting to hitch and must always ensure that the handbrake is on before carrying out the checks.


The candidate must be fairly accurate when reversing the vehicle to the trailer and may exit the vehicle once to inspect the distance when required.  The candidate may manually handle the trailer to the final hitching position if required, but ensure that the 'breakaway' cable is attached first.


When coupling, they must ensure that safe and best practice techniques are implemented to avoid potential personal injury or damage to either the vehicle or trailer.  Once coupled the candidate must ensure it is 'ready for the road' by making sure all lights are working.  They should enlist the help of the examiner for this section. 

After the test:


If you are successful the examiner will give you a pass certificate and take both sections of your driving licence.  A new licence will automatically be generated and posted to you direct from the DVLA.  If you prefer you may post your licence to DVLA Swansea. The examiner will also give you a marking sheet on your driving performance during the test and explain any marks they may have recorded.


If you are unsuccessful the examiner will give you a marking sheet of your driving performance during the test and explain the areas you will need to improve on.  Your instructor may be present for this debrief so they are aware of the areas that you will need to improve.  You may apply for a re-test either online or by phoning the Driving Standards Agency.  The examiner will not be able to re-book the test.