What makes up a B+E driving test?
You may already have heard about the need for gaining the B+E category on your driving licence in order to tow an outfit that weighs more than 3500kg. The thing that a lot of people worry about is what actually makes up the test and what you have to achieve in order to pass.
Tests, by their nature are often stress inducing and worrisome, but take a look at our list below and you can quell any fears, safe in the knowledge that most of the B+E requirements are purely based around concentration and common sense, with patience thrown in for good measure.
Instructors want you to pass. They'll do everything in their power to give you top technique tips and teach you everything you need to know. Then they'll go over it again and again to make sure it's drilled in. Then you'll repeat the process again, just because. The training you'll undertake is thorough and it'll perfectly prepare you for the test. While you'll learn how to tow a caravan safely, you'll be trained and tested using the trailer outfit pictured. So what's involved?
You must be aware of areas to check for safety issues "as if the caravan is not your own". It won't be your caravan on the day, but instructors use this term to make you aware of how thorough you need to be with each safety check. These include tyre tread depth, electrics, breakaway cable, reflectors, wheel nuts and more.
Uncoupling and recoupling
You'll be told exactly how to couple and uncouple a caravan in your training, and why you need to do it in a particular order. Plus, you'll practice enough until it becomes muscle memory for the future, too.
You must complete a reversing exercise involving an S bend, stopping the trailer in a marked area. As with any reversing exercise, the key is to take it slow and pay attention to everything around you. Stay patient, don't panic, and it's a simple task. Easier than it seems!
Driving on the road
For this part of the test you’ll be asked to take the car and caravan out on public roads for around an hour of driving. Your instructor will direct you on a varied route through urban and rural areas, on A and B roads, potentially involving some tricky turns and blind corners. Take everything slowly, think ahead, check your mirrors and look all around and you’ll perform a relaxed drive that’s sure to pass the test.
You may not be used to the outfit you learn in but, by the time the exam is looming, you'll know it inside and out through hours of training and familiarisation.
Show me, tell me
Finally, you'll be asked a small number of questions, or asked to show where something is on the car. This can range from showing where the washer fluid tank is under the bonnet, to explaining the best position for a headrest to be positioned at and why. Again, your instructor will go through all of these issues with you during the training. It's likely you'll be unfamiliar with the particular model of car on test, even if you know a lot about cars compared to most. Worry not, though, as everything is explained.
The training course is designed for those who have experience and confidence with handling/reversing a trailer, such as if you’ve undertaken a manoeuvring course with one of the two caravan clubs.
It consists of two full days training, covering all aspects required to pass the B+E test. It is advisable to brush up on your Highway Code before attending the training sessions. On day three, you’ll take the test that lasts around two hours.
Diamond Driver Training
Adjacent to Newark Showground, Winthorpe, Notts NG24 2NY
OR Wimsey Way, Somercotes, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 4LS
Tel: 0345 094 0167 or 07887 894134
Email [email protected]
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