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Old 04 May 2010, 08:13   #1
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B+E license endorsement - what does the test involve?

Hi all,

I'm looking to do the towing test to gain the B+E endorsement on my license needed to tow bigger boats and wondered if anyone could give me an insight into what exactly it involves? I've trawled the web and read loads of stuff on it so have a rough idea but would be keen to hear what people who have actually done it would say about it.

Should I expect to get an absolute grilling? Is it as formal as the normal driving test? I've done a fair bit of towing in the past, everything from dinghies to jet skis and some sizeable box trailers and have a good knowledge of the extra precautions that need to be taken when towing. My reversing is of a good standard and I rarely have to take a 2nd attempt at anything.

Any further information that anyone could provide would be much appreciated.

Thanks a lot.

J.
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Old 04 May 2010, 10:57   #2
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Jonny,

There are basically 5 parts to the test:

1. Vehicle safety questions
2. Reversing excercise
2. Emergency stop
4. Driving (like your driving test, but to a higher standard)
5. Un hitch & re hitch

I would strong advise having a day with an instructor before hand to iron out bad habbits in your driving and pickup on tips for the test.

Michael
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Old 04 May 2010, 11:35   #3
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Hi Mike,

Thanks a lot for that info.

Where did you do yours? Is there a test centre in Plymouth?

Also, how much does the test cost and how long is it?

Thanks in advance.

Jonny.
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Old 04 May 2010, 15:27   #4
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Test to DSA is 115 (thats for a centre in Essex)

With an instructor - 4 hours 160, 6 hours 220

I havent yet done the test but am looking at doing it with partner. If you look on Youtube, you can see the reverse test done to see what is involved. Also an instructor goes through the hitching/unhitching process.
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Old 04 May 2010, 16:05   #5
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You can book the test online - the website tells you which centres can do each type of test.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum...dg_186302.html

Trailer test have to be done at HGV test centres, as they have the space for the reversing manoeuvre and the emergency stop.

The test itself should last about 90 minutes, with the driving portion of that a minimum of 50 minutes - the rest is taken up with the questions and manoeuvres.

The easiest way is to contact a local HGV/PCV driving school as they are likely to have (or know who does) an appropriate trailer for the test (it has to be a certain size and weight). You cannot just rock up with your own trailer.

Best bet would be to contact a driving school - the test isn't massively hard (I did my D1+E a little while ago), but you DO need some time to learn how to do things they way they like (particularly the hitch & unhitch - which has no relation to the real world at all). I reckon a day of training, and then the test on the next day. There are an awful lot of things to remember, and trying to cram in training & test in one day is one hell of a lot - and ultimately could just lead to you wasting money on a failure.

The reversing move is pretty easy, but again - very specific on where they want things to be positioned and how to do it - it's good to have a practice before you do it, and also to "learn" the trailer you'll be towing.

Best of luck.
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Old 04 May 2010, 16:37   #6
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Make sure you've got a suitable trailer and vehicle for the test too as the requirements are quite well defined. You may have to hire one or both.
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Old 04 May 2010, 17:48   #7
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For the benefit of anyone reading this thread can someone point out the date after which this test was needed,.. since before 'the' date it was automatically included on a driving licence
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Old 04 May 2010, 18:02   #8
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Originally Posted by Bigmuz7 View Post
For the benefit of anyone reading this thread can someone point out the date after which this test was needed,.. since before 'the' date it was automatically included on a driving licence
Driving licenses issued after January 1997.
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Old 04 May 2010, 18:12   #9
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Driving licenses issued after January 1997.
Ah cheers
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Old 05 May 2010, 07:02   #10
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Thanks for all that info folks. Much appreciated.

Cheers,

J.
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