Government considering doing away with trailer test

sherry90

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No test will ever be perfect or cater for all eventualities but it at least means some degree of competence is required. A car driving test doesn't mean every person who gets behind a wheel then drives sensibly or within their capabilities.
Difference being - we all have to do a test to drive. I just find it amusing that a lot of those who wish the trailer test to stay, haven’t actually done the test themselves!
 

GoldenWillow

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Difference being - we all have to do a test to drive. I just find it amusing that a lot of those who wish the trailer test to stay, haven’t actually done the test themselves!
I'm not sure what you find amusing?

I spent a reasonable sum of money on training when though I could legally, but not in my opinion competently, drive car trailer combination and choose not to drive with a trailer. I think a test is needed as most people think I'm mad to not drive it and just hope or rely on someone else if I needed to reverse, so from what I've witnessed a test showing at least basic competence is required. I know a lot of people both with grandfather rights and who with licenses post 1997 have taken tests, quite a few who chose wagon test not sure which cat c it was, and other than wishing it wasn't quite so expensive none have complained needing to take it.

Looking back I find it quite scary that as a 17 yr old having just passed their test I could take a 7.5t wagon on a motorway 🙄 and roads are a lot busier and vehicles generally faster than they were then.
 

Millie-Rose

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I did the trailer test and passed first time having spent about 3 years psyching myself up for it as I hate exams. I am a farmer's wife and already a competent reverser. In my first lesson I did the S shaped reverse my way and it would have been a pass first time with no shunts. My instructor then said I'll show you another way in case you're nervous on the day which basically consisted of a paint by numbers exercise which went pull up to mark, turn wheel so many times one way until tape on trailer appears in mirror then twice the other way etc etc. So people are taught to pass the test but still don't know how to reverse! I've often thought it should be a one day competency course (like moped cbt) rather than another driving test. Would make it less stressful/expensive so more people would do it. I know a lot of people who risk towing illegally rather than put themselves through the stress of a test.
 

Kat

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I did the trailer test and passed first time having spent about 3 years psyching myself up for it as I hate exams. I am a farmer's wife and already a competent reverser. In my first lesson I did the S shaped reverse my way and it would have been a pass first time with no shunts. My instructor then said I'll show you another way in case you're nervous on the day which basically consisted of a paint by numbers exercise which went pull up to mark, turn wheel so many times one way until tape on trailer appears in mirror then twice the other way etc etc. So people are taught to pass the test but still don't know how to reverse! I've often thought it should be a one day competency course (like moped cbt) rather than another driving test. Would make it less stressful/expensive so more people would do it. I know a lot of people who risk towing illegally rather than put themselves through the stress of a test.
A one day competency course would be a good compromise and would mean the training people wouldn't lose business.
 

Kat

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No test will ever be perfect or cater for all eventualities but it at least means some degree of competence is required. A car driving test doesn't mean every person who gets behind a wheel then drives sensibly or within their capabilities.
But the test isn't required for all towing. If you pick your vehicle and trailer accordingly you don't need the test so it doesn't ensure competence it just encourages people to tow with under sized vehicles.
 

GoldenWillow

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If it is the case that a large number of people towing with under powered vehicles rather than take the test I think that makes a case for actually decreasing the weight limit to something like 750kgs rather than doing away with a test. I do feel quite strongly there should be a level of competence proven before you take all vehicle and combinations on the road. Whether that would be better served by a test or some other way I don't know.

All car drivers are required to take a test but it doesn't stop the idiots speeding round blind bends on the wrong side of the road and the other idiotic an dangerous driving you frequently see but what alternative are there to tests?
 

TheHairyOne

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I think the current rules are bonkers anyway and scrapping it would be win/win for me. Pre 97 drivers dont need one to tow most trailer/car combos here, but me with my later test pass is limited to a lighter weight older car to tow my one horse trailer, where id much rather a much more modern suitable towing vehicle (better safety features = more weight!!!).

I got lessons from my driving instructor friend before going out in mine (sensible, my horse is too precious), but the wait lists for tests is insane, and i read what you have to do to your own set up to do it in that and it seems so complicated Id have to then pay for someone elses kit too.
 

deb_l222

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When I started towing the caravan I didn’t need to take a test because I’ve had my licence for 100 years but I booked myself on a course anyway. It was just a short, half day course with a HGV instructor but it was money well spent.

Taking the course for younger drivers should still remain, in my humble opinion. At least you get taught the correct speed to drive, which lanes you cannot be in on a motorway etc. Whether people then choose to ignore this teaching is up to them but it’s better than ignorance.
 

Landcruiser

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I am an old person so didn't have to do any additional tests for towing or a 7.5 tonne lorry - although I did actually go and have one lesson more out of interest to see what they thought of my driving (!). I think tests or at least some signed off training is not a bad thing but some of it is a little random. Friend can drive a combine on the road but had to a test for a 4 tonne horse box.
I'm an oldie too, and a self taught trailer tower. It was a bit of a steep learning curve - the damn thing kept turning the opposite way to the way I wanted it to go!! :eek:;). I remember driving into a yard on my first trip out and realising I had to do a 3 point turn, essentially. It was a humiliating experience and I'll say no more about it!
After that I took the trailer empty and practiced on an empty carpark with some cones until I could reliably reverse around them, do a shuffle round, and reverse into a narrow gap.
I had a 7.5 Daf for a few years after my first trailer got sold, driving it away when I picked it up was one of the most terrifying drives of my life... I had a single lesson with an instructor which was worth its weight in gold - I was soon driving it like a pro, and absolutely loved it.
 

maya2008

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I don’t see how it would reduce lorry driver shortages…my husband drives HGVs and the issues are pay and conditions - oh and the fact that once you get your licence to drive class 1s it is almost impossible to get a job without years of experience. HGV 2s pay the same or more without the overnights and are easier to get into.

I don’t have my trailer licence and cannot reverse one for toffee. OH managed just fine first time ever many years ago, so for some people the test makes no difference really!
 

Widgeon

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I honestly don’t think the test changes this .
I probably shouldn't admit this but I passed the test first time and I'm not very good at reversing IRL. Thankfully I'm not as bad as the woman in your example - straight lines and gentle curves are fine, but anything complicated or very tight for space and I need someone outside the car shouting instructions at me. Fortunately I usually go out with friends so there is always someone more competent to tell me what to do in tricky situations (so I am improving). But the fact remains that left to my own devices I'm a bit rubbish. There will be plenty of people out there who have never passed the test but are better than me....

Trailer tests can be incredibly expensive so very high pressure - I completely understand the people who are saying they go to pieces because of the stress. When I did mine the trailer got stuck on the tow ball and despite my doing everything right it wouldn't come off. I was *this close* to sitting down on the floor and crying because I'd run out of other ideas.

for most people the more you tow the better you can manoeuvre so I am on the fence with that one .
Yes this, it's almost impossible to replicate real life situations in a car park.
 

Antw23uk

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I missed out on grandfather rights by a year, i stupidly failed my first driving test and gave up for a year but if i'd cracked on and re taken it, passing, i would be trundling round the countryside in a 7.5t now rather than doing my trailer test a couple of years ago and I HATE TOWING!!
 

Alibear

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Are there actually any stats? What effect did bringing the test in have apart from making money? My goggle-fu is letting me down, I haven't found anything about stats so far.
I'm old enough not to have needed it and I'm happy for others not to need it too. I reverse well enough but if I have a few years break I need to practise again, that just skill fade which happens with everything we do.
 

ester

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There's a reason I did the test, mostly for stress reduction as mum really wasn't very good, though she did have a lesson at one point. It also stopped a marital when we got back as we had to reverse it back up the lane into our gate.

However, I did find having not towed for several years borrowing a friends to move house manouvering took me longer than it should have!

The only people I knew that failed were those who had been towing with tractors and had forgotten in order to pass you have to do things the *right* way ;)
 

holeymoley

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I wonder how many caravan owners do the test? We have traveled across the country today and spotted a large caravan being towed easily doing 70mph on a dual carriageway. They overtook a hgv on a bend- I said to OH, he’s going to snake. Low and behold he snaked like mad and then pulled in in front of the hgv and carried on his way. OH who is in the police even said ‘wow’. Car was a large mercedes type so had no problem power wise but then it’s the common sense that’s behind the wheel.
 

Kat

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I missed out on grandfather rights by a year, i stupidly failed my first driving test and gave up for a year but if i'd cracked on and re taken it, passing, i would be trundling round the countryside in a 7.5t now rather than doing my trailer test a couple of years ago and I HATE TOWING!!
Ha ha you think that's bad, my husband and I passed our test within a month of eachother. I can tow the trailer with grandfather rights, he can't.

I had a big push to pass before the theory test came in, little did I know it would save me hundreds in trailer test fees in future!
 

Winters100

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To be honest I don't really see it as something that is that difficult. I have never passed a test because I have held a license since the late 80s, but I have no problem with it, it isn't rocket science. I suppose it might make sense to require a test if you are within x number of years of passing your driving licence, as I am not sure that I would have been competent in my late teens / very early 20s, but for a driver with some years experience I don't see why it would cause problems.
 

Lammy

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I am so happy the test has been scrapped, selfishly so because I just couldn’t afford to fail a test which I know I probably would do due to nerves. Had been gearing myself up to do one but always backed out for the fear of failing. But now I can book onto a few lessons or a course gain confidence in my own time and then be on my way without having the pressure of a pass/fail.

The statement said they wanted to put the law into action as soon as possible.
 

Sossigpoker

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I am so happy the test has been scrapped, selfishly so because I just couldn’t afford to fail a test which I know I probably would do due to nerves. Had been gearing myself up to do one but always backed out for the fear of failing. But now I can book onto a few lessons or a course gain confidence in my own time and then be on my way without having the pressure of a pass/fail.

The statement said they wanted to put the law into action as soon as possible.
Same here. I just get nervous in tests and mess up! So this is welcome news to me.
 

conniegirl

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Yay, i can now invest in a slightly bigger trailer and a much bigger car. The Yeti has been great for allowing us to tow cob around but i would really feel safer towing with something heavier!
 
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It's early - someone please explain point 2 to me 😂😂

Also not having to pass a test to tow would be a godsend for someone like me who go's to pieces in an exam situation!

Not sure if this has been answered or not.

It's about coupling up, artics in the test now you have to show you can couple up properly, attach your suzis, check breaks and don't forget to tug and also make sure the pin is in on the fifth wheel.

The changes mean they will now not do that in the class one test so they don't need to show they can drop a trailer and then hoon up to another one safely.

Same with the reversing, they do a set amount of reversing with the trailer on to show you can put a 45ft trailer anywhere.

So rather than do your class 2, ridged up to 36ton and then three weeks later do your class 1 which is the artic one you can go straight into your class one and then have both on your licence


It's all a load of bad words.


At least with the trailer test they could have done mandatory six lessons and then get signed off from the instructor on things like reversing hitching up etc.
 
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