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Adventure on Wheels are providers of bespoke Car, Car & Trailer, Motorcycle training, and  Motorcycle tours at their best throughout Scotland, Ireland, Spain And Morocco

Car & Trailer Driver Training

....Scottish Borders....Northumberland and the North of England....Cumbria....Dumfries and Galloway....Edinburgh and Lothian....
Jim Shanks HGV, LGV and PCV Driver Training School Scottish Borders

Shanks LGV, PCV and HGV Training, Scotland & UK

Jim Shanks Driver Training School

Jim Shanks Driver Training School in Galashiels, Scotland has over 30 years tuition experience with a pass rate second to none and has successfully trained over 2000 drivers from across the UK in the Scottish Borders, Northumberland and the North of England, Cumbria, Dumfries and Galloway, Edinburgh and Lothian areas. With special one-on-one training and very competitive prices based on the individuals training requirements, you can be sure of a training package to suit your needs at a realistic course cost.

How to get started

Getting Started


Contact Tom or Andrew to arrange an assessment  drive.


At the completion of the assessment, we will be in a position to establish your training requirements and provide you with a realistic course cost.

Jim Shanks HGV, LGV and PCV Driver Training School Scottish Borders
B&E Car and Trailer Training and Test
Jim Shanks HGV, LGV and PCV Driver Training School Scottish Borders

Car & Trailer Training, What We Offer

Below is a summary of the training package available at the Jim Shanks Driver Training School based in Melrose & Galashiels. The emphasis is that the training package is designed to meet your individual needs.

bulletOver 30 years tuition experience with a pass rate second to none.
bulletOne-on-one training.
bulletDVLA Registered Instructors. 
bulletTraining carried out in your vehicle.
bulletWe supply the test approved trailer and load (you supply a rear registration plate)
bulletTraining materials
bulletTraining assessments carried out at weekends or at candidates convenience.
bulletVery competitive prices based on the individuals training requirements, (VAT not applicable).
bulletAccommodation arranged at very competitive prices for those wishing to stay during the course.

The training courses available are:-

B & E

Cars with trailer. For driving tests passed after 1.1.97 the driver is restricted to a motor vehicle with a MAM not exceeding 3500 kg having not more than 8 passenger seats with a trailer up to 750 kg.

How to drive with and reverse trailers

This is a training course designed for all those who have a licence that allows them to tow a trailer up to 3,500kg but find it difficult.      

B&E Car and Trailer Training and Test

  1.  Driving licence rules and what you can tow:

The rules on what you can tow are different depending on when you passed your driving test.

Licences held from 1 January 1997

If you passed your driving test after 1 January 1997 and have an ordinary category B (car) licence, you can:
bulletdrive a vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes or 3,500kg MAM towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM
bullettow a trailer over 750kg MAM as long as the combined weight of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg

For anything heavier you need to take a category B+E driving test.

Licences held before 1 January 1997

If you passed your car test before 1 January 1997 you are generally entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8.25 tonnes MAM.

This is the weight of a vehicle or trailer including the maximum load that can be carried safely when it’s being used on the road.

You also have entitlement to drive a minibus with a trailer over 750kg MAM.

Towing heavier combinations

If you want to tow heavier combinations, you’ll have to first apply for provisional entitlement to the new C1+E entitlement. You will then have to pass the category C theory test and C1+E practical test.

Once you’ve done this you can drive vehicles and trailers with a combined weight of up to 12 tonnes MAM.

What If you are caught towing without the appropriate licence:
bulletBoth vehicles put into compound at a possible cost of £150 charge per vehicle per day
bulletThree to eight penalty points
bulletFined from £1000

You should also remember that if you are towing without the appropriate licence then it is likely that you will not have appropriate insurance and this can lead to disqualification of your licence and a further £2500 fine !

  1. Car towing weight and width limits:

Most cars have a maximum weight of what they can tow. It is usually listed in the handbook or specification sheet.

Alternatively the vehicles gross train weight may be listed on the vehicle identification number (VIN) plate on the car. This is normally under the bonnet or inside the driver’s door. The gross train weight is the weight of the fully loaded car plus fully loaded trailer and must not be exceeded.

If your VIN plate doesn’t list a train weight, you should not use your vehicle for towing.

Width and length

The maximum trailer width for any towing vehicle is 2.55 metres. The maximum length is 7 metres for a trailer towed by a vehicle weighing up to 3.5 tonnes (3,500 kilograms).

  1. Rules for cars used for driving tests:

You must bring a suitable vehicle to your driving test.

Your test will be cancelled and you could lose your fee if your car does not meet the rules.

Your vehicle must:

bulletbe properly insured and have a valid tax disc
bulletbe roadworthy and have a current MOT if it needs one
bulletbe checked and fixed if it has a known safety fault
bullethave a seatbelt for the examiner
bullethave an interior rear-view mirror for the examiner
bullethave a proper passenger head restraint (not a slip-on type)
bulletbe a smoke-free environment (you can’t smoke in the vehicle just before or during the test)
bullethave 4 wheels
bulletbe able to reach at least 62mph
bullethave a speedometer measuring speed in mph
bullethave no warning lights showing - for example, the airbag warning light
bullethave L-plates (‘L’ or ‘D’ plates in Wales) on the front and rear
bullethave a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of no more than 3,500 kilograms
MAM is the maximum weight of the vehicle including the maximum load that can be carried safely while used on the road. This is also known as ‘gross vehicle weight’.

Space-saver tyres

In some cars the spare tyre is a space-saver and only supposed to be for temporary use. Vehicles with space-saver tyres in use can not be used for a test.

Electronic parking brakes

Vehicles fitted with an electronic parking brake can be used for a test.

Vehicles with ‘hill-start assist’

Vehicles with hill-start assist can be used for a test. Hill-start assist is a feature that stops vehicles rolling back when they start on steep slopes.

  1. Towing equipment:

The equipment you use with your trailer or caravan must meet certain safety standards.

Towing bars

If you get a tow bar for your car, it needs to be ‘type approved’. This means it meets EU regulations and is designed for your car.

A type-approved tow bar will have a label with an approval number and details of the vehicles it’s approved for.

If your car was first used before 1 August 1998, your tow bar doesn’t need to be type-approved.

Towing mirrors

You must have an adequate view of the road behind you. If your caravan or trailer is wider than the rear of the towing vehicle, you may need to fit suitable towing mirrors.

If you tow without proper towing mirrors you can be:

bulletprosecuted by the police
bulletgiven 3 points on your licence
bulletfined £1,000

Trailer brakes

Any trailer weighing over 750 kilograms, including its load, must have a working brake system.

Some smaller trailers also have brakes, although these are optional.

Any brakes on a trailer or caravan must be in good working order.

Number plates

You must display the same number plate as your towing car on the trailer. If you tow more than one trailer, fix the number plate to the trailer at the back.

A-frames and dollies

If you attach an A-frame to a car in order to tow it with a larger vehicle, the car plus A-frame counts as a trailer.

If you use a dolly to tow a broken-down vehicle, the dolly counts as a trailer.

In both cases the usual safety regulations for trailers apply.

Read more in the ‘A’ frames and dollies’ factsheet.

  1. The car and trailer practical test:

You may have to take a further test if you want to tow a caravan or certain types of trailer.

Licences held from 1 January 1997

You’ll need to take a practical test to get a B+E entitlement on your licence if you passed your driving test after this date and hold a category B (car) licence.

You’ll need to do this if you want to tow a trailer or caravan heavier than 750 kilograms (kg) when the combined maximum authorised mass (MAM) of the towing vehicle and the trailer or caravan is more than 3,500kg.

MAM means the weight of a vehicle or trailer including the maximum load that can be carried safely when it’s being used on the road. This is also known as gross vehicle weight.

Rules for the vehicle you use

Check the rules for the car you can use for the practical driving test.

Extra rules for the trailer test

You must tow a minimum weight for the practical test.

Trailers must have a minimum real weight of 800 kg and carry a minimum load of 600 kg of aggregates or 1 intermediate bulk container (IBC) of 1,000 kg or 600 kg capacity when filled with water. You can read more about rules covering load requirements.

The trailer must have an MAM of at least 1 tonne. The examiner may ask for evidence of the trailer’s MAM, eg the manufacturer’s plate.


The vehicle must be fitted with:

bulletexternally mounted nearside and offside mirrors (for the examiner to use)
bulleta device that shows the trailer’s indicators are working properly

Brakes and coupling

All vehicle combinations must have appropriate brakes and use a coupling arrangement that’s suitable for the weight of the trailer.

Trailer cargo compartment

This must:

bulletbe a closed box body
bulletbe at least as wide and as high as the towing vehicle

What happens during the test

Before you start the driving ability part of your test, you’ll have an eyesight check and be asked 5 vehicle safety questions.

The eyesight check

You’ll have to read a number plate from a distance of:

bullet20 metres for vehicles with a new-style number plate
bullet20.5 metres for vehicles with an old-style number plate

Vehicle safety questions: ‘show me, tell me’

You’ll be asked 5 vehicle safety questions. These are also known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.

The examiner will ask you ‘show me’ questions, where you will have to show them how you would carry out a vehicle safety check.

You’ll also be asked ‘tell me’ questions, where you’ll have to explain to the examiner how you’d carry out the check.

Driving ability

You’ll drive in various road and traffic conditions. If possible, these should include:

bulletone-way systems

You’ll also be asked to do around 10 minutes of independent driving.

Reversing exercise

You’ll have to show that you can manoeuvre your car and trailer in a restricted space and stop at a certain point.

Uncoupling and recoupling

During the test you’ll be asked to uncouple and couple your car and trailer.

  1. DVSA Fees:(2018)

It costs £115 to take the test on a weekday and £141 during evenings, weekends or bank holidays.

You must bring your driving licence - the photocard. You must take your signed driving licence and a valid passport if you have an old-style paper licence.

Your test will be cancelled and you will lose your fee if you do not bring the right documents.

No theory test is required.

For information on our training fees please go to the following link page


In Summery

You will need

  1. The minimum of a full car driving licence (category B)
  2. A road legal vehicle fit for purpose
  3. A trailer fit for purpose*
  4. A secure recognised load*

* We supply

Tom and Andrew will provide professional comprehensive practical training to reach the DVLA test standard. They will also book your practical driving test at the completion of training.

For further information please contact

Tom Prentice

Tel. 01896 822452



 Tel: +44(0)1896 822452