Changes to trailer testing and licencing (B+E)

The UK Government has confirmed that the regulations surrounding trailer testing and licensing have changed. The new change allows anyone who has passed their car driving test to be automatically awarded category BE (B+E) entitlement, allowing them to pull tow trailers up to 3500kg MAM behind a car or light van.

The DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency) will update driving licence records for all those the change applies to – category ‘BE’ will also be added to photocard driving licenses when renewed to show that you are allowed to tow trailers.

Changes had previously been expected to be confirmed in November after DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) confirmed in September its intention to change the law in an effort to free up testing capacity to tackle the LGV/HGV driver shortage.

The BE change follows the third part of the Government’s reform to vocational driver testing in order to free up testing capacity and get more LGV/HGV drivers into the logistics industry. On 15th November, the law changed to allow a car licence holder to progress straight to category C+E without first passing category C, and also to allow accredited individuals in the training sector to examine the reversing exercise of category C and C+E tests. 

While this change means a driver is now legally entitled to drive combinations that require the BE entitlement without further training, operators and employers should be aware of their obligations under operator licensing and also health and safety legislation to ensure their drivers or employees are properly trained to conduct safely the duties expected in their job.

Members may also want to check with their insurance provider as to whether further measures are required for drivers under the BE entitlement. 

For further information or to find out how the changes affect you, click here.