Minimum test vehicle requirements for a car and car and trailer test
The minimum test vehicle requirements for a car also apply to a car and trailer test, with additional requirements for the towing vehicle and trailer. Vehicles that don't meet the minimum test vehicle requirements aren't suitable for the purpose of the test, so your test will be cancelled and you will lose your fee.
Category B - cars
Cars presented for test must:
- have four wheels
- have a maximum authorised mass (MAM) not exceeding 3,500 kilograms (kgs)
- be capable of a speed of at least 100 kilometres per hour (km/h) or 62.5 miles per hour (mph)
- have a seatbelt for the examiner
- have a passenger head restraint (this needn't be adjustable but must be fitted as an integral part of the seat - 'slip on' type head restraints aren't permitted)
- an interior mirror for the examiner's use
- L-plates which are clearly visible from the front and rear of the vehicle and don't interfere with the driver's or examiner's view
- a speedometer that measures speed in miles per hour and kilometres per hour
- rear seats and seat belts
- be unladen
The vehicle must comply with all legal requirements and be in a roadworthy condition. There must be no warning lights showing once the vehicle is in motion, for example, the ABS warning light and/or the airbag warning light must be extinguished.
Combinations of a motor vehicle and trailer where-
- the tractor vehicle is in category B
- the maximum authorised mass of the trailer exceeds 750kgs; and
- the maximum authorised mass of the combination exceeds 3,500kgs but does not exceed 4,250kgs
B96 will not be granted in Northern Ireland as a licence entitlement category but will be accepted as an exchange category.
Category B+E - Car & Trailer
A combination of a minimum test vehicle for category B, towing an unladen trailer of at least 1,000kgs MAM (the examiner may ask for evidence of the trailer MAM, displayed on the manufacturer's plate), which is capable of a speed of at least 100 km/h (62.5 mph) on the level, and does not fall within category B:
- the cargo compartment of the trailer must consist of a closed box body which is at least as wide and at least as high as the corresponding dimensions of the towing vehicle
- the closed box body may be slightly less wide than the towing vehicle provided that the view to the rear is only possible by use of the external rear-view mirrors of the towing vehicle
- your vehicle must be fitted with head restraint for the front passenger seat and have front and rear seats fitted with properly anchored and functioning seat belts
- it must also be fitted with externally mounted nearside and offside mirrors that are suitable for use by the examiner from his or her seating position
- rear seats must be forward facing
Note: the vehicle combination must display L-plates which are clearly visible from the front and rear of the vehicle and don't interfere with the driver's or examiner's view
All vehicle combinations must operate on appropriate brakes and utilise a coupling arrangement suitable for the weight. The trailer must also be fitted with a jockey wheel or stand.
Unsuitable vehicles for Category B tests
The vast majority of hatchbacks, saloons, and estate cars are suitable for the driving test, but increasingly the designers of cars are producing models with sweeping lines which have good forward vision but have large blind spots to the rear and present examiners with problems of observation.
Vehicles supplied by motor manufacturers have obviously been through the type approval process, but this approval concentrates on vehicles from a driver’s point of view and such a process doesn't necessarily make the vehicle suitable for the purposes of the driving test.
Vehicles for test must allow examiners all round vision to allow them to see approaching vehicles, particularly when the car is at an angle to other vehicles during reversing manoeuvres and also when emerging at a junction with the vehicle at an angle to the major road.
For example, the Ford KA convertible, Mini convertible and VW Beetle convertible are unsuitable due to the lack of all round vision for the examiner. Also, the Toyota iQ has been risk-assessed and is also unsuitable for the practical driving test.
If you propose to use a convertible vehicle or any vehicle where the view to the rear is limited please check its suitability by contacting the test centre prior to your test date.
Vehicle recalls and safety notices
Vehicles are sometimes not suitable for a practical driving test because they are subject to a manufacturer recall, or because a fault has been identified that requires manufacturer/dealer rectification.
In these circumstances, these vehicles are not suitable for a practical driving test unless the candidate can provide documentary evidence from a dealer, or the vehicle manufacturer, to prove that their test vehicle meets one of the criteria below:
- the recall work has been carried out
- the vehicle has been checked and no work is necessary
- the vehicle is exempt from the recall work