If you have already passed your D1 licence then you can tow a trailer with a maximum weight of 750kg. In order to tow a heavier trailer to need to have the D1+E category added to your licence. This will allow you to drive a minibus and trailer with a combined maximum allowable mass of 12,000kg.
The good news is that if you have already passed your D1 driving test, then you already have provisional D1+E entitlement. This means you do not need to have another medical or take another theory test, you can start the practical test training immediately .
The practical test is identical to the test you took for your D1 licence, just with a trailer attached. The current cost for this is £115.
At the beginning of the test you will be asked five vehicle safety (Show Me, Tell Me) questions. These questions along with model answers are shown later.
You will be examined on your general driving, a reversing exercise, hitching and unhitching exercise and on road drive.
The reversing exercise takes place at the test centre. It involves you reversing the minibus and trailer in a ‘S’ shape, finishing in a ‘garage’ made from cones and with the rear of the trailer being within 1 metre of the rear of the ‘garage’.
The unhitching and hitching up exercise also take place at the test centre. You will be asked to unhitch the trailer from your minibus, and then park it alongside the trailer. Once you have completed this you will be asked to perform an inspection of the trailer before reversing up to the trailer, unaided and hitching the trailer back on to your minibus.
You will then take to the road for a 50 minutes driving assessment. During the road part of the driving test the examiner will give you directions which you should follow. Test routes are designed to be as uniform as possible and will include a range of typical road and traffic conditions. During your training you will drive on the routes that you are likely to drive on during your test. You will be asked to pull up at the side of the road on several occasions. On one occasion you will be asked to pull up and ‘service’ a bus stop. The test also includes an uphill and downhill start. There will be a 10-minute independent driving period where you will be asked to follow signs for a particular destination or given 3 directions to follow. If you make a mistake, don't worry about it, it might be a less serious driving fault and may not affect your result.
The examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving. You can make up to 15 driving faults and still pass the test (16 or more driving faults will mean a failure). However, if you commit one serious or dangerous fault you will fail the test.
When the driving test is over, the examiner will tell you whether you passed or failed. The examiner will give you feedback on your performance during the test.
If you pass, the examiner will issue you with a pass certificate and offer to send your licence away for you to have the D1 category added to it.
The good news is that, in addition to gaining your D1+E licence category you will also automatically be given the B+E licence category (Car and Trailer). This means you can drive a car up to 3,500kg and trailer up to 3,500kg, total weight 7,000kg.