The Berkshire Driving School  
Minibus & Taxi tuition 
  105 Sutherland Chase, Ascot. SL5 8TE
  Call: 07917-666366 

Berkshire Driving School Home Page



Please refer to GOV.UK for the definitive regulations covering car plus trailer towing. We did not 'cut 'n paste' but have re-jigged the official page.

The term MAM is the Maximum Authorised Mass which can usually be found on the vehicle registration document and trailer handbook. This information can also be found on the chassis or body of the two vehicles. When a car is attached to a trailer then the MAM is the total permitted weight of the vehicle combination.


You can drive an outfit with a combined MAM of 8.25 tonnes.
Go to view-driving-licence to check your permissions.
You should not exceed the towing vehicle's train weight, see VIN plate usually under bonnet or inside a door jamb.
The train weight is the maximum laden weight of towing vehicle plus the weight of the fully laden trailer.
The trailer should not exceed 2.55 metres in width and the bed should not exceed 7 metres.
The length added by the coupling and 'A' frame are free from inclusion in these regulations.


This is similar to the above except removal of the combined weight of 8.25 tonnes and replace with the MAM of the trailer being limited to 3.5 tonnes.
Since such drivers are limited to vehicles with a MAM of 3.5 tonnes, they are therefore limited to a maximum combination weight of 7 tonnes.


See the GOV.UK web site for regulations referring to mirrors, brakes, breakaway cable, number plate, type approval, safety checks and safe trailer operation.
Fines for non-compliance can result in points on your license and stiff fines.

Our Services, Our Experience and How We Can Help You

There is presently no compulsory training to pull a trailer with a car. However the government recommends that drivers new to towing should take some training. A badly coupled trailer can be lethal. Badly laden trailers can be unstable and wheels & tyres which have not been inspected could fail and cause the outfit to capsize or jack knife. We, of course, have the experience to train drivers new to towing to operate their rigs confidently.

Although we occasionally train from our Customer's facilities we much prefer to start from our office at SL5 8TE, 105 Sutherland Chase, Ascot. Link to map here... Streetmap

One of our trailer combinations
One of our trailer combinations

Training for the D1 test

It is illegal to train a driver to drive a minibus over 3.5 tonnes maximum authorised mass without having first passed a driving test to drive that class of vehicle. Grandfather rights are no longer considered to be a sufficient qualification. Our instructor has passed tests to drive the largest buses and articulated trucks. He has also passed the Approved Driver Instructor's Special Driving Test conducted at the examiner's training headquarters, Cardington. Additional qualifications include the Transport Manager's Exam (National and International), The Road Transport Industrial Training Board's HGV Instructor plus a number of advanced driving tests passes in lorries and cars. (IAM and RoSPA). Clearly, well qualified to train your staff to drive minibuses.


Minibus Assessments

Lightweight minibuses are frequently being used by schools and colleges. They still have a 17 seat capacity but when luggage is not to be carried, their laden mass will not exceed 7.5 tonnes. Many schools and colleges have a policy of checking that their staff are safe and competent to drive the organisations' minibuses. Because of our background in the transport industry we are called upon by many educational establishments to assess their staff. Drivers will be encouraged to adopt a smooth economical style of driving which, when applied to minibuses will ensure greater safety, lower operating costs and greater comfort for the passengers. Our instructor has also attended a MiDAS instructor's course which covered driving and operating accessible minibuses.

Familiarisation of Foreign Drivers to U.K. Roads

Many older drivers who have not driven on British roads come to us for short courses to gain confidence or to adapt to U.K. driving conditions. We can take their driving to a higher level and this will almost guarantee a DVSA* driving test pass if this is necessary.

*April 2014 the DSA (Driving Standards Agency) and VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) merged to form the DVSA or Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. (See wikipedia DSA and wikipedia VOSA ). The DVSA can be contacted here - contact-dvsa

Driving Style Update

Vehicles which comply with the latest Euro 6 Emissions Regulations (introduced 2014 and to be tightened up to Euro 7 in 2025) need to be driven in a specific manner to reduce premature damage to the engines' inlet system. Our instructors' background in Science and Mechanics makes him the ideal tutor to pass on the latest driving techniques needed do drive modern vehicles. Transport managers appreciate better drivers who reduce fleet running costs. Information on Euro 6 can be found here - Wikipedia - Passenger car Emissions

Taxi and Private Hire Driving Tests

Many drivers confess that they would never pass the driving test if they were to re-take it. Potential professional drivers need not fear the test - simple efficient driving will impress the Examiner - and the Candidate will save on his future vehicle operating costs.

Preparation for the Police Driving Course

It is not possible to drive safely at speed unless the driver has a good basic driving style which involves excellent forward planning and a sensitivity to vehicle dynamics. These qualities should be practiced until they become well established. This will result in a driving style which is safe, kind to the vehicle and will lower your running costs. Before embarking on an advanced driving test it is helpful to prepare yourself beforehand. We can help you. The Police Driving School at Hendon will then have a higher base standard of driving upon which to build. Met Police Driving

Our Charges

See our description page in the Blog for latest fees : HERE

This is our marking scheme

Driving Report

(You will need Adobe Acrobat Get Adobe Reader or any alternative PDF reader to read this document.)

Our Cars

Our training vehicles are Skoda Octavias.

Where are we? Click here...

Please note all information on this site is as correct as best endeavours can make it (Errors and Omissions excepted).
Copyright John Silvester ©2024. Please report website problems to webmaster Neil Manuel
Website revised on Saturday 24th March 2012. Last edited on Wednesday 3rd January 2024.