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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Up to 12 weeks of a wait for BE (trailer) test – RSA

According to the Road Safety Authority (RSA), the national average time to invite for car tests (B licence) is currently 20 weeks, while for category BE tests, the national average time to invite is 10-12 weeks, writes farming journalist, Catherina Cunnane.

A category B+E licence allows a combination of drawing a vehicle in category B and a trailer where the MAM of the trailer is not greater than 3,500kgs.

On Thursday, April 27th, 2023, an RSA spokesperson told That’s Farming that the RSA service level agreement with the Department of Transport is to maintain an average waiting time of 10 weeks nationally for tests.

“The volume of people waiting for an invitation for a BE test nationally at the end of March 2023 was 814.”

“Additionally, 178 people had a scheduled test date. There are also 2,128 applications that were paused as invitations to book a test were issued to applicants, but these invitations were not used to book a test,” the spokesperson added.

The authority also provided this publication with a list of pass rates in each county for the BE test since 2014, along with the total number of tests booked.

The data from 2022 shows that 3,010 BE tests were booked in Ireland, with an 80.8% pass rate – we will publish a separate article on this.

Update in January 2023

This publication’s editor, Catherina Cunnane, contacted the authority in January of this year and was informed by an RSA spokesperson that “there is a slight BE test backlog which the RSA is working hard to reduce weekly”.

A spokesperson confirmed that “there are 535 customers currently waiting on a category BE test”,

“2,034 customers have been offered a test but have not booked as of January 20th, 2023.”

According to the spokesperson, 3,010 BE tests took place in 2022.

Meanwhile, the body revealed to us, the average number of driving tests that have taken place in BE over the past four years is 2,815.

Taking your BE test

For those who do not hold a full licence for towing a BE-type trailer, such as a general duty trailer, a livestock trailer or a horsebox, they will need to pass a practical driving test.

There are a number of key areas that you need to cover before attempting a practical driving test.

Once you have obtained your learner permit for your BE licence, in some cases, which make require you to complete a theory test, continue to familiarise yourself with the rules of the road booklet, as on the day of your practical driving test, the examiner will quiz your knowledge on this.

The RSA (Road Safety Authority) strongly recommends that you seek professional tuition from an Approved Driving Instructor, also known as an ADI, before your practical driving test.

In this news article on That’s Farming, we take a look at what happens on the day of your BE test.

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