Car Trials

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What is a Trial?

Trialling is a form of motor sport that began as a necessity; as the name suggests, in the pioneering days of motoring it was necessary to ‘trial’ prototypes of new cars to ensure their reliability by putting them through their paces in the most challenging of ways.  Today, a trial is a popular competitor sport and provides great entertainment for spectators – providing they come fully prepared to get muddy!
Competitors attempt to climb a number of hills known as  ‘Sections’. The aim is to climb each Section without stopping or hitting a course marker. The Section may include twists and turns and in some cases a ‘Stop and Restart’ where the driver must bring his car to a halt, usually on a particularly steep part of the Section, and then continue to climb the hill. Typically each event will consist of between 12 and 16 Sections spread around the local area.

Each competitor will receive a score between 0 and 25 for each Section depending on how far they travel up the hill, or not as the case may be! The score is determined by the course markers running up the right-hand side of the Section, with the competitor receiving a score for the last marker they successfully pass. Each Section is set out with number 1 at the bottom and number 25 at the top. All of the scores for each Section are combined at the end of the day, and the Competitor with the highest combined score wins.

Our Trials are divided into Classes for short and long wheelbase and then sub-divided into ‘Standard’ cars and ‘Modified and Special’ cars.

Competitors must carry passengers who are called ‘Bouncers’. Bouncing gives the car more grip and helps it to travel further up the hill and score more points. These passengers do not need to be members of the VSCC and is an ideal way to involve friends and family in Club motor sport.

Why enter a VSCC Trial?

Trialling with the VSCC is hugely popular and is proud of its extremely social and welcoming atmosphere. A great way to get involved with the trialling community is to either bounce or marshal prior to starting to drive, as you are sure to make friends who will help you out along the way once you are competing in your own car!

Some thoughts from Club Members:

‘A very enjoyable trial, the Cotswold has developed into one of the best on the calendar with a good variety of non-damaging hills and an excellent venue at Prescott. Thanks to David Rushton for giving Steve a fright, pity I missed it! I would like to second Steve’s congratulations to Mags, a very worthy winner of the Championship who has not lost sight of the fact that at the end of the day it is all about having FUN!’ Malcolm Parker

‘Another Excellent weekend, well done Richard Parsons for winning for the second year, if he wins next year does he keep the Trophy, or get banned! Amazing weather, we walked round above Derwent Water this morning before setting off home, I did 90% of it in shirtsleeves, more like May than November!’ David Barker

‘Fantastic day had by all as always! Many thanks to all superb marshals who had smiling faces even through the rain. Shame we did not get to the last hill in Beeley, but clearing and finishing at Beeley Plantation was a great end to the day. Thanks for keeping the hill open for us last few who were in the queue. Looking forward to the Herefordshire!’ Rachel Bolton-King

Where are our Trials?

We hold seven trials a year in some of the most idyllic locations in the UK; Exmoor, Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Scotland, Wales, The Lake District and The Cotswolds.

All of these events are based in rural areas where the local community welcome our competitors, marshals and organisers each year. These events include a large social element, particularly the 2 day events, at which the evening before or after the competition may include a film show or organised supper.

Competitors and Marshals can expect to be treated to a variety of different conditions and settings for the Sections on each event, with hills being based on every type of land from fields to forests and moorland to moss covered rock!

How do I enter?

As with all VSCC events, there are three ways you can enter:
  • Online  (click here
  • Download a PDF entry form and send it back by either post, email or fax (details at the bottom of the page)
  • Send a SAE to the Club office for a entry form (address att he bottom of the page)
In terms of memberships and licences, the driver has to be a VSCC member, the bouncers/passengers do not. You do not need a Motorsport UK Competition licence for Trials.

If an event is over subscribed we select the final entries in line with the Clubs selection criteria (click here)

Technical Requirements

Your car will require a Eligibility Document (Buff Form), if you don’t already have one of these please click here (click here)

To see the Technical and Safety Requirements (Click here)

To see relevant VSCC documents (Click here)

This list is not exhaustive; you will also need to consult the current year's Motorsport UK Competitors' and Officials' Yearbook in addition to individual event Supplementary Regulations.


The first trial held by the VSCC took place on 20 January 1935, based in the Chilterns. This trial featured 25 starters, including names of importance in the Clubs history such as Cecil Clutton, Tim Carson and Harry Bowler.

Trialling continued to be of significance through the decades for the Club, with many of our trials having their foundations firmly laid decades ago. The most notable of these is the Welsh Trial, which is the trial with the longest running continuous history within the Club, and celebrated its 70th Anniversary in 2009.

Since 1935 entry levels have increased from 25 to 110 cars and trialling has become one of the core sporting and social activities within the Club.


We always need lots of marshals for a Trial. Duties will typically involve marshalling on a hill which involves observing the cars on the Sections and allocating penalties for any markers which are hit and filling in the competitors scorecards.

Volunteers are also required for the administrative roles of signing on, and results co-ordination.

If you would like to get involved and help by marshalling at a Trial please click here