RTVs are a step up from TYROs, as more severe terrain may be used and therefore greater skill and experience are required. An RTV should still be non-body damaging to sensibly prepared production vehicles and all vehicles must be fully road legal, with tax (if applicable), MOT and insurance.
RTVs are run as trials, which means you drive through pairs of canes (gates) which indicate the route. A RTV isn't about speed or finishing in the shortest time, it's about planning and precision driving though terrain which may be hilly, bumpy, muddy, sandy, gravely and/or partially flooded
Competitors have to navigate through 10-12 gates without stopping, rolling back or touching a cane. Some gates may be hidden by natural features of the land and you're not allowed to cross your own tracks between a gate, therefore, planning is essential so that you can remember your route. Long wheelbase vehicles such as Defender 110, Range Rover and Discovery are allowed a manoeuvre called a Shunt, whereby you can call "Shunt" loudly before stopping, and then reverse in order to make a turn. A Shunt is available once and once only per section.
Gates start at 12 or 10 (depending on section length) and each time you pass through a gate without touching the canes, you receive the score of the next gate. If a cane is touched, you will receive the score of that gate (for example, if you get your front wheel through gate 2, and then stop you will get a score of 1. However, if you clipped a cane for gate 2, you'll score 2). If the section is completed without stopping or touching a cane, you'll get a clear score which is zero points (and normally a round of applause!). This is not a timed event, and the winner is the driver who scores the lowest points.
Trophies are awarded in classes according to various eligibility categories, such as on vehicle length and type.