Do you need to take your caravan practical driving test?

Many of our new touring caravan customers ask us whether you need a separate license in order to legally tow your leisure vehicle on the road.

If you obtained your driving licence before 1st January 1997 then there’s no need for you to worry: your licence automatically entitles you to tow most touring caravans and trailers.

If, however, you passed your driving test after this date, the rules are a little different. A standard category B or category B1 license means you are qualified to drive a vehicle that weighs up to 3,500kg and tows a trailer up to 750kg. This has a total combined weight of 4,250kg, known as Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM).

With regards to touring caravans, these must also fall within the 4,250kg MAM regulations. If you have a lighter car you can tow a heavier caravan – for instance, a 3,000kg car can tow a 1,250kg car – however the caravan’s mass must not be heavier than the unladen weight of the towing vehicle.

Those of you who are planning to tow a trailer or leisure vehicle with a greater MAM will need to possess a category B+E license, which will involve taking a driving test if you obtained your license after the January 1997 cut-off point.

There is no need to take another theory test, you just need to sit a practical examination at your nearest centre for lorries and buses. Your trailer or caravan must have a minimum MAM of one tonne and not be carrying any goods. Your towing vehicle must also have externally mounted nearside and offside mirrors for the examiner to use.

The contest will begin with an eyesight check and five safety questions to prove knowledge or your vehicle and towing object. You will then be asked to perform manoeuvres and demonstrate your general driving skills.

All exams involve a reversing exercise at the test centre, while in addition you will be required to demonstrate your ability to couple and recouple whatever you are towing. Click here to find out more about the practical test.

Coast offers comprehensive touring caravan insurance to make sure you’re covered whether your leisure vehicle is on the road, at the campsite or in storage. Contact our UK based sales team on Freephone 0800 614 849 or visit our Quotation Page.