Towing rules in the UK

Before you buy a touring caravan there are certain things you must know about actually towing a caravan. For instance can I tow a caravan with my licence?

Can I legally tow a caravan?

If you passed your driving test after 1 January 1997 and have an ordinary category B (car) licence, you can: Drive a vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes or 3,500kg MAM towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM. Tow a trailer over 750kg MAM as long as the combined weight of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg

What you can tow

The rules on what you can tow are different depending on when you passed your driving test.

View your driving licence information to see if you’re allowed to tow.

Licences issued from 1 January 1997

If you passed your car driving test on or after 1 January 1997 you can:

  • Drive a car or van up to 3,500kg maximum authorised mass (MAM) towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM
  • Tow a trailer over 750kg MAM as long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg

MAM is the limit on how much the vehicle can weigh when it’s loaded

You have to pass the car and trailer driving test if you want to tow anything heavier.

Licences issued before 1 January 1997

If you passed your car test before 1 January 1997 you’re usually allowed to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8,250kg MAM. View your driving licence information to check.

You’re also allowed to drive a minibus with a trailer over 750kg MAM.

Booking your test

You can book your car and trailer driving test when you’ve got a full car driving licence. You don’t need to pass another theory test.

The test is sometimes called the ‘B+E test’. Check the rules to see if you need to take it.

To pass the driving test you must be able to:

  • Drive safely in different road and traffic conditions
  • Show that you know The Highway Code by the way you drive

The national standard for driving cars tells you everything you must be able to do to pass the test. Only take your test when you can do everything without instruction.

There’s no minimum number of lessons you must have done before you book and take your test.

Can I still tow a caravan after age 70?

Towing a caravan if you’re over the age of 70. Once you reach the age of 70, your driving licence will expire and you will need to renew your licence every three years if you want to continue driving. However, if you already hold the B+E licence category prior to your licence expiry, you will retain the entitlement when your licence is renewed.

Can I tow a caravan with a c1 Licence?

So you can tow a trailer or a small two-person caravan, as long as it states on the caravan’s plate that it has a GVM of 750 kg or less. … You are only allowed to tow a caravan with a GVM of 750kg or lighter (and nothing heavier) with these two heavy vehicle driver’s licences, just like with the Code B for motor vehicles.

Do I need insurance to tow a caravan?

While insurance for your car is a legal requirement, because a touring caravan is towed insurance isn’t mandatory. … Even if you are covered for towing, your car policy probably won’t cover you for theft of your caravan and other risks – for that you need specialised caravan insurance.

Can you tow a caravan with an automatic?

Some cars with automatic transmissions are also equipped with a tow/haul mode that can come in handy. However, if you’re towing off-road on uneven ground, manual transmissions can trump automatic ones. … This is because towing large loads with a manual can damage the clutch from shifting gears.

What cars are best for towing caravans?

Towing capapcity is the maximum weight a car can tow safely and legally.

To work out the towing capacity you only need to know two key figures: the kerbweight of the car and the maximum mass of the caravan (called ‘maximum technically permissible laden mass’, or MTPLM). If the mass of the caravan is 85% or less of the car’s kerbweight, the car will tow it with ease.

If it’s between 85% and 100%, be careful – only experienced caravanners should use that car to tow such a heavy van.

But if the caravan is heavier than the car, that cars must not be used as a towing vehicle. This calculation is known by experts as ‘outfit matching’.

Where do I find the important weight figures?

You can find the kerbweight of your car in the owner’s manual, sometimes on a plate on the door sill or sometimes on the V5 registration document (look for the figure ‘G: Mass In Service’).

The weight of the caravan is usually listed on a plate near the door frame, but the manufacturer should also be able to tell you.

What else do I need to know?

Other key figures to watch for are that the maximum width of the trailer does not exceed 2.55 metres, and the maximum length of the car and the trailer does not exceed 7 metres.

Best Cars for Towing

  • Nissan Qashqai
  • Volkswagen Passat
  • Land Rover Discovery
  • Jaguar XF
  • Skoda Octavia
  • Ford Mondeo
  • Audi A6
  • Kia Sorento

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