New Laws for Towing a Trailer In the UK

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New Laws for Towing a Trailer In the UK

Were you aware as of today (20th September 2021) the rules regarding towing a trailer or a caravan in the UK are changing? The new laws in place will affect you differently depending on when you passed your car driving test. Read on to find out how these new rules might affect you so you’re always legal while on the road.

 

What Were the Previous Towing Laws?

Licences Issued Before 1st January 1997

 

Changes will not affect those who have had their licences issued before 1st January 1997. This means you will continue to be allowed to drive a vehicle and trailer with a combined weight of up to 8,250kg maximum authorised mass (MAM). Those in this category are also allowed to drive a minibus with a trailer that weighs over 750kg, MAM.

Note: MAM is the upper loading limit for the vehicle (maximum weight when loaded).

 

Licences Issued Between 1st January 1997 & 18th January 2013

 

Those in this category are have previously been able to drive the following:

  • A van or car up to 3,500kg MAM towing a trailer up to 750kg MAM (total MAM of 4,250kg).

  • A trailer that is over 750kg MAM, but no heavier than the unladen weight of the towing vehicle (up to a total weight of 3,500kg).

To tow anything heavier than the above you would have had to take a car and trailer driving test to gain the endorsement.

 

Licences Issued After 19th January 2013

 

Those who passed their car driving test after 19th January 2013 have previously been able to drive the following combinations.

  • A van or car weighing up to 3,500kg MAM while towing a trailer up to 750kg MAM (total MAM 4,250kg).

  • A trailer over 750kg MAM as long as the combined weight of trailer and vehicle does not exceed 3,500kg, MAM.

To tow anything heavier than the above you would have had to take a car and trailer driving test to gain the endorsement.

 

What Happens After 20th September 2021?

 

The new laws have been set out to simplify the rules regarding towing. They state that those who passed their car driving test after the 1st January 1997 will now be allowed to tow a trailer and vehicle combination up to 3,500kg MAM.

The DVLA will automatically update your driving licence record so there is no need to take any further action. When you receive your new driving licence photocard you will automatically receive the BE category endorsement to show you are allowed to do this. View this information on the government website. As previously mentioned, those who passed their car driving test before 1st January 1997 will remain unaffected by these changes.

 

Driving Licensing

If You’re New to Towing

 

Those who are new to towing are still encouraged to get towing lessons before going out on the road with a trailer – though this is now not mandatory. The National Standard For Driving Cars & Light Vans sets out a range of skills and the knowledge you should have before taking a car and trailer onto the road.