Driving licence rules and what you can tow
The rules on what you can tow are different depending on when you passed your driving test. In short if you passed your test from 1/1/1997 then you may well be extremely restricted in terms of towing unless you pass the Trailer Test (B+E Driving Licence).
If you passed your car test from 1 January 1997 onwards
If you passed your driving test from 1 January 1997 onwards and have an ordinary category B (car) licence, you can drive either:
a vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes or 3,500 kilograms (kg) Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM (with a combined weight of up to 4,250kg in total)
A trailer over 750kg MAM (with a combined GROSS* weight of the vehicle and trailer up to 3,500kg in total)
For anything heavier you need to take a category B+E driving test.
*GROSS Weight of the vehicle and trailer / caravan is the max both can possibly weigh – NOT WHAT THE WEIGHT OF VEHICLE AND TRAILER IS AT ANY TIME
For example if the weight of your vehicle is 1700kg and your caravan with its load is 1400kg you do not have a gross weight of 3100kg – it is the combined gross weights of both car and trailer that matters.
You need to know the gross weight of your vehicle and your caravan.
For Example : If you used a Landrover freelander that has a kerb weight of 2000kg, but has a gross weight of 2500kg and a caravan that has a gross weight of 1600kg then you always have a total gross weight of 4100 kg and you would need the B+E Licence.
See the Caravan and Motorhome Club advice for towing legally too :
Licences held before 1 January 1997
If you passed your car test before 1 January 1997 you are generally entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8.25 tonnes MAM. This means you do not need to take the B+E Driving Test and a Caravan and Motorhome Towing Course would be recommended.
What happens if I tow my caravan without the Licence ?
The possible Penalties for Towing Without a Valid Licence :
- 9 Penalty Points (3 For the missing Licence entitlement and 6 for no Insurance – owing to fact you are driving without a licence)
- A Maximum fine of approx £6000
- Possible impounding of your vehicle and caravan
- Zero Insurance Cover