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New rules for towing a trailer or caravan with a car will come into force


By David Porter

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There will be new rules about towing a trailer or caravan with a car which are now set yo come into force later this year.

The rules on what you can tow are different depending on when you passed your car driving test and the new rules will still depend on when you originally passed your car driving test.

For licences issued before 1 January 1997 - You will not be affected by the changes if you passed your car driving test before 1 January 1997.

You’re usually allowed to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8250kg maximum authorised mass (MAM).

View your driving licence information to check.

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

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

For licences issued from 1 January 1997 to 18 January 2013 - If you passed your car driving test from 1 January 1997 to 18 January 2013, you can currently drive either of the following:

A car or van up to 3500kg MAM towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM (up to 4250kg in total).

A trailer over 750kg MAM, as long as it is no more than the unladen weight of the towing vehicle (up to 3500kg in total).

You’ve had to pass a car and trailer driving test if you want to tow anything heavier.

Licences issued from 19 January 2013 - If you passed your car driving test from 19 January 2013, you can currently drive either of the following:

A car or van up to 3500kg MAM towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM (up to 4250kg in total).

A trailer over 750kg MAM as long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3500kg.

You’ve had to pass a car and trailer driving test if you want to tow anything heavier.

The law is going to change later in 2021.

It will mean that if you passed your car driving test from 1 January 1997, you’ll be allowed to tow trailers up to 3500kg MAM without taking a car and trailer driving test.

Car and trailer driving tests are stopping ahead of the law changing.

This means you can no longer book or take a car and trailer driving test from September 20.

However, the law about what you can tow will not change until later in autumn 2021.

What you can do until the law changes-

You must continue to follow the current rules about what you’re allowed to tow based on when you passed your car driving test.

You can be fined up to £1000 if you tow anything heavier before the law changes later in autumn 2021.

You’re only allowed to tow anything heavier if you’re being supervised.

When you’re being supervised, you must -

Display L plates to the front of the car and the rear of the trailer.

Be accompanied by a person who’s at least 21 years old and has had category BE on their driving licence for at least three years.

What happens when the law changes-

When the law changes, you’ll be allowed to tow trailers up to 3500kg MAM if you passed your car driving test from 1 January 1997.

DVLA will update your driving licence record to show that you’re allowed to tow trailers.

You’ll get category BE added to your driving licence when you get a new photocard driving licence.

You do not need to contact DVLA for this to happen, it will be done automatically.

The date the law will change has not yet been confirmed however.

If you’d booked a car and trailer driving test before September 20 your car and trailer driving test will go ahead as planned.

You can cancel your appointment if you no longer want to take the test.

If your driving instructor booked your test for you, talk to them about cancelling it.

If your test is up to and including Tuesday September 14, you’ll need to contact the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) after you’ve cancelled your test to get a refund.

From Wednesday September 15 to Sunday 19 you’ll automatically get a full refund when you cancel your test

Tests from September 20 will not go ahead if it was due to take place on or after September 20.

If you booked the test yourself, DVSA will automatically cancel it for you.

You’ll get a full refund within five working days.

You cannot get a refund or compensation for any training that you’ve taken to help you prepare to take the test.


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