Towing Licences and The Law

If you passed a car test on or after 1 January 1997 you can only drive vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) (or gross weight) towing a trailer up to 750kgs MAM, OR a vehicle and trailer combination of up to 3.5 tonnes MAM. You will need to pass an additional driving test in B+E if you wish to tow a caravan or trailer combination which exceeds these weight limits.

If you wish to tow a large trailer, for example a caravan or horse box, you will need categories B+E if the MAM of the combination exceeds 3.5 tonnes. As a rule of thumb something like a 2.0 litre diesel Ford Focus would normally be able to tow a small caravan without the driver having B+E. A combination larger than this is likely to require the B+E entitlement to drive legally. This example is a guide only and you should check the MAM of the car and trailer to ensure you are legal.

You can see if you already have the entitlement to tow a trailer that meets these requirements by checking the back of your photocard licence. If it has B + E then you can tow a combination over 3.5 tonnes MAM. If you only have B, you will need to take an additional test to tow a combined MAM with a braked trailer of more than 3.5 tonnes.

If you are in any doubt, check in the manufacturer’s handbook of your vehicle, and check the plate on the trailer for the MAM.

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