Article by Martyn Raybould Engineer Aftercare

New Rules Towing Caravans Changes Updating Caravan Owners. These will apply from September 2021, but it will be a short while before the actual law starts. Read what the new rules will be below. If you would like to hear more up to date news on Caravan and Motorhoming from Engineer Aftercare Warranty FREE. Just sign up for our E-newsletters;

  • what is currently allowed to tow
  • licences issued before 1 January 1997
  • you are 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 8,250kg maximum authorised mass (MAM). View your driving licence information to check.

  • you are allowed to drive a minibus with a trailer of over 750kg MAM
  • MAM is the limit on how much the vehicle can weigh when it’s loaded
  • 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, currently you can drive either of the following:

  • car or van up to 3,500kg MAM towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM (up to 4,250kg in total)
  • trailer over 750kg MAM, as long as it is no more than the unladen weight of the towing vehicle ( up to 3,500kg in total )
  • you’ve had to pass a car and trailer driving test if you want to tow anything heavier

If you passed your car driving test from 19 January 2013, currently you can drive either of the following;

  • car or van up to 3,500kg MAM towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM (up to 4,250kg in total)
  • trailer over 750kg MAM as long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg
  • you had to pass a car and trailer driving test if you wanted to tow anything heavier

What will change later in 2021

  • If you passed your car driving test from 1 January 1997
  • you will be allowed to tow trailers up to 3,500kg MAM when the law changes.

The 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 this will happen automatically

The date the law will change has not yet been confirmed. Sign up for email alerts to be told when the law changes.

  • Car and trailer driving tests stopping from 20 September 2021
  • Car and trailer driving tests are stopping before the law changes

You can no longer book or take a car and trailer driving test from 20 September 2021. However, the law will not change until later in 2021. 

What can we do until the law changes? 

Until the law changes later in autumn 2021, 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 £1,000 banned from driving and get up to 6 penalty points on your driving licence if you tow anything heavier before the law changes. You’re only allowed to tow anything heavier if you’re being supervised and 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
  • has had category BE on their driving licence for at least 3 years

Driving a car and trailer for the first time

It’s best to take training from a driving instructor if you want to start driving a car and trailer. The ‘National standard for driving cars and light vans’ tells you about the skills, knowledge and understanding you need to tow a trailer or caravan.

You can also read about:

  • why learning to tow is important
  • safety checks you should do when you’re towing a trailer or caravan with a car
  • If you’d booked a car and trailer driving test
  • Your car and trailer driving test will not go ahead if it was due to take place on or after 20 September 2021.

If you booked the test yourself, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has automatically cancelled it for you. You’ll get a full refund within 5 working days.

  • If your driving instructor booked your test for you, talk to them about what happens next.
  • You cannot get a refund or compensation for any training that you’ve taken to help you prepare to take the test.
  • If you had previously passed a car and trailer driving test
  • You cannot get a refund or compensation for any training that you took to help you prepare to take a car and trailer driving test.You also cannot get a refund for any tests you took. Published 10 September 2021.

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New Rules Towing Caravans Changes Updating Caravan Owners

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New Rules Towing Caravans Changes Updating Caravan Owners