Do I need to do a trailer towing test?
If you sat your car test after 1 Jan 1997 you will not have the ‘E’ entitlement on your licence. In simple terms this means you may only tow a trailer up to 750kg behind a car. If you wish to tow anything bigger such as a horse box, plant trailer or some larger caravans, you will need to sit a Driving Standards Agency test with MT Training Services for car and trailer (category B+E). If you are using it for work you may also need an operator’s licence and tachograph.
If you already have the entitlement but have never towed before we strongly recommend you attend our trailer safety course.
So what does the law say?
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.
Licences issued from 19 January 2013
From 19 January 2013, drivers passing a category B (car and small vehicle) test can tow:
If you want to tow a trailer weighing more than 750kg, when the combined weight of the towing vehicle and trailer is more than 3,500kg, you’ll have to pass a further test and get B+E entitlement on your licence.
You’ll then be able to tow trailers up to 3,500kg.
Licences held from 1 January 1997
If you passed your driving test after 1 January 1997 and have an ordinary category B (car) licence, you can drive either:
For anything heavier you need to take a category B+E driving test.
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 is the weight of a vehicle or trailer including the maximum load that can be carried safely when it’s being used on the road.
You also have entitlement to drive a minibus with a trailer over 750kg MAM.
Towing heavier combinations
If you want to tow heavier combinations, you’ll have to first apply for provisional entitlement to the new C1+E entitlement. You’ll then have to pass the category C theory test and C1+E practical test with MT Training Services.
Once you’ve done this you can drive vehicles and trailers with a combined weight of up to 12 tonnes MAM.
Car towing weight and width limits
Most cars have a maximum weight of what they can tow. It’s usually listed in the handbook or specification sheet.
Alternatively the vehicle’s gross train weight may be listed on the vehicle identification number (VIN) plate on the car. This is normally under the bonnet or inside the driver’s door. The gross train weight is the weight of the fully loaded car plus fully loaded trailer and must not be exceeded.
If your VIN plate doesn’t list a train weight, you should not use your vehicle for towing.
Width and length
The maximum trailer width for any towing vehicle is 2.55 metres. The maximum length is 7 metres for a trailer towed by a vehicle weighing up to 3.5 tonnes (3,500 kilograms).
If you’re in any doubt – get in touch!
01684 773548 or call Tony direct on 07773 368862