Towing and the Law

5 Jun 2016

The information below will provide you with guidance on what you can and can’t tow with a car. The rules on what you can legally tow differ 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:

  • small trailers weighing no more than 750kg
  • a trailer over 750kg as long as the combined weight of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg (3.5 tonnes) Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM)

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 a vehicle up to 3,500kg MAM towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM
  • tow a trailer over 750kg MAM as long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg

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’re generally entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8,250kg 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.

Once you’ve done this you can drive vehicles and trailers with a combined weight of up to 12,000kg MAM.

 

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