If so, check the code on the back of your driving licence or you could face a £1,000 fine!

 

Drivers towing a caravan in the UK could without knowing be risking a huge fine because of an issue with their driving licence.

Towing rules changed a while ago in the UK, so anyone who got their driving licence after 1 January 1997 now have to follow different rules when it comes to towing a caravan or trailer compared to those who gained their driving licence before this date.

If you’re planning a trip with your caravan over the Easter holidays, you are advised to check beforehand as to whether you can legally tow or not, or if you must first take your Car and Trailer Driving Test, also known as the ‘B+E test’ – you should check the back of your driving licence to confirm the code.

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Drivers should check the code on the back of their driving licence before towing a caravan or trailer to avoid a hefty fine. © Copyright Basher Eyre and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

It’s important the driver knows the exact weight of the vehicle being used to tow the caravan or trailer, which on most vehicles can be found in the handbook or on the vehicle identification number plate located under the bonnet and the weight of the load to be carried.

A caravan being towed by a vehicle that weighs less than 3,500kg can be up to 7m long, excluding the A-frame, however the trailer width for any towing vehicle must not be more than 2.55m.

Drivers in the UK who passed their test by the end of 1996 can drive a combination of a vehicle and caravan or trailer up to a weight of 8,250kg which includes the load. They can even drive a minibus with a trailer weighing more than 750kg once loaded.

Motorists who gained their full driving licence after 1 January 1997 are only allowed to tow using a car or van weighing up to 3,500kg and with a trailer weighing up to 750kg. They can tow a heavier trailer but the total gross weight of the trailer combined with their vehicle’s maximum weight must not exceed 3,500kg in total when both are loaded.

You must also ensure that your caravan or trailer display the same number plate as the vehicle towing it and must have a working brake system if they are heavier than 750kg when loaded.

The driver must also make sure they have a clear view of the road behind them or they could be fined up to £1,000 and given three penalty points.

Motorists need to remember that the maximum speed limit is 60mph on dual carriageways and 50mph on other roads when towing a trailer or caravan.

 

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