New Rules for Towing Trailers

Posted on 19th December 2021

New rules for towing a trailer with a car come into effect from December 2021

Applies to England, Scotland and Wales

There are different rules for towing in Northern Ireland.

If you passed your driving test before Jan 1997, drivers were permitted to tow a trailer with a car without an additional driving test.  If you passed your test after Jan 1997, you were required to take an additional test but from 16 Dec 2021, this requirement has been rescinded.

All drivers who have passed their driving test are now allowed to tow trailers up to 3,500kg Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM).  The Category BE will be added automatically to your license if this was not already on the license.  This will appear when you next apply for a new license.

There are two weights that you should be aware of:

When towing you must not exceed the GTW (vehicle and trailer weight combined) and MAM (trailer weight loaded).  Most 4×4 vehicles will be able to tow the maximum MAM permitted but some cars may have the effective MAM limited by a reduced GTW.

To tow a horse trailer is a huge responsibility, with potentially awful consequences if you get it wrong.  If you have never driven a car and trailer combination before, we strongly recommend that you take training from a driving instructor.  There are also some specific training courses run nationally run by organizations such as the Caravan and Motorhome Club.  You should also ensure that your trailer is regularly serviced to confirm that the lights and braking systems are functioning correctly.

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