Driving licence rules: Can I legally tow a caravan?
If you are considering buying a caravan it is important that you know the rules on what you can tow.
Unfortunately, things are not all that straightforward and the weight limits on what you can tow will depend on when you passed your driving test. If you obtained your full licence before 1st January 1997 you are entitled to tow a heavier combination of car and caravan than if you passed you’re your test after that date.
Licences held from 1st January 1997
If you passed your driving test after 1st January 1997 and have an ordinary category B car licence, you are entitled to drive a vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes or 3,500kg towing a trailer of up to 750kg
Alternatively you can tow a trailer over 750kg as long as the combined weight of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg.
It is important to note that all these weights refer to the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) of the car or trailer – that’s the gross weight including luggage.
If you want to drive a heavier combination you will need to take a category B+E driving test.
The Camping and Caravanning Club warns that this is a challenging test and that most people will want to have some professional tuition before attempting it. The club runs courses to help drivers reach the required standard, or they can find out more about local training organisations through the Driving Standards Agency.
Licences held before 1st 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. You are also entitled 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 tonnes MAM.
If you would like further details then this is a good place to start – click here.