Driving Licence Rules

What you can tow depends when you passed your driving test.

Here is all the information that you need.

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Driving Licence Rules

Towing Course

UK towing laws for trailers and caravans.

What can I tow?

If you are planning to tow a trailer or caravan with your car, then it’s important to know what the legal requirements are.

Read our guide for all you need to know to get you hitched up legally and away on your adventures.

What is MAM?

The term Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM), used in the context of driving licences, is the maximum weight of a vehicle or trailer including the maximum load that can be carried safely while used on the road. This is also known as gross vehicle weight (GVW) or maximum weight allowed.

The weight that you can tow depends when your driving licence was issued.

We have a guide on how to check the maximum towing weight allowed for you car here: Check your towing weight.

Do I need a towing licence?

Whether you intend to tow a trailer, caravan, or even a horsebox with your car you will need a full driving licence to do so.

From the 16th of December 2021 you do not need an additional towing licence as long as the trailer's Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) does not exceed 3,500kg.

The rules on what you can tow are different depending on when you passed your driving test. There are big differences between licences issued, before and after January 1997.

If you got your licence before 1 January 1997

As you can see on the driving licence below which was issued before 1997, most of the driving license categories are automatically included. With the exception of heavier HGV's and motorcycles, which still require a separate driving test.

You can usually drive a vehicle and trailer with a combined weight of up to 8,250kg MAM. View your driving licence information to check.

You’re also allowed to drive a minibus with a trailer over 750kg MAM.

Driving licence issued before January 1997.

If you got your licence after 1 January 1997

If you completed your driving test on or after 1 January 1997 you would have only had 4 classes on your driving licence, only allowing you to drive mopeds, cars, and smaller commercial vehicles.

You would previously have had to pass an additional car and trailer driving test to tow heavier caravans or trailers.

However, there were changes to the towing laws on 16 December 2021 meaning that you are now allowed to tow trailers up to a 3,500kg MAM (up from 750kg MAM). Mandatory car and trailer driving tests have now been abolished.

Driving licence issued after January 1997.

Previously, driving licences issued between 1 January 1997 and 18 January 2013 provided for a maximum of 4,250kg for the vehicle and trailer, where the trailer weighed no more than 750kg. If the trailer was heavier than 750kg (but less than the unladen weight of the towing vehicle) a combined 3,500kg MAM for the trailer and towing vehicle applied.

Driving licenses issued between 19 January 2013 until 15 December 2021 were subjected to the same restrictions, however, when the trailer weighed more than 750kg there was no longer a stipulation that it could not weigh more than the towing vehicle. The likelihood of this was extremely unlikely in any case, and the maximum MAM for towing vehicle and trailer remained at 3,500kg in this instance.

We have a guide on how to check the maximum towing weight allowed for you car here: Check your towing weight.

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