You can now tow!

New Rules for Towing a Trailer with a Car

If you are anything like us, then you have been tentatively following the changes in the rules around towing laws and have been VERY confused by the whole thing!

Well, please do not worry! We are here to outline the NEW rules and myth bust any rumours that may be flying around and baffling you!

Disclaimer – to understand this blog, you need to know that MAM stands for maximum authorised mass. This means the weight of a vehicle or trailer including the maximum load that can be carried safely when it’s being used on the road. Basically, the maximum weight that a car is built to tow – so don’t go towing 3.5 tons with a mini cooper!

Towing laws in the UK (excluding NI) changed on the 16th December 2021 for all drivers who passed their test after January 1st 1997. If you passed your driving test before 1997, then nothing changes for you, nothing at all. You can continue driving and towing, just as you were before.

Just in case you fall into this category, but aren’t sure what the rules are, here you go. Drivers who passed their test prior to 1997 can legally drive a car and trailer up to a combined weight of 8,250kg and a minibus and trailer up to a combined weight of 750kg (unless specified otherwise). Simple!

Conversely, if you passed your test after 1st Jan 1997, you have a different set of rules. You used to be allowed to legally tow very small weights, but nothing substantial. If you wanted to tow anything heavy, like a horsebox or a large touring caravan, you would have to take a trailer test and upgrade your license…. until NOW!

Now the rules are different and anyone who passed their driving test AFTER the 1st January 1997 is allowed to tow ANY trailer up to the weight of 3,500kg MAM! (whoop whoop) This means ANYONE can now legally tow most tourers on the market…so what are you waiting for? Pop down to Broadlane and have a browse!

You also don’t need to do anything to put this change into effect. The DVLA will do it all automatically for you! You don’t need to contact them, apply, or pay! You can just hitch up and tow with confidence!

Some of you may be thinking, “but I’ve booked a trailer test, what do I do?” Unfortunately, any money you have spent on lessons isn’t refundable, but the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency would have automatically cancelled your test and refunded the cost to you. If a driving instructor booked your test for you, just drop them a line, it should be easily fixed!

Hopefully this clears up any worries, questions or queries you might of had! But if you do have anymore, never hesitate to get in contact and we will do what we can to help!

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