|Towing law clarification|
|Towing law has changed three times, here's a breakdown in easy mode for people to understand. If you have any questions then please email me direct on email@example.com |
Car driving test passed 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.
This is the weight of a vehicle or trailer including the maximum load that can be carried safely when it’s being used on the road.
Car driving test passed between 1st January 1997 & 19th
The actual weight of the car and trailer must not exceed 3500kgs, that includes passengers, fuel, luggage, trailer load, etc.
If you were driving a 3500kg vehicle then the law is slightly different since 1997, were a 3500kg vehicle can tow a max trailer not exceeding 750kgs
Car driving test passed after 19th January 2013—Present
The GVW also known as the MAM of the vehicle as printed on the car VIN plate added to the MAM as printed on the trailer VIN plate added together must not exceed 3500kgs
Location: The Lot
|I wonder if you can clarify this a little bit for me? |
I am one of the old brigade, passed my test in 1959, and in those good old days I was licensed to drive pretty well anything. Time moves on and I lost my HGV licence, not bothered, but then I reached the magic 70 years old and I had my licence severely trimmed, so that now I have only B1 - B - BE, plus all the funny ones that everyone gets. I know I can drive my motorhome which comes in under the 3.5tonne limit, and the family car, and I know that I can tow a trailer under 750 kilos with either vehicle. I am unsure about what else I can do, I believe I can tow a caravan weighing in at more than 750 kilos behind the family car, but not behind the motorhome, so is there a limit to the size of caravan that I can tow behind the car?, I have always assumed that provided I did not exceed the car maker's limits I was OK, but is that right? What if I want to swap my motorhome for a fifth wheeler?, a Toyota style pickup truck probably weighs in at around 1500 kilos, so am I limited to a trailer unit of 1 500 kilos, ie the weight of the truck, or2750 kilos, which would bring me up to the 4250 kilo limit?
Location: Vanless in Hampshire
Did you get a reply? Would also like to know some of theses answers
Location: The Lot
|Hi PJay, no replies received, but once our van is sold we will consider whether to get a caravan or a motorhome to replace it, so I'll try to find some answers. |
Location: Herefordshire - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp
|This link describes current UK driving licence categories |
The following categories are likely to be most relevant for caravanners/motorcaravanners where towing is concerned.
You can drive vehicles up to 3,500kg Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) with up to 8 passenger seats (with a trailer up to 750kg).
You can also tow heavier trailers if the total MAM of the vehicle and trailer isn’t more than 3,500kg.
You can drive a vehicle with a MAM of 3,500kg with a trailer.
The size of the trailer depends on when you passed your test.
If you passed your test:
- before 19 January 2013 you can tow any size trailer
- on or after 19 January 2013 you can tow a trailer with a MAM of up to 3,500kg
You can drive vehicles weighing between 3,500 and 7,500kg (with a trailer up to 750kg).
You can drive C1 category vehicles with a trailer over 750kg, but the trailer - when fully loaded - can’t weigh more than the vehicle.
The combined weight of both can’t exceed 12,000kg.
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
|Dare I suggest that one answer id to get a mediacl passed and then apply to have the missing categories returned to your licence. Then you are clear to do what you like. If you would not pas the medical then things are more tricky as then the Law feels you are not safe to drive such combinations. Would you want to go against this?|
Location: Glynneath South Wales
|Hi Dave225, |
Personally, I would be wary of spending a fortune on a motor-caravan when there is a bigger risk than previously, that my next medical will prevent me from driving it. Then there is the risk that I can develop something that would prevent me driving it tomorrow ... but that applies to everyone, just that some are more likely than others.
I read recently that the DIABETIC rules have been relaxed, albeit with a few hoops to jump through.
In addition to your driving licence restrictions on towing weight, there are also vehicle towing limits. I know of a letter from VOSA stating that it is the ALW of the trailer that matters, not the MAM.
|so this is legal ? |
I want to ask a question here but I have to be 100% clear I’m interested in the LEGAL limits not recommendations. What I really need to know is if pulled in by the authorities is a caravan with a MAAM of 1600 and the car with a towing weight of 1500 illegal
Car Peugeot 406 HDI estate, maximum towing weight 1500 kgs
Caravan Mass in Running Order (Kg) – 1290
Caravan Maximum Allowable/Authorised Weight (Kg) – 1600
I have a OLD driving licence issued in 1990
Now I have been reading the road traffic act and I cannot find the restriction that is key to me
On these forums I keep reading that the MAAW (1600 in my case ) must not exceed the Towing Weight ( 1500 )
I’m actually fairly experienced in towing having driven all sorts of combinations on farms ( up to 30 tons and unbraked try that for fun !!! )
Am I legal if I ensure my caravan in REAL TERMS does not exceed the towing weight of my car. Again not recommendations but can anyone point me to where it says legally about this MAAM/Towing Weight thing. The maximum train weight is way over so I have no worries here.
If I did purchase this combination I would be sure not to load anything into the caravan. So if pulled over by VOSA, what are they interested in ? Because
1) My caravan would be way below my 1500 limit
2) My maximum train weight will not be exceeded
So it just leaves me with the theoretical MAAM/Towing Weight thing
Thanks in advance
Location: Vanless in Hampshire
Archiesgrandad - 2016-03-13 4:07 PM
Hi PJay, no replies received, but once our van is sold we will consider whether to get a caravan or a motorhome to replace it, so I'll try to find some answers.
I forgot that you had moved to France, when posting. If it where me I would stick to a motor home over there, so much better than towing. Friends of ours (living in France) used to use their van for the odd night or two on aires or wild camping Sadly the wife passed away, but he still goes out occasionally in the van.
Location: Glynneath South Wales
|<<< On these forums I keep reading that the MAAW (1600 in my case ) must not exceed the Towing Weight ( 1500 ) >>> |
The OLD Category B could only tow a trailer with a MGW no more than the UNLADEN (not KERB) weight of the tow-car.
The NEW Cat.B may drive/tow up to 3,500kg MGW combined.
The OLD Cat. B+E allowed you to drive up to 3,500kg MGW, towing a trailer which took the combined weight up to 7,500kg MGW. But as a trailer with a MGW over 3,500kg MGW, required "coupled" brakes (eg: air brakes), for all practical purposes, the towing limit was 3,500kg MGW. Air brakes will cost in excess of £10,000, which would raise the towing limit of a Land Rover to 4,000kg MGW.
My understanding (it's a minefield) is that Cat. B+E now limits the car and trailer to 3,500kg each, so 7,000kg MGW ... and you cannot mix & match.
Construction & Use limits the trailer weight to the manufacturer's recommended weight, which according to VOSA, means you can tow an UNLADEN trailer provided it's ACTUAL weight is less than the recommended limit. But your driving licence limits you to specific MGWs. If you exceed those limits you are driving without a licence, and are therefore driving without insurance.
I have towed 2,500kg x 35ft long trailer behind a 50 year old Land Rover. It was hard work and nerve-racking. It would be legal-ish to do it on my 70+ Cat.B+E .... but I'd rather not. A 16ft car transporter trailer is comfortable.
|Thanks for your reply so I just pull out my licence and its a CAT A,B,BE,B1,C1,C1E,D1,D1E, fklnp. |
So the cat BE covers me no problem.
The AA website says this
"The caravan's Maximum Technically Permitted Laden Mass (MTPLM) must not be greater than the towing car's Maximum Permissible Towing Mass (MPTW) defined by the car manufacturer."
Now this I find hard to believe, for example there must be flat bed trailers out there, for example I also own a old unplated car transported trailer, the trailers are not particular heavy I've towed it unladen behind my little seat ibiza, but I digress, similar trailers must have much higher MTPLM than the towing weights of the car. I cannot find this MTPLM less than MPTW in the statute, and its absolutely key to me. as the MTPLM of the caravan I'm thinking of buying is 1600 whilst the real weight is 1200, towing weight of my car is 1500 so it falls right between these limits. I'm still confused.
Edited by wingnut_kiteboy 2016-05-30 9:29 AM
|I think I just found the answer to my own question |
http://www.barlowtrailers.co.uk/Trailer-Towing-Weight-Information they say ....
" It seems that no one seems to understand that they can tow trailers with a higher Gross Train Weight than their vehicle is allowed to tow. Its easy, if the towing car can tow , for example, 2800 kg that is what you can tow, if your trailer has a plated weight of 3500kg you can still tow it, providing your total weight (trailer and load) is 2800 kg or less. See this note from Vosa Trailer Towing Weight "
This seems logical and sensible to me, the maximum the trailer can carry is exactly that, just stay within the limits in real terms, but this would mean both the AA website and other caravanning websites have statements that are 100% incorrect on this, I'm going to print out the pdf below and carry it should I be stopped by the police.
This is good because I can get a twin wheeler caravan which I like the idea of because they must be more stable, I did not want to get a 4x4 because I honestly do not believe they are safer to tow than my estate car. ( higher centre of gravity ), I've just got to be careful not to put to much into the caravan and exceed the GTW or the towing capacity of my car.
Edited by wingnut_kiteboy 2016-05-30 10:13 AM
Location: Glynneath South Wales
Despite my previous mails (some time ago), my understanding has changed yet again.
I still think all Cat. B+E can drive 3500kgs and tow 3500kgs, but I am uncertain about Grand-dad driving /towing 8250kgs train-weight. But that is irrelevant to most of us, as any trailer over 3500kg needs "linked" brakes (EG: air brakes, which will set you back over £10,000 to convert your Land Rover).
I am also uncertain about a Cat.B licence driving the full 3500kg plus a 750kg trailer.
I have read stuff recently which confirms VOSA's letter that they will consider a trailer with a MGW of 2000kg, but an ULW of 750kg, as allowed to towed behind a car with a max towing limit of 1000kg MGW, provided the ALW of the trailer, at the time, was under 1000kg. Seems sensible.
I think DVLA's rules are all now spelled out in MGW, or MAAF, or some other four-letter word, so something that VOSA will not be interested in, could land you in disqualification territory, if DVLA get involved.
I think I have said before, a Cat.B licence driving a 1992 Land Rover Discovery (MGW = 2720kg) has very little "free-board" ... 780kg, to be exact, after which you are driving without a licence. No licence means you ain't insured. Some Austin Metros have a higher towing limit than that.
As said, DVLA appear to work only from MGWs, so I suggest everybody with a Cat.B only licence (just about everybody born after 1980?) gets the books out to reassure themselves that they are allowed to tow what they've got.
It would be nice if DVLA produced a flow-chart (idiot sheet) so we can navigate our way through the flow-chart.
There is some discussion on the Land Rover Series 2 Club forum, about being able to recover your Cat.C entitlement (after you lost it some years ago, at age 70), just by passing a medical. ??? Many years ago, you lost entitlement after 10 years, if you did not renew.
Have you checked the renewal date of your photo-card licence ... it only lasts 10 years, potential fot a £1.000 fine. Date is on your photocard. Can be problems if you live in France and still use your UK licence. It can only be renewed if you have a UK address.