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You have recently purchased a brand-new caravan that you cannot wait to take on the road for a much-anticipated spring holiday. A few miles away, a friend is looking forward to his first year as a horse owner and hobbyist. He also has a brand-new horsebox trailer just waiting to be hooked up and towed. If both of you are considered young drivers, meaning you received your car licences after 1996, be sure to take the car and trailer test BEFORE you start towing.

Only those who received their car licences prior to 1 January 1997 can legally tow a trailer without an additional licence upgrade. Even at that, such drivers are limited in terms of the weight of the trailers combined with their tow vehicles. All other drivers have to have a Category B+E licence if they want to tow trailers heavier than 750 kg maximum authorised weight (MAM) with a tow vehicle that raises the combined weight of both to 4.25 tonnes.

It is entirely possible to tow light camping or utility trailers with smaller vehicles without getting the upgraded licenced, but practically speaking, the average horsebox trailer or caravan towed by an SUV or minivan will require the additional entitlement. You should know where you stand if you are new to towing. As we already mentioned, you need to take the car and trailer test before you tow if the weight of your vehicles exceeds the limitations of your licence.

Train to Pass Your Test

A November 2015 report from The Telegraph indicates that some 5 million drivers obtained their Category B licences after 1 January 1997; just over 1% have gone on to get the additional entitlement for towing trailers. The problem many people run into is that they do not know they need the Category B+E licence until after it’s too late. The only way they discover their need is after being pulled over by the police or being involved in an accident.

You do not have to find out it’s too late yourself. Instead, you can train with the HGV Training Centre to get your upgraded licence before you start towing this spring. Our training courses are fast, convenient, and very affordable. What’s more, we operate more than four dozen training facilities throughout the UK. There is likely one within easy driving distance of where you live.

Our training courses teach you everything you need to know to pass the car and trailer test. For example, we teach you safe driving skills that include everything from performing controlled stops to safe cornering to making reverse manoeuvres. We also teach you the practical skills that will be required by your examiner. Those skills are things such as hooking and unhooking your trailer and doing a safety check before departure.

The 2016 towing season will be here before you know it. Before you tow, make sure you take the car and trailer test to get your upgraded licence.

Sources:

  1. Telegraph – https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cars/advice/licensed-to-tow/

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