New Trailer Towing Rules Update – 2021
Following the announcement from the DVSA on the evening of Friday 10th September 2021, the rules regarding trailer towing are set to change. The DVSA will no longer be conducting B+E car and trailer tests from the 20th of September 2021. As it stands, there has been no change in the law to reflect this, and drivers will be restricted to the towing entitlements of their driving licence. There is currently no date set for this change in law, meaning that drivers can not gain this entitlement till the change in the law comes into effect. Although B+E car and trailer testing will be stopped from the 20th September 2021, the DVSA are still encouraging drivers to undertake trailer training to help ensure that they gain the relevant skills to tow safely with their vehicle. Pass Drive has provided trailer training for many years, helping drivers gain confidence towing, and teaching valuable skills to improve road safety. Promoting safe and responsible driving is at the heart of our business, and we will continue to provide trailer training to improve the levels of safety on UK roads.
More information on the latest changes can be found on the government website.
What Can I Currently Tow?
Licences issued before 1st January 1997
If you passed your test before the 1st of January 1997, you’re usually allowed to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8,250kg MAM.
However, we recommend that you check your driving licence information online to see if you’re allowed to tow.
It is also recommended that you do not tow any more than 85% of the weight of your car. You can normally find the maximum towing weight for your vehicle in the vehicle’s manual.
Licences issued from 1st January 1997 to 18 January 2013
If you passed your car driving test on or after January 1997, you can:
- Drive a car or van up to 3,500kg towing a trailer of up to 750kg.
- Tow a trailer of over 750kg, as long as the combined maximum authorised mass (MAM) of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg
Licences issued from 19th January 2013
If you passed your car driving test from 19 January 2013, you can currently drive either of the following:
- a car or van up to 3,500kg MAM towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM (up to 4,250kg in total)
- a trailer over 750kg MAM as long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg
You’ve had to pass a car and trailer driving test if you want to tow anything heavier.
What is set to change later in 2021?
If you passed your car driving test from 1 January 1997, you’ll be allowed to tow trailers up to 3,500kg MAM when the law changes.
DVLA will update your driving licence record to show that you’re allowed to tow trailers. You’ll get category BE added to your driving licence when you get a new photocard driving licence.
You do not need to contact DVLA for this to happen. It will be done automatically.
The date in this law change has not yet been confirmed.
You can be fined up to £1,000, be banned from driving and get up to 6 penalty points on your driving licence if you tow anything heavier before the law changes.
The Future of Trailer Training
At Pass Drive, we are committed to improving road safety. As such, we will continue to offer trailer training to teach the relevant and necessary skills required to tow trailers safely and responsibly. Although the trailer towing rules have changed, the DVSA still recommends that drivers undertake trailer training to tow safely. Our courses cover all aspects of towing and will help you gain and build confidence in towing longer and heavier loads.
Further to this, there is still limited information regarding the impact that these changes will have on vehicle insurance. We will be able to provide an update regarding this when more information is readily available.
If you would like to book a trailer training course, you can find out more on our dedicated trailer training page.
The Impact on Businesses
With the changes to the trailer towing rules, there will be some impact on businesses. Until the changes in law come into effect, it is not possible for drivers to gain the B+E entitlement. This means that your drivers may be limited in what they can tow until this law comes into effect. Further to this, there may be changes in vehicle insurance.
Businesses in the UK have a responsibility to manage the health and safety of employees and those affected by their work, under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. This also applies to employees who drive for work-related purposes. When the law changes drivers with a Category B entitlement will also be awarded the B+E entitlement. However, under these health and safety laws, individuals who drive and tow for work should undertake the relevant training. We are happy to discuss any questions or queries that you may have regarding this.
These changes to the trailer towing rules are currently developing and we will be sure to keep you updated as soon as we have the relevant information. Our Managing Director David Watt will be personally calling any clients who currently have trailer training booked with us to discuss these changes and the options that we have available. Many thanks for your understanding in this situation.
If you have any questions or require any additional information, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 0800 371055