BE Safe And Know The Law When Towing A Trailer.

I’VE passed my driving test so I can automatically tow a trailer, right?

Well, a lot will depend on when you obtained your driving licence because the date that you ripped up your L-plates will partly determine what you can and cannot tow.

Then, you have to consider what vehicle you want to drive and trailer to pull.

Most drivers wishing to tow a large horsebox or trailer will need the B+E category on their licence.

UK licensing law changed on January 1, 1997.

Anyone who passed before this date already has the B+E category on their licence, and can have a vehicle and tow a combination weight of up to 8.25 tonnes MAM (the maximum authorised mass limit on how much the vehicle can weigh when loaded).  For example, those with Cat 1+E can drive a vehicle weighing up to 7.5 tonnes towing a trailer up to 750kg.

However, this automatic qualification may have been removed if your car licence has been restricted in the past.

Those who took their car test after this date can tow small trailers weighing up to 750kg and a trailer over 750kg if the combined weight of the trailer and towing vehicle is under 3.5 tonnes MAM.

Car licence holders can also tow a trailer over 750kg MAM – but ONLY if the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3.5 tonnes. For example, a car weighing up to two tonnes pulling a 1.5 tonne trailer.

Right, so you’ve decided you need to take your category B+E test – sometimes known as the car and trailer test. This is what you need to know.

The six parts to the test, which usually lasts around an hour, are:

  1. an eyesight check;
  2. ‘show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions;
  3. reversing the vehicle;
  4. general driving ability;
  5. independent driving, and;
  6. uncoupling and recoupling the trailer.

Those who receive no more than 15 driving faults – sometimes called minors – and are free from any serious or dangerous faults will pass.

Are you still confused? Let’s try to make it simpler by illustrating various scenarios, showing who may need to tow a trailer, and which category they need to stay the right side of the law.

Alternatively, contact Ben Shaw Training Ltd, whose team can prepare you fully for any test, giving you the best chance to pass first time with minimal fuss. Give them a call on 01282 614124 or email [email protected].


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