What can I tow?

Do you need to tow a trailer or a caravan? Find out what you can legally tow on your driving licence...

Author Avatar
Matthew Burrow
9 Jun 2016 09:53 | Last updated: 13 Jun 2018 19:52

If you’re looking to tow on a standard driving licence – category B – what you can tow depends on when your driving licence was issued.

Licences issued before 1 January 1997

If you passed your car driving test up to 31 December 1996, the normal rule is that you can drive a vehicle and trailer combination with a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of 8250kg.

Licences issued between 1 January 1997 and 18 January 2013

If your car driving licence was issued between these dates, you can drive a car or van with a MAM of 3500kg that’s towing a trailer with a MAM of 750kg.

You can tow a trailer with a MAM greater than 750kg as long as the combined MAM of the towing vehicle and the trailer is no more than 3500kg.

Licences issued from 19 January 2013

If you passed your test after this date you can tow a small trailer weighing no more than 750kg. You can also tow a trailer over 750kg as long as the combined weight of the towing vehicle and the trailer is no more than 3500kg MAM.

What can I tow?

What is maximum authorised mass?

Maximum authorised mass (MAM) refers to the weight of a vehicle or trailer combined with the maximum permitted load that vehicle or trailer can carry safely.

Do I need a special licence to tow a caravan?

If the caravan meets the rules of the trailer that you can tow on your driving licence, then no. If you need to tow a caravan or a trailer heavier than permitted on your current driving licence, you need to take a test to upgrade your driving licence.

How do I pass my towing licence?

If you need to tow something heavier than permitted on your current licence, you'll need to take a car and trailer or category B and E driving test.

We recommend taking some lessons, because as well as being able to prove to the examiner that you can drive safely in varied road and traffic conditions, you will also need to show that you have mastered some specific skills.

There are six parts to the B and E driving test: an eyesight check, vehicle safety questions, reversing the vehicle and trailer, general driving ability, independent driving and uncoupling and recoupling the trailer.

Once you've passed your B and E driving test, you will be able to tow trailers up to 3500kg. If you passed your B and E driving test on or before 18 January 2013 there is no maximum weight to the trailer you can tow.

Best cars for towing 2016

Got a motoring question? Our experts are standing by to help, just tweet us your question using #askwhatcar

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here