What trailers can I tow with my licence?

This is a question we are asked a lot. The law is actually quite clear on this but is very poorly explained in most cases. Here's our own explanation of what the law actually says:

 

The important part of all of this information is MAM (Maximum Authorised Mass). MAM is also commonly known as GROSS WEIGHT. What does that mean? MAM is the maximum weight your vehicle or trailer is allowed to weigh including the load. Every car has a different MAM which can be found on the manufacturers plate within the vehicle. You will usually find this plate on the inside of a front door panel or in the engine bay. Plate locations will vary but you can usually also find the information on the inside of the V5C (Log Book).

1982 regulations state that every trailer must be plated with it's MAM ion KG. This should be visible on the chassis. 

If you passed your test AFTER 1st January 1997 you can drive a car or van with a MAM of up to 3500kg. In addition you can still tow an UNBRAKED trailer with a MAM of up to 750kg.

For example, you can drive a LWB van with a MAM of 3500kg and you can tow a 750kg trailer. This would effectively take your MAM including van and trailer to 4250kg. 

However, if you want to tow a BRAKED trailer you can not exceed 3500kg combined MAM of towing vehicle and trailer. For example, if you want to tow a trailer with a MAM of 1500kg you can only tow it with a vehicle that has a MAM of 2000kg or less. In this instance you MUST check the towing capacity of the towing vehicle. You can usually find this information the manufacturers plate again or inside V5C (Logbook) for the vehicle. If the towing capacity of the vehicle is less than the MAM of the trailer you can not tow it, regardless of the actual weight of the trailer.

At this point, the ACTUAL weight of the vehicle and/or trailer does not matter UNLESS they are overloaded.

Here's an example: A 2008 Volvo V50 estate car has a MAM of 1950kg. You can therefore tow a braked trailer or caravan with a MAM of up to 1550kg. You MUST always check the towing capacity of the car though. Some cars can tow more or less than others. In this case the Volvo V50 has a maximum Braked towing capacity of 1500kg and a maximum Unbraked towing capacity of 750kg. 

Unbraked trailers come in many different designs and styles, some single axle and some twin axle. This is usually dependant on the length of the trailer. Most 750kg trailers have a payload of between 450kg & 650kg. Note: the number of axles does not usually make any difference on the MAM or payload of a 750kg trailer.

If you need to drive and tow a combination over the 3500kg limit you will need to take a B+E driving test. If you pass, you will be entitled to drive and tow a combined MAM of 8250kg.  

If you passed your test BEFORE 1st January 1997 you will automatically have B+E on your driving licence and can tow a trailer and vehicle with a combined MAM of 8250kg. You're also allowed to drive a minibus with a MAM of over 750kg. 

Can I tow a trailer with a higher MAM than the vehicles towing capacity?
If you have B+E on your driving licence you can tow a trailer or caravan with a higher MAM than the towing vehicle capacity as long as the combined ACTUAL weight of the vehicle is not exceeded and the ACTUAL weight of the trailer does not exceed the vehicles maximum towing capacity. For example, if you're towing a 3500kg trailer using a car with maximum towing capacity of 2000kg, you can legally tow the trailer provided the ACTUAL weight of the trailer and its load is not more than 2000kg and the towing vehicle is not overloaded.

You can find the official government guidelines herehttps://www.gov.uk/towing-with-car

Not sure what you need? We're hoping our guide below will help you decide. But if you're still not sure we'd be only too happy to discuss your needs to see if we can supply what would be right for you.

This is where you'll find our range of trailers for all your domestic jobs, camping trips and more. If you're looking for a trailer for any of the following purposes then you're in the right place. Still not sure? Get in touch now.

This is where you'll find our range of trailers for all your heavy duty DIY or light commercial needs and more. If you're looking for a trailer for any of the following purposes then you're in the right place. Still not sure? Get in touch now.

This is where you'll find our range of trailers for all your heavy duty DIY or light commercial needs and more. If you're looking for a trailer for any of the following purposes then you're in the right place. Still not sure? Get in touch now.

Unsure about towing? Don't be!

We've specifically chosen our trailers because of their quality of construction and design. This makes towing them a total breeze and will give the confidence to tow just about anything. We can also recommend good local instructors, so if you want some pointers or need to get your B+E licence then we can point you in the right direction.

 

Unsure about maneuvering? Don't be!

All of our trailers come with a A style draw bar and 13" wheels which means you've got time to react to what your trailer is doing. And if you're still not sure, then nearly all of our trailers come with Jockey wheels so don't worry this time, you can practice that tight reverse when you're ready.

Unsure about hitching and coupling? Don't be!

We're more than happy to run through the best way to hitch and unhitch your new trailer. We'll always have time for our customers so we can practice it together as many times as you would like to. That's just how we operate.

For more advice and information on towing, click here to visit our good friends the National Towing Association (NTTA).

NTTA-PSLT_Logo-Grads (1).png

© 2019 South West Trailers