Towing - Are you legal?
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The Law - Car Licences held on or after 1 January 1997
Drivers who have passed their car driving test on or after 1 January 1997 are required to pass an additional driving test in order to tow large trailers and gain entitlement to category B+E and all larger vehicles.
Category B: Vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) and with up to 8 passenger seats.
Category B vehicles may be coupled with a trailer up to 750kgs MAM (allowing a combined weight up to 4.25 tonnes MAM) or a trailer over 750kgs MAM provided the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen weight of the towing vehicle, and the combination does not exceed 3.5 tonnes MAM.
1. A vehicle with an unladen weight of 1.25 tonnes and a MAM of 2 tonnes coupled with a trailer with a MAM of 1.25 tonnes could be driven by the holder of a category B entitlement. This is because the MAM of the combination does not exceed 3.5 tonnes and also the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen weight of the towing vehicle.
1.25 Tonnes Unladen
2 Tonnes (MAM)
|1.25 Tonnes (MAM)
2. The same vehicle with an unladen weight of 1.25 tonnes and a MAM of 2 tonnes when coupled with a trailer with a MAM of 1.5 tonnes would fall within category B+E. This is because although the combined weight of the vehicle and trailer is within the 3.5 tonnes MAM limit, the MAM of the trailer is more than the unladen weight of the towing vehicle.
1.25 Tonnes Unladen 1.5 Tonnes (MAM)
2 Tonnes (MAM)
Category B+E: Vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes MAM towing trailers over 750kgs MAM
Category B+E allows vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes MAM to be combined with trailers in excess of 750kgs MAM. In order to gain this entitlement new category B licence holders have to pass a further practical test for category B+E and there is no category B+E theory test.
3.5 Tonnes (MAM) Over 750 Kgs
Car Licences held before 1 January 1997
All drivers who passed a car test before 1 January 1997 retain their existing entitlement to tow trailers until their licence expires. This means they are generally entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8.25 tonnes MAM. They also have entitlement to drive a minibus with a trailer over 750kgs MAM.