There are changes on the horizon as new towing rules come into force this Autumn.
At the moment if you passed your driving test before the 1st of January 1997 you are allowed to drive a vehicle and caravan combination up to 8250Kg Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM).
If you passed your driving test after the 1st of January 1997 you were restricted to driving a car and caravan combination of 3500Kg Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM). i.e. the actual plated maximum weights of both the car and the caravan could not be more than 3500Kg.
If you wanted to go above this golden weight you needed to pass what was called the b+e test. This would then allow you to have a combined weight of 8250Kg.
So What Is Changing?
When the law changes (Autumn 2021) the new towing rules will be the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) of the caravan you can tow will be up to 3500Kg WITHOUT taking the extra b+e test.
In simple terms, anyone with a current driving license would have a combined (MAM) of 7000Kg.
You will still be governed by the maximum towing capacity of your towing vehicle and the Train Weight.
The b+e driving tests are stopping ahead of the law changing. You will no longer be able to book or take the test from the 20th of September 2021.
The government has said that if you have booked a b+e test:
Tests before 20 September 2021
Your car and trailer driving test will go ahead as planned. You can cancel your appointment if you no longer want to take the test. If your driving instructor booked your test for you, talk to them about cancelling it.
If your test is:
- up to and including Tuesday 14 September 2021, you’ll need to contact the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) after you’ve cancelled your test to get a refund
- from Wednesday 15 September to Sunday 19 September 2021, you’ll automatically get a full refund when you cancel your test
DVSA customer services
Tests from 20 September 2021
Your car and trailer driving test will not go ahead if it was due to take place on or after 20 September 2021.
If you booked the test yourself, DVSA will automatically cancel it for you. You’ll get a full refund within 5 working days.
If your driving instructor booked your test for you, talk to them about what happens next.
You cannot get a refund or compensation for any training that you’ve taken to help you prepare to take the test.
They have also said that there will be no refunds or compensation for any training that you have taken to help you prepare to take the test. Ando no refund for the test you took.
What to do now?
Until the law changes later in autumn 2021, you must continue to follow the current rules about what you’re allowed to tow based on when you passed your car driving test.
You’re only allowed to tow anything heavier if you’re being supervised. When you’re being supervised, you must:
- display L plates to the front of the car and the rear of the trailer
- be accompanied by a person who’s at least 21 years old and has had category BE on their driving licence for at least 3 years.
You can still be fined up to £1,000 if you tow anything heavier before the law changes later in autumn 2021.
Even though there will be no b+e test if you have not towed before it is still recommended that you take training from an instructor. Also, both the clubs have towing training days that cover all the basics of towing.