If you’re planning to buy a new or used tourer, it’s essential that you get the correct licence for towing a caravan.
It’s easy to become confused, because the law on which licence was required to tow a caravan changed relatively recently, back in December 2021.
However, the good news is that most people are now able to tow a caravan with their existing licence.
The original legislation on the licence to tow a caravan
Before 16 December 2021, many drivers’ tow car choice was limited by the regulations concerning the B+E licence category.
Previously, anyone who had a licence issued from 1 January 1997-18 January 2013 could only drive the following:
- A car or van up to 3500kg MAM towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM (up to 4250kg in total)
- A trailer over 750kg MAM, as long as it was no more than the unladen weight of the towing vehicle (up to 3500kg in total)
And anyone who had a licence issued from 19 January 2013 onwards could only drive the following:
- A car or van up to 3500kg MAM towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM (up to 4,250kg in total)
- A trailer over 750kg MAM as long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle was no more than 3500kg.
Anyone with a licence issued after 1 January 1997 had to take a test if they wanted to tow anything heavier.
This is in contrast to those who had a licence issued before 1 January 1997: they were usually allowed to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8250kg maximum authorised mass (MAM).
What licence do I need to tow a caravan?
However, the law changed in December 2021: from then, anyone with a full UK driving licence now has the correct licence to tow a caravan or trailer weighing up to 3500kg MAM (Maximum Authorised Mass).
If your licence has changed, there’s no need to do anything. Your driving licence will be automatically updated by the DVLA upon renewal.
Those with a licence issued before 1 January 1997 continue to be able to tow heavier combinations, although you should check your driving licence for exact details and confirmation.
For more details on getting the correct licence for towing a caravan, visit the UK Government website.
Once you’re sure you’ve got the right licence for towing a caravan, check out our guide to the Best Tow Cars of 2022.
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