BEFORE YOU START thinking about matching your car and caravan, first check what your driving licence entitles you to tow.


In practice, if you passed your test before 1 January 1997, your licence shouldn’t prove an obstacle to towing. However, if you passed on or after that date, your towing entitlement is more restricted.


In brief, if you wish to tow a Maximum Authorised Mass (car and caravan combined) of more than 3500kg, you will need to take a towing test first to have your licence upgraded to one that covers categories B+E.


That’s the short answer, but there’s more detail in the fine print. With a B licence (which is what you’ll have if you passed your test after 1 January 1997), you are entitled to drive a vehicle with a Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM, or the Gross Vehicle Weight) of 3500kg, and that is fitted with as many as eight passenger seats. This vehicle may be used to tow a caravan (or another kind of trailer) of up to 750kg MAM.


A trailer of over 750kg MAM (which in practice means almost every caravan) may be towed provided the combined MAM doesn’t exceed 3500kg, and the MAM of the towing vehicle does not exceed the unladen weight of the towing vehicle.