The rules on towing a caravan officially changed yesterday (16th December), the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) announced.

Under the new laws, anyone who passed their driving test from 1 January 1997 can now tow trailers up to 3,500kg maximum authorised mass (MAM).

Driving licence records will be updated to show what can be towed on your licence, with the DVLA advising that this will be done automatically.

The DVLA added people would then “get category BE added to your driving licence when you get a new photocard driving licence.”

Anyone who passed their test before 1 January 1997 will not be affected by the change.

The DVSA is advising drivers to undertake training with a driving instructor before towing for the first time.

The rules on towing had previously depended on when you passed your test.

Drivers who passed before 1 January 1997 were permitted to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8,250kg MAM.

In comparison, anyone who passed on or after 1 January 1997 could drive a vehicle up to 3,500kg MAM while towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM. A trailer over 750kg MAM was only to be towed if the combined MAM of trailer and towing vehicle was no more than 3,500kg.

In these circumstances, drivers had to take the B+E test to tow something heavier.

The DVSA stopped conducting B+E tests back in September, leaving some drivers who did not have the appropriate licence in limbo, and unable to tow their trailer while waiting for the new law to come in.

The rules were originally set to change on 15 November but this was delayed.

You can find out more here.

If you’re looking for some tow car inspiration, be sure to check out our guides to the best used tow cars and the best tow cars on the market!

You can also take a look at our top 100 guide to the best caravan sites to visit for inspiration on your next touring destination.

We also have plenty of brilliant buying guides, where our expert panel at Practical Caravan have used our decades of industry experience to pick out the best caravans. For instance, we pick out the best caravans for families as well as the best 6-berth caravans.

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