Can I be fined for towing a caravan or trailer without taking a test?

BEFORE setting off on your journey, it’s important to understand the legal requirements for hitching a trailer or caravan to your car.

Here’s everything you need to know about towing laws in the UK.

AA Caravan and Camping AwardsA new law was introduced in 2022 which affects caravan and trailer drivers[/caption]

Do I need to take a specialist test to tow a caravan or trailer?

As of September 2021, the government announced changes in driving test requirements for cars and trailers.

Those who passed their test after January 1, 1997, can now tow heavy loads without taking a specialist test.

Previously drivers were required to take a driving test to tow a trailer, depending on the size of their car, how heavy the load is and when they got their licence.

But the rule change means that anyone can start pulling trailers weighing up to 3,500kg maximum authorised mass (MAM) without training, experience or supervision.

DVLA has updated driving licences to reflect the change.

You’ll get category BE added to your driving licence when you next apply to get a new driving licence.

If you passed your car driving test before 1 January 1997, it does not affect you.

Can I be fined if I do not take the specialist test?

The government says that even though special licences are no longer compulsory, it still makes sense to have proper training.

DVLA said it was working with the trailer industry to develop a voluntary training scheme for drivers wanting to tow a trailer of any size for business or leisure.

A DVSA spokesperson said: “Road safety continues to be of paramount importance and all car drivers will still be encouraged to undertake training to tow trailers and caravans.”

If you are caught towing without the correct licence, you could face a fine of £800 and nine penalty points – three for not having a licence and six for not having insurance.

Will my insurance cover me if I am towing a caravan or trailer?

If you’re thinking about driving a caravan or trailer, you should check you are covered by your insurance policy.

Typically drivers don’t need specialist cover, but it may be worth informing your provider if you’re planning to use a caravan or trailer.

An ABI spokesperson said: “Providing you have the minimum third-party liability motor insurance, there is no additional legal insurance requirement for towing a trailer.

“You should check your motor insurance policy to see if you need to inform your insurer if planning to tow a trailer or a caravan.

“And of course, all drivers should be confident in towing a trailer, and drive with extra care.”

You may also want to consider bespoke insurance to ensure your caravan is covered in case of damage.

Ten things YOU should know as a car owner

To help you feel more confident as a car owner, here are ten things you should be familiar with about your vehicle:

When is your MOT due? Find out here
When is your car tax due? Find out here
Is it illegal to drive barefoot?
How many units can you drink and drive?
What do dashboard warning lights mean?
Is it illegal to drive without road tax?
Can you be fined for breaking the highway code?
How to change the address on your driving licence
What does MOT stand for?
Is it illegal to park across someone’s driveway?

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