The laws surrounding towing are complicated, and the aim of this article is to explain and make clear what you can and cannot tow on your license.
What Can I Tow
Pre 1997 License
If you passed your driving test before 1 Jan 1997 you can tow a trailer if the vehicle and trailer combination is up to 8.25 tonnes MAM (Maximum Authorised Mass), or a minibus with a trailer of up to 750kg MAM.
Post 1997 License
Unless you have (B+E, C1 + E, D1+E) or similar on your license you are limited to the following:
With a vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes and with 8 or less passenger seats:
- Trailer up to 750kg MAM
- Vehicle and trailer combination of up to 3500kg MAM, where the MAM of the trailer is no heavier than the ULW (UnLaden Weight) of the tow-car.
MAM and ULW can be found on plates attached to the car and trailer (often under the bonnet and near the hitch, respectively).
The speed limits when towing are different to when driving a car:
- Built Up Area - 30mph
- National Speed Limit (single carriageway) - 50mph
- Dual Carriageway - 60mph
- Motorway - 60mph
(Unless signs direct otherwise)
Lighting and Registration Plates
The back of the trailer must have the following:
- Registration number of the tow car on a yellow reflective number plate (homemade plates are not acceptable)
- Left and right indicators
- Brake lights
- Rear lamps
- 2 red triangular reflectors
The number place should also be illuminated
The lights should be checked before every journey.