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FAQ – Do I need to pass a test to tow a caravan?

This depends very much on when you passed your test, what type and size of caravan you intend to tow and the type of towing vehicle that you have.

One relevant date is 1st January 1997.

If you passed your driving test before this date:

  • your existing licence may typically allow you to tow a caravan or trailer up to just over of 8000kg in weight – including the weight of the towing vehicle;
  • you need to check your towing vehicle’s documentation though, as this will state the specific  maximum laden weight that it can safely and legally tow – this may be less that the theoretical 8 tonne combined  maximum limit.

If you passed your test between 1st January 1997 and January 2013 then, provided you have a standard type B licence, you can tow:

  • a caravan or trailer of up to 750kg in weight  in a car of up to 3500kg;
  • a heavier caravan or trailer provided that the combined weight does not exceed 3600kg;
  • anything heavier and a category B+E test will be required.

If you passed your test since January 2013 then there’s a maximum towing weight of 750kg provided that keeps you under a combined car plus trailer weight of 3500kg after which you’ll need to take a B+E test.

Regardless of when you actually passed your test though, if you are new to caravanning it may make very good sense for you to take some instruction before you hitch up and take to the road.

Both the Camping and Caravanning Club* and the Caravan Club offer towing courses for beginners and those wishing to brush up on their towing and manoeuvring skills.

*http://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/helpandadvice/courses/manoeuvringcourses/