There may be many reasons for you to tow another vehicle, for example in the case of a breakdown, someone getting stuck in mud or snow, or if you want to take your caravan or trailer with you on holiday. Before you can tow a caravan, trailer, or another car, you need to be adequately equipped, prepared, and licensed to do so. This is because towing can be a potentially dangerous activity. Therefore, Following the recommended towing guidelines is important.
There are many components to towing, each with its own safety requirements. This includes the tow bar, weight of the towed vehicle, and the size and power of the towing vehicle. Let’s take a more extensive look at towing as well as some important tips for towing to keep in mind when you are towing another vehicle.
Driver’s License Requirements for Towing
Before towing another vehicle, you first have to consider your driver’s license. To tow any vehicle legally, you need a full and valid driver’s license. If you obtained your full driver’s license before the 1st of January 1997, you could tow any trailer with a weight of up to 8.25 tonnes. If you passed your full driver’s license after this date, however, you have to maintain a combined weight of 4.25 tonnes.
This means that if your car weighs 3.5 tonnes, the trailer can’t weigh more than 750 kg. If you want to tow a vehicle that is heavier, you should make sure that your towing vehicle is lighter in order to make sure that you stay within the total weight limit of 4.25 tonnes.
License Upgrade for Towing
If you obtained your driver’s license after the 1st of January 1997, you could increase your towing entitlement by taking the UK Trailer Test. Passing this test will enable you to tow a vehicle that is heavier than the prescribed automatic total weight of 4.25 tonnes.
This test can be taken at any accredited testing facility and consists of answering questions and doing a practical demonstration. Although you don’t have to train for this test, it can be incredibly helpful and ensure that you pass the first time. Specialized Training Services can help you to study the towing guidelines and to prepare sufficiently for these tests.
License upgrades do not only pertain to trailers, but to all categories of towed vehicles including horsebox trailers, caravans, and utility trailers. If you have to tow heavier towed vehicles, make sure that your license is sufficiently upgraded.
Other Towing Aspects
There are many other aspects of towing that you should be aware of. Read all towing instructions of your owners’ manual carefully. Your car should be able to handle the towed vehicle sufficiently and safely. This is important since you may have issues with this even if you adhere to the total combined limit of the two vehicles.
Secondly, make sure that your trailer’s dimensions fall within the legal limits. Your trailer should not be wider than 2.55m wide and 7m long. Also, the towing bar, mirrors, lights, and trailer brakes should be in a working condition and adhere to the relevant safety and legal regulations.