CHANGES TO TOWING LICENCE REQUIREMENTS FOR CARS AND VANS

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Currently, depending on when you passed your car driving licence test, you may have needed to pass an additional towing test, if you wanted to use your car (or a van under 3500kg) to tow a trailer with a maximum authorised mass (MAM) over 750kg.

As part of the Government’s plans to tackle the shortage of lorry drivers, by creating additional capacity for carrying out commercial vehicle tests, the Government has suspended these tests and announced plans to remove the requirement to pass an additional test in order to be able to tow larger trailers with a car or van.

In most cases if you passed your car driving test before 1st January 1997 you are already allowed to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8,250kg (MAM). These drivers are not affected by the proposed changes.

If you passed your car driving test from 1st January 1997 up to 18th January 2013, you will normally be able to drive a car or van up to 3,500kg MAM towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM and a trailer over 750kg MAM, as long as it is no more than the unladen weight of the towing vehicle (up to 3,500kg in total).

The rules for towing trailers over 750kg were changed for those who passed their test from 18th January 2013, these trailers could be towed as long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg.

These drivers are currently required to take an additional test to tow a larger trailer. Under the proposed changes these drivers will be able to tow trailers up to 3,500kg MAM without passing an additional test.

The proposed changes are expected to come into force later in the autumn, until then you must continue to follow the current rules for what you are allowed to tow. Equally as an employer if you have employees who drive for work you must ensure that they only drive vehicles and combinations where they are trained and competent to do so and hold the appropriate licence.

You can find out more about the proposed changes on the Gov.UK website at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-rules-for-towing-a-trailer-or-caravan-with-a-car-from-autumn-2021

Please speak to your normal PIB Risk Management contact or get in touch using info@pibrm.com if you have any questions or would like assistance with developing policies and procedures for managing occupational road risks.