VEHICLE TOWING WEIGHT - Each Driving Licence Category
Driving Licences Pre and Post 1 January 1997
Caravans - TrailersThe towing weight allowed for a caravan or trailer will depend on the driving licence you hold. The category entitlement on your driving licence will determine the type of trailer you can tow and its towing weight.
Driving Licences Held Before 1 January 1997
All drivers who passed a car test before 1 January 1997 retain their existing entitlement for trailers until their licence expires.
This means they are generally entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8.25 tonnes MAM.
They also have entitlement to drive a minibus with a trailer over 750kgs MAM.
Drivers who hold subcategory C1+E - limited to 8.25 tonnes MAM, may apply for provisional entitlement to the new subcategory C1+E, in order to take and pass the test which will increase their combined vehicle and trailer entitlement to 12 tonnes MAM.
Large goods vehicle and passenger carrying vehicle licences held before 1 January 1997Since 1 January 1997 all drivers who hold category C or D entitlement have a towing weight limited to trailers up to 750kgs MAM; Category C+E or D+E must be held in order to tow trailers in excess of this towing weight.
Driving Licences Passed After 1 January 1997
Drivers who passed a car test on or after 1 January 1997 are required to pass an additional driving test in order to gain entitlement to category B+E and all larger vehicles.
Upgrading Driving Licence Entitlement for TrailersIn general, an additional driving test is required for each category or subcategory of entitlement. But there are certain exceptions to this where drivers have already passed one test which involves trailer entitlement for a larger or equivalent sized vehicle.
Provisional Entitlement for TrailersSince 1 January 1997 drivers are no longer able to sit a test in a heavy vehicle/trailer combination (eg category C+E or D+E) unless they have first passed a test and obtained a full licence in the corresponding rigid vehicle (eg category C or D).
This means that although drivers may have been driving a vehicle and trailer combination (towing weight) legitimately, under 'L' plates, they are not permitted to sit a trailer test using such a combination until a test has been passed in a rigid vehicle and a full licence obtained for that category.
This information is not intended to be a definitive statement of law.
Unladen WeightThe unladen weight of any vehicle is the vehicles own weight when not carrying any goods or burden. This is:
MAM - Maximum Authorised MassThe term maximum authorised mass (MAM), which is also known as gross weight and permissible maximum weight, is the maximum weight of the vehicle that may be used on the road including the maximum load the vehicle may safely carry.
This is normally shown on a plate fitted to the vehicle.
If a vehicle is unlikely to be used at its potential maximum weight most vehicles may be downplated, i.e. the vehicles springs or other components can be changed, so that only a lighter load can be carried.
The maximum authorised mass or gross weight is a factor in determining what driving entitlement is required. To return to cars & vans categories - click HERE
Plated WeightThe maximum authorised mass should be shown on the departments manufacturing plate fitted to the vehicle.
This means the marking on a goods vehicle, by means of a ministry plate, showing the maximum weights for that particular vehicle e.g. maximum authorised mass, and in certain cases, train weight and towing weight.
Train WeightTrain weight is the combined MAM of the vehicle its permitted towing weight and the MAM of the trailer it is pulling.
This means all must have "Business Insurance" of one type or another for all vehicles duty of care used on any business of that company or organisation. You must also include insurance on your Vehicles Duty of Care Driver Checklist!
Return From Towing Weight to UK Driving Licence
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