Are You legal to tow? (B+E and driving licences issued after 1997)

perthshire trailer training am i legal to tow a trailer caravan horseboxMany people assume that having a UK driving licence entitles them to drive with a trailer attached. The truth is that things are a little more complicated than that.

In most cases there is one simple decider on whether you are legal to drive with certain types of trailer; the date on which you passed your driving test. If you…

Passed your car driving test on or AFTER 1 January 1997

  • You CAN drive a car or van towing a trailer, however there are restrictions. Your car must not weigh more than 3,500kg ‘maximum authorised mass’ (or ‘MAM’ i.e. how much the vehicle can weigh when it’s loaded). To put this in perspective; a Nissan Navara pickup carrying no load typically weighs just under 2,000kg. If the total weight of your car is below the 3,500kg limit (that’s including anything packed in the car, along with passengers) then you can tow a trailer of up to 750kg ‘MAM’
  • You CAN also tow a trailer OVER 750kg ‘MAM’ as long as the combined ‘MAM’ of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg

NB If you want to tow anything heavier than this you will need to pass the car and trailer driving test (what’s referred to as a B+E qualification). I offer a three-day intense driving course. If you would like to know more please get in touch by clicking this link.

Passed your car driving licence BEFORE 1 January 1997

  • If you passed your car test before 1 January 1997 you will ordinarily be able to drive a vehicle and trailer combination of up to 8,250kg MAM. (Though to be safe it’s recommended that you look at your driving licence information to check.)
  • You’re also allowed to drive a minibus with a trailer over 750kg MAM.


My three-day B+E trailer towing course would obviously apply just as well to caravans and horse boxes. However, if you are already qualified to tow larger loads I am also happy to offer taster sessions and refresher sessions (if, for example, you’d like some extra help in dealing with reversing). Please get in touch for more information, my contact details can be found by clicking this link.


Information checked against details listed at and found accurate as of 15.01.17


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