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Posted on: 23/07/2021

Can You Tow a Trailer on a Car Licence? The Answers

Written by: Eco Trailer

Towing a trailer isn’t something that most people do often, but there may be a point where it is necessary to. The facts around who can tow a trailer, where they can drive and more can get a bit foggy so we’re here to clear everything up. Here at Eco-Trailer, we’re experts in trailers so rest assured you’re in good hands. 

Can You Tow a Trailer on a Car Licence? 

So can you tow a trailer with a normal car licence? Yes and no. It all depends on the weight you are looking to tow. Anyone who had their drivers licence issued from the 1st of January 1997 can drive a car or van up to 3.5 tons with a maximum authorised mass (also called MAM) towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM. You can also tow a trailer over 750kg as long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3.5 tons. 

For drivers licences issued before the 1st of January 1997, you can drive a vehicle and trailer with a MAM of up to 8.25 tons. You can also drive a minibus with an attached trailer over 750kg MAM. 

What Is the Maximum Authorised Mass

To put it simply the maximum authorised mass is the limit on how much a vehicle can weigh when it is loaded. To tow anything above the limit you have to pass the car and trailer driving test. 

What if I want to Tow More?

Large van with open doors with a small white trailer attached in front of some mountains

If you need to tow anything more you’ll have to complete your C1+E driving test and theory. You’ll need to apply for a provisional licence and complete both the theory and practical test just like if you were doing your driving test again. After this, you can drive vehicles and trailers with a combined weight of up to 12 Tons MAM. 

Where Can I Drive With a Trailer? 

If you can drive a car where you want to go you can drive with a trailer too. Just remember that when you’re driving with a trailer that you’ll have to take wider corners to adjust for the trailer behind you. Also, remember the maximum trailer width is 2.55 metres and the maximum trailer length is 7 metres. 

You might have to compensate for the width and length of the trailer around corners and roundabouts, some roads like country lanes might be too narrow to accommodate your trailer so remember to plan your journey ahead of time to avoid any stress or damage you might cause to your trailer or vehicle. 

You can drive on motorways and dual carriageways just fine but remember speed limits for vehicles with trailers and caravans differ: 

  • 60 mph on motorways and dual carriageways
  • 50 mph on single carriageways
  • 30 mph in built-up areas 

Also, remember a vehicle with a caravan or trailer is not allowed to use the right-hand lane on a road with three or more lanes. 
Hopefully, this clears up any of the questions you had regarding driving with a trailer. If you are looking to buy an enclosed car trailer why not take a look at our trailer range. Alternatively, if you want to speak to us or have any more questions feel free to get in touch.