For many people around the UK and EU, Caravanning is a dream. It’s one of the favourite lifestyles especially for folks in middle or old age. The excitement is on another level when you finally reach the stage where you can buy a caravan and go touring.
The most important and the most ignored thing in the whole caravanning scene is Licensing. When people are about to hit the road, they realize the importance of licensing and ask themselves, Can I tow a caravan on a car licence?
You have landed at the right place.
Yes, you can tow a caravan on your car’s licence, but there’s a twist.
In this article, we will discuss the limitations you will face with different categories of licenses.
Before diving deep into the categories, let’s understand the terminologies used in this article for better understanding.
Maximum Authorized Mass (MAM)
Most people confuse Maximum Authorized Mass with the caravan’s weight solely, but it’s not like that.
Maximum Authorized Mass is the combined amount of weight of the car and the caravan that you can tow. You should stick to the limitations of MAM firmly; otherwise, consequences can be terrible for you.
Gross Train Weight
Now, this is something most people are unaware of before caravanning. Gross Train Weight or GTW is the sum of the weights of the fully-loaded trailer and the car.
GTW is the maximum weight a vehicle can bear safely. This weight is determined after vigorous testing and is provided with the vehicles by the manufacturers. You can trace GTW on the VIN that usually is printed on the driver’s door or below the bonnet.
Even if you violate the restrictions of GTW unknowingly, you will have to face the consequences.
Now, let’s move to the main question….
Can I Tow A Caravan On A Car Licence?
Can I Tow A Caravan With A ‘B’ Licence?
If you only have category B on your licence, then don’t worry because luckily, you can tow a caravan but with some limitations. ‘B’ Licence is issued to those who passed their driving test after January 1997. Fortunately, authorities allow people with ‘B’ licences to tow caravans with their vehicles, subject to some weight limitations…
Although you can tow a caravan if you have a ‘B’ licence, there are some limitations, as mentioned before. If you hold only a ‘B’ license, then you cannot exceed 4.25 tonnes of weight in total. This condition also only implies when the trailer weighs less than 750Kg.
If the trailer weighs more than 750Kg, then you are restricted to carry only 3.5 tonnes of weight. Ensure that the combined weight of your vehicle and the trailer is less than the weights mentioned above.
Needless to say, don’t forget about the Gross Train Weight Too.
What If I Passed My Test Before January 1997?
Consider yourself lucky if you passed your driving test before or in January 1997. At this time, “B + E” licences were issued by the government to the people who passed the driving test.
If you hold one of these legendary licenses, you get some perks over “B” licence holders.
Limitations for “B + E” licence holders are much more lenient as compared to “B” License holders.
The MAM increase to 8.25 tons for vehicle and caravan, plus you can also drive a minibus and that too with a trailer.
How To Upgrade B Driving Licence
If you hold a ‘B’ license and want to tow heavier weight, you have to pass the Trailer and Car driving test. There are multiple centres around UK and EU in which these tests take place. You simply have to apply (ideally following some training) and get a date for the test.
How To Upgrade B+E Licence
There are people out there who don’t want to settle with the limitations that come with ‘B+E’ licences. If this sounds like you, then you can go for the C1+E Category.
What Can I Tow With A C1+E Licence?
C1+E license takes your towing game to a whole new level. You can even drive a medium-sized lorry if you hold a C1+E licence.
Violation Of Towing Laws
Although caravanning is a part of British culture for so long, authorities are still pretty sensitive regarding the laws. If you are caught violating any of these laws knowingly or unknowingly, you can be in serious trouble.
Here are some consequences that you can face:
• You can face a hefty fine
• You can get up to six points the license
• You may find yourself in court
All of this just because of towing without the knowledge of rules. We are pretty sure that now you won’t be on the list of people who face these consequences.
Lack of knowledge can turn your long-awaited adventure into a mishap, nobody wants to unavoidably damage or dent their caravan right?. The licence you hold determines the adventures you can have.
The first thing you should do before going on a trip is to check the issuance date of your license. If you are not satisfied with the limitations of your license, you can go for upgrading by passing your trailer test to give you a category E entitlement.
One should understand that the laws we have are for our safety. By following these laws, you will be protecting your family, the people around you, and your joy.
You should not forget things like checking the VIN for GTW and MAM allowed on your licence.
Moreover, you should also know the amount of weight you are planning to tow to understand the scenario better.