National Trailer & Towing Association
Promoting Safe and Legal Towing

Driving Licences

Summary

You must hold a full driving licence to tow anything.

Most drivers who passed their test before 1 January 1997 have licence categories allowing them to drive vehicle and trailer combinations weighing up to 8.25 tonnes.

With effect from 1 January 1997 the second EC Directive on Driving Licences (91/439/EEC) came into effect, affecting new drivers passing their test after that date and HGV drivers who obtained their licence after 31 December 1991.

The net result is that new drivers will only be allowed to drive and tow the following combinations:

  • Vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes (category B) with a 750kg trailer (4.25 tonnes total MAM).
  • Category B vehicles with larger trailers i.e. > 750kg, provided that the combined MAM does not exceed 3.5 tonnes and the gross MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen weight of the towing vehicle. To be able to tow combinations outside this ruling requires the passing of an additional test.
  • New HGV drivers and those who have passed their HGV tests since 1 January 1992 will be restricted to towing trailers up to 750kg until they pass an additional test.

Detail of the Regulation

The Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Amendment) Regulations 1990 SI 1990 No 842 classifies vehicles according to either:

"Maximum authorised mass" (permitted maximum weight). Vehicles over 3,500kg MAM are classified as LARGE GOODS VEHICLES (LGV's) ? Number of seats. Vehicles having more than 8 seats (not including the drivers) are classified as PASSENGER CARRYING VEHICLES (PCV's)

Requires Additional qualifications for people to drive LGV's & PCV's

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