Huge DVLA rule changes set to benefit motorists on camping holidays

Motorists who holiday with a caravan or trailer are in for some huge changes courtesy of the DVLA.

The number of people looking to ‘staycation’ has increased dramatically since the pandemic prompted restrictions on international travel.

Pending parliamentary approval, the new rules will be rolled out on November 15.

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From that date, anyone who passed their car driving test on or after January 1, 1997, will be allowed to tow trailers up to 3,500kg.

Previously, drivers in that bracket could only tow trailers up to 750kg. They are allowed to drive a trailer over 750kg as long as it is no more than the unladen weight of the towing vehicle – that is, up to 3,500 kg in total.

Proof that motorists are allowed to tow trailers will be recorded in the form of a BE category the DVLA will add when they next issue a photocard driving licence.



car towing caravan
Some rules are changiing

Current rules mean that, depending on when you passed your driving test, it limits you on what you can pull behind your car without taking a test.

Motorists can be fined up to £1,000, be banned from driving and get up to 6 penalty points if they tow anything heavier than they are currently allowed before the law changes.

Only if supervised by someone who is 21 years old+ and has had category BE on their licence for 3 years+ can motorists tow heavier items. Even then, ‘L’ plates must be displayed.

Here’s what you’re currently allowed to tow

Licences issued before 1 January 1997

You will not be affected by the changes if you passed your car driving test before January 1, 1997.

You’re usually allowed to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8,250kg. You’re also allowed to drive a minibus with a trailer over 750kg.

Licences issued from 1 January 1997 to 18 January 2013

If you passed your car driving test from January 1, 1997, to January 18, 2013, you can currently drive:

  • a car or van up to 3,500kg towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM (up to 4,250kg in total)
  • a trailer over 750kg, as long as it is no more than the unladen weight of the towing vehicle (up to 3,500kg in total)

You’ve had to pass a car and trailer driving test if you want to tow anything heavier.



New DVLA rule changes set to impact motorists who holiday with a caravan or trailer
New DVLA rule changes set to impact motorists who holiday with a caravan or trailer

Licences issued after January 19, 2013

If you passed your car driving test from January 19, 2013, you can currently drive:

  • a car or van up to 3,500kg, towing a trailer of up to 750kg (up to 4,250kg in total)
  • a trailer over 750kg as long as the combined weight of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg

You’ve had to pass a car and trailer driving test if you want to tow anything heavier.

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