Press release

Motorists urged to check rules on towing before summer holidays

With the UK tourism industry expecting a bumper year, DVLA is reminding motorists to make sure they do not break the rules when towing a caravan for their holiday.

Image of a caravan being towed by a car on a road

Caravan holidays are becoming increasingly popular, with industry figures showing that bookings for 2019 are up by 16% on last year.

There are potentially thousands of motorists who need to check their entitlement to tow, as UK tourists spend around 50 million nights in the UK’s 555,000 touring caravans.

DVLA Strategy, Policy & Communications Director Lynette Rose said:

It’s important that all motorists know what their driving licence allows them to drive and if they’re entitled to tow.

If anyone’s unsure, they should visit GOV.UK where they can find out if they’re entitled to tow with just a few clicks.

Towing rules vary for drivers, depending on when they passed their driving test. There are different towing rules for motorists who passed their test before 1 January 1997.

Whether they are checking the categories of their driving licence or the weight allowance they can tow, motorists can find the information they need to drive safely this summer on GOV.UK.

Harvey Alexander, Director of Marketing at the Caravan and Motorhome Club, said:

There’s been a significant rise in the number of people choosing to spend their holidays caravanning.

Leisure vehicles provide a fantastic way to explore parts of the country you may have never experienced before, and it’s very important to us that we do all we can to help holidaymakers do so safely and legally.

Motorists can check their driving licence entitlements with DVLA’s view or share your driving licence service. They can also get information on towing.

Notes for editors

  • The Caravan and Motorhome Club says it has experienced the most successful start to the year ever, with bookings to its 2,700 UK sites up by 16%.
  • Statistics on nights spent in the UK’s caravans and motorhomes are from the NCC, a not-for-profit trade industry representing the caravan and motorhome trade.
  • Motorists who passed their test before 1 January 1997 are usually allowed to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8,250kg maximum authorised mass (MAM). They should view their driving licence information to check.
  • Motorists who passed their car driving test on or after 1 January 1997 can drive a car or van up to 3,500kg MAM towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM. They can tow a trailer over 750kg MAM as long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg.
  • There are further size restrictions for trailers that can be towed by motorists who passed their test on or after 19 January 2013.
  • Driving licence entitlements for motorhomes over 3,500kg also changed on 1 January 1997. Anyone who passed on or after that date can drive vehicles up to 3,500kg. People who passed before can drive vehicles weighing up to 7,500kg.
  • Get more information about different categories of driving licence.
  • The view or share your driving licence service also allows motorists to check their licence for any endorsements. To access their information motorists will need their driving licence and National Insurance numbers, or they can use GOV.UK Verify.
  • You can only use this service if your licence was issued in England, Wales or Scotland.

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Published 9 August 2019