What you can tow

You can tow trailers up to a certain weight with your car driving licence. The weight you’re allowed to tow depends on when you got your licence.

You’ll need to know the weight of both the vehicle and trailer - also known as the ‘maximum authorised mass’ (MAM).

The MAM is listed in the owner’s manual and is normally shown on a plate or sticker fitted to the vehicle or trailer.

If you got your licence before 1 January 1997

You can usually drive a vehicle and trailer with a combined weight of up to 8,250kg MAM. View your driving licence information to check.

You’re also allowed to drive a minibus with a trailer over 750kg MAM.

If you got your licence from 1 January 1997 to 18 January 2013

You can tow a trailer that is either:

  • 750kg or less MAM, with a car or van up to 3,500kg MAM (up to 4,250kg in total)
  • more than 750kg MAM, as long as the trailer weighs less than the unladen weight of the vehicle (up to 3,500kg in total)

If you got your licence on or after 19 January 2013

You can tow a trailer that is either:

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

Car and trailer tests have stopped

You can no longer take a car and trailer test to tow heavier trailers.

The rules on towing a trailer are changing later in 2021. Find out how the rules are changing.

Towing heavier vehicle and trailer combinations

There are different steps if you want to tow combinations that are heavier than what you can tow with your current licence, and either:

  • you cannot wait until the rules change
  • the combination is heavier than what you’ll be able to tow when the rules change

You’ll need to:

  1. Apply for provisional licence for a medium-sized lorry and trailer (category C1+E).

  2. Pass the lorry theory test.

  3. Pass the C1+E driving test.

You need to take extra Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) tests if driving the medium-sized lorry is the main part of your job.

Once you’ve done this you can drive vehicles and trailers with a combined weight of up to 12,000kg MAM.