Due to the increased demand for lorry drivers, the DVLA is currently creating an additional 50,000 lorry driving tests.
To facilitate this, the DVLA will scrap the previous restriction on drivers obtaining their license after 1997 and having to pass an additional driving test to tow a trailer or caravan.
These drivers were never given BE status on their license as drivers beforehand had been.
Category B+E means you can drive a motor vehicle (i.e. car, van or 4×4) not exceeding a 3,500kg Maximum Authorised Mass.
That means towing any weighted trailer or caravan within the prescribed maximum towing weight.
Smaller 2 and 4 berths Caravans tend to weigh between 800kg and 1300kg. Large 4 to 6 berth caravans are typically between 1300kg and 1800kg and beyond, but this varies depending on the manufacturer’s age.
To prioritise lorry driving tests, the government now automatically grants BE status to all these license holders.
You will not be allowed to tow trailers or caravans until the new law passes in Autumn 2021 with Royal Assent.
Before taking a trailer or caravan onto a public road, we recommend that you take professional practice lessons or from an experienced friend or family member.
Always ensure the trailer or caravan is roadworthy with functioning indicators, tyres, and the correct license plate displayed.
Ensure all contents are secured and that you do not exceed the maximum weight limit.
If you are towing a trailer on behalf of an employer, please ensure that they provide the relevant training and adhere to Health and Safety policy.
As you passed your initial driving test, you may not have considered that you would be able to tow anything without achieving an additional test.
Here are some relevant excerpts specific to towing that you might not know from the Highway Code.
You MUST SECURE your load, and it MUST NOT stick out dangerously.
MAKE SURE any heavy or sharp objects and any animals are SECURED SAFELY.
If there is a collision, they might hit someone inside the vehicle and cause serious injury. Therefore, you should properly distribute the weight in your caravan or trailer with heavy items mainly over the axle(s) and ensure a downward load on the tow ball.
Manufacturers recommended you should not exceed weight and tow ball load. This should avoid the possibility of swerving or snaking and going out of control. If this does happen, ease off the accelerator and reduce speed gently to regain control.
Carrying a load or pulling a trailer may require you to adjust the headlights.
Speed limits reduce by 10 mph for anything over the 30 mph speed limit when towing. You can find full details on the law change here.
The team here at Pocket Box looks forward to providing you with more helpful information in the future.
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