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Subject Topic: The driving licence you need to tow a car
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Message posted by Papa Pip on 12/9/2007 at 5:55pm
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The driving licence you need to tow a caravan or trailer

 The ability to tow a caravan or trailer will depend on the driving licence you hold. The category entitlement on your driving licence will determine the type of trailer you can tow.

Maximum authorised mass (MAM)

In this article reference is made to the maximum authorised mass (MAM) of vehicles and trailers. This should be taken to mean the permissible maximum weight, also known as the gross vehicle weight.

Car licences held before 1 January 1997

All drivers who passed a car test before 1 January 1997 retain their existing entitlement to tow trailers until their licence expires. This means they are generally entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8.25 tonnes MAM. They also have entitlement to drive a minibus with a trailer over 750kgs MAM.

Drivers who hold subcategory C1+E - limited to 8.25 tonnes MAM, may apply for provisional entitlement to the new subcategory C1+E, in order to take and pass the test which will increase their combined vehicle and trailer entitlement to 12 tonnes MAM. It is not necessary to gain subcategory C1 entitlement first but drivers have to meet higher medical standards, and pass both the category C theory test and the subcategory C1+E practical test.

Large goods vehicle and passenger carrying vehicle licences held before 1 January 1997

Since 1 January 1997 all drivers who hold category C or D entitlement have been limited to trailers up to 750kgs MAM; Category C+E or D+E must be held in order to tow trailers in excess of this.

Car driving licence first obtained since 1 January 1997

Drivers who passed a car test on or after 1 January 1997 are required to pass an additional driving test in order to gain entitlement to category B+E and all larger vehicles. In addition to the new driving tests, drivers of vehicles which fall within subcategories C1, C1+E, D1 and D1+E also have to meet higher medical standards.

Upgrading entitlement for trailers

In general, an additional driving test is required for each category or subcategory of entitlement. But there are certain exceptions to this where drivers have already passed one test which involves trailer entitlement for a larger or equivalent sized vehicle.

This means that passing a test for subcategory C1+E or D1+E upgrades category B entitlement to B+E. A test pass for subcategory C1+E upgrades subcategory D1, if held, to D1+E. But a test pass for subcategory D1+E does not upgrade subcategory C1 to C1+E because the trailer size required for a subcategory D1+E test is smaller than that required for a subcategory C1+E test.

Passing a test for category C+E upgrades category B entitlement to B+E and also confers entitlement to subcategory C1 and C1+E and, if category D or subcategory D1 is held, these are upgraded to category D+E or subcategory D1+E. A test passed for category D+E upgrades category B and subcategory D1 to category B+E and subcategory D1+E respectively. But it does not upgrade category C or subcategory C1 entitlements because the trailer size required for a category D+E test is smaller than that required for a category C+E or subcategory C1+E test.

Provisional trailer entitlement

Since 1 January 1997 drivers are no longer able to sit a test in a heavy vehicle/trailer combination (eg category C+E or D+E) unless they have first passed a test and obtained a full licence in the corresponding rigid vehicle (eg category C or D).

This means that although drivers may have been driving a vehicle and trailer combination legitimately, under L plates, they are not permitted to sit a trailer test using such a combination until a test has been passed in a rigid vehicle and a full licence obtained for that category.

This information is not intended to be a definitive statement of law.

Construction and use

This article relates to driver licensing matters only. For details on the construction and use requirements regarding weights and dimensions for trailers please contact:

Transport, Technology and Standards, Department for Transport, Zone 2/01, Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DR 

Email: tts.enquiries at dft.gsi.gov.uk



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Message posted by clanjones on 28/10/2007 at 2:04am
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i just gotta get rid of that sad face for  no answers ..

Message posted by alsparker on 29/10/2007 at 12:15pm
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nice too see your still on top of things papa.

Message posted by stormcrow on 29/10/2007 at 8:29pm
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flippin eck Graham, thats a lot of reading regards S/C

Message posted by linsay54 on 16/11/2007 at 5:39pm
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we have a pulman ,pennine folding camper about 10 yrs old ,where do we find the gross weight? i have emailed pennine,who gave a contact number but have had no luck getting in touch.we live in france & as far as we can  gather we need a HGV to tow over 750. thx

Message posted by Papa Pip on 16/11/2007 at 8:48pm
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Hi Linsay, Take the camper along to the nearest weigh station and i am sure they will be happy to weigh it for you.

Contact DVLA and I am sure they will be able to make sense out of the above for you.

 



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Message posted by Papa Pip on 16/11/2007 at 8:49pm
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Quote: Originally posted by alsparker on 29/10/2007
nice too see your still on top of things papa.

Had an enquiry on my website about it so looking up the website for Dvla to try and make a reply. You know me to well Als! lol

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Message posted by Papa Pip on 16/11/2007 at 8:51pm
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Quote: Originally posted by stormcrow on 29/10/2007
flippin eck Graham, thats a lot of reading regards S/C

Not something i would do in a hurry again! Still reeling from the unwritten bits!

Wasn't there something about the Government using less gobbledegook! Obviously not reached the writters of these things yet!



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Message posted by Big_Mike on 12/1/2008 at 12:39pm
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Do you have in the UK different licensing than the rest of the EU?

Mike

Message posted by Papa Pip on 12/1/2008 at 3:24pm
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Hi Big Mike, the information relates to UK Driving licences, sorry I do not know if the rest of Europe uses the same rules or not but your local Transport Dept office should be able to help. Please feel free to post the information for you country and any other countries on this section.
Papa Pip

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Message posted by Big_Mike on 12/1/2008 at 5:56pm
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Hi,
Have just been looking up the EU Driving Licence Laws.
Basically they are the same, but there are some big differences.
We don't have a 'P' class this is then class 'M', I think that this was
taken from the English word for 'Moped'. Its very simple, class
'A' with 3 underlying category's all Motorbikes. Class 'B' with
3 underlying category's are cars/trailers/caravans. Class 'C' with
4 underlying category's only for commercial vehicles, in commercial service. Class 'D' with 4 underlying category's is for passenger carrying bus. There are a few others like class 'R' for Police, Fire, Customs or Ambliance. Class 'Y' for soldiers and other forces. ALL these classes are the same, roughly, from Finland to Greece. This is all not a big problem, but there are some that don't match up i.e the bus driver in Holland has a licence with 'DE', or a driver from the UK with a car and caravan with his UK class 'C1E'. This would mean a very heavy fine, and possibly loss of licence. This class is reserved for commercial vehicles only, correct, under EU law would be 'BE'. We don't have any 'N' or 'F', 'F' in the EU is 'L' = land machine (Harvester), or 'T' for tractor. In the EU class 'S' is for snow machines, quads, easy-riders. I have classes BE, C1E, A, D1. I wish the EU would get it all together.

Mike

Message posted by Papa Pip on 13/1/2008 at 6:53pm
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Quote: Originally posted by Big_Mike on 12/1/2008
Hi,
Have just been looking up the EU Driving Licence Laws.
Basically they are the same, but there are some big differences.
We don't have a 'P' class this is then class 'M', I think that this was
taken from the English word for 'Moped'. Its very simple, class
'A' with 3 underlying category's all Motorbikes. Class 'B' with
3 underlying category's are cars/trailers/caravans. Class 'C' with
4 underlying category's only for commercial vehicles, in commercial service. Class 'D' with 4 underlying category's is for passenger carrying bus. There are a few others like class 'R' for Police, Fire, Customs or Ambliance. Class 'Y' for soldiers and other forces. ALL these classes are the same, roughly, from Finland to Greece. This is all not a big problem, but there are some that don't match up i.e the bus driver in Holland has a licence with 'DE', or a driver from the UK with a car and caravan with his UK class 'C1E'. This would mean a very heavy fine, and possibly loss of licence. This class is reserved for commercial vehicles only, correct, under EU law would be 'BE'. We don't have any 'N' or 'F', 'F' in the EU is 'L' = land machine (Harvester), or 'T' for tractor. In the EU class 'S' is for snow machines, quads, easy-riders. I have classes BE, C1E, A, D1. I wish the EU would get it all together.

Mike

We live in hope Mike!!!

Thanks for the info.
Papa Pip



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Message posted by Raessa on 03/7/2008 at 2:05pm
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Hi there

You can get towing lessons from www.towing-solutions.co.uk or there is a manual that you can buy really useful called "How To Pass The Towing Test" that gives you a step by step guide on how to tow and pass the test from the company above

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Message posted by irn bru on 05/7/2008 at 8:59pm
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excuse my thickness!!! I have been reading all the blurb?? and I am 1 of these peeps who passed their test after Jan 1997 and am I right in thinking I can tow a caravan with a car as long as the mass weight does not exceed 3.5tonnes??? and how many kgs are in a tonne. Please someone make this simple.

Message posted by Papa Pip on 07/7/2008 at 12:46pm
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Hi Irn Bru, had a look into weights etc and believe that 3.5 Tonnes = 3,500kg.

Our car is 1850kg and the caravan just below 1000kg giving us a total of 2850kg which would be permissable judging by the information in the original post. The max weight our Citroen is permitted to tow is 1300kg (Manufacturers Max figure) which would mean that at its heavyist we would be 3150kg with a braked trailer. The max for an unbraked trailer is 690kg.

To find out what your cars weight is have a look at the weight plate on the car (inside engine bay or on one of the door pillers on most cars)

Hope this helps!



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Message posted by bordercaz on 07/7/2008 at 2:46pm
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A tonne is a metric tonne (as opposed to an imperial ton) and equals 1,000 Kilograms.

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Caz
If you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, just keep going till you go round the bend.

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