Drivers forced to wait a little longer for law change to allow trailer towing

  • Changes to the car and trailer towing law, which will allow more people to tow horse trailers without having to pass an additional test, have been delayed.

    The new law had been due to come into force on 15 November but in an update published by the DVLA today (11 November) it was announced this is no longer the case.

    “The change will be introduced at a later date, and as soon as possible,” read the statement.

    Under the new rules people who passed their car driving test from 1 January 1997 will be allowed to tow trailers up to 3.5T maximum authorised mass (MAM) – however different rules will apply if you live in Northern Ireland.

    Until the law change comes into effect, drivers must continue to follow the current rules about what they are allowed to tow based on when they passed their car driving test. Drivers can only tow anything heavier, if being supervised by a person at least 21 years old who has had category BE on their licence for a minimum of three years.

    “You can be fined up to £1,000, be banned from driving and get up to 6 penalty points on your driving licence if you tow anything heavier before the law changes,” states the Government website.

    Decision to scrap car and trailer towing test

    The DVSA announced plans to scrap the car and trailer (B+E) towing test on 10 September as part of Government plans to tackle the HGV driver shortage. The reasoning behind the decision was to free up testing capacity for lorry drivers.

    The decision sparked serious road safety concerns, with training schools, equine transport rescue service providers and road safety organisations all strongly urging drivers to undertake training before hitching up. Some also felt the change would not help to significantly increase the number of HGV drivers.

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