HomeFarming NewsUK stopping car and trailer driving tests this month
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a fifth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the company in 2015.
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UK stopping car and trailer driving tests this month

The UK government will implement new rules relating to towing a trailer with a car later this year.

As reported by us, this is one of a raft of measures it is introducing to address the ongoing HGV driver shortage.

In doing so, it aims to free up examiner capacity and “streamline” the stages of tests required and trailer testing content.

Overall, its objective is to benefit the speed at which drivers gain licences and reduce “unnecessary” barriers in becoming qualified.

Towing a trailer with car: What is changing? 

According to a recent statement, the rules on what you can tow differ depending on when a motorist passed their car driving test.

Later this year, when the law changes, if you have passed your car driving test from January 1st, 1997, you will be allowed to tow trailers up to 3,500kg MAM.

Licences issued from January 1st, 1997 to January 18th, 2013

If you passed your car driving test from 1 January 1997 to 18 January 2013, you can currently drive either of the following:

  • A car or van up to 3,500kg MAMtowing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM (up to 4,250kg in total)
  • A trailer over 750kg MAM, as long as it is no more than the unladen weight of the towing vehicle (up to 3,500kg in total)

You have had to pass a car and trailer driving test if you wish to tow anything heavier.

Rules relating to licences issued from January 19th, 2013

If you passed your car driving test from January 19th, 2013, you can currently drive either of the following:

  • A car or van up to 3,500kg MAMtowing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM (up to 4,250kg in total)
  • A trailer over 750kg MAMas long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg

Furthemore, the government state you have had to pass a car and trailer driving test if you want to tow anything heavier.

Car and trailer driving tests

The DVLA will automatically update records and add the BE category to respective licences.

In its statement, it announced a further change to testing.

“Car and trailer driving tests are stopping before the law changes.”

“You can no longer book or take a car and trailer driving test from September 20th, 2021. However, the law will not change until later in 2021.”

The government has not confirmed the exact date for this.

Fines, bans and penalty points

“Until the law changes later in autumn 2021, you must continue to follow the current rules about what you are allowed to tow based on when you passed your car driving test.”

If drivers tow “anything heavier before the law changes”, they face:

  • Fines of up to £1,000;
  • A driving ban;
  • Up to 6 penalty points.

The government added that rules relating to towing are different for those in Northern Ireland.

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