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HomeFarming NewsTrailer tests: A thing of the past in the UK
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-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 firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Trailer tests: A thing of the past in the UK

The UK government has officially scrapped car trailer towing tests as and from today (Thursday, December 16th, 2021).

All car drivers, who have passed their driving test since January 1st, 1997, can tow a trailer up to 3,500kg in weight without the need for a test.

In a statement this afternoon, DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) confirmed that it would update driving licence records to reflect the changes.

Trailer tests UK

A spokesperson said: “You do not need to contact DVLA for this to happen. It will be done automatically.”

“If you passed your car driving test before January 1st, 1997, you are not affected by the change.”

“You will get category BE added to your driving licence when you get a new photocard driving licence.”

Despite the new legal changes, it has advised motorists to take training from a driving instructor shall you wish to start driving a car and trailer.

As a result of today’s changes, you can no longer book or sit car and trailer driving tests.

Licences issued before January 1st, 1997

According to the government, if you fall into this bracket, you are not impacted by the changes if you passed your car driving test before the above date.

“You are usually allowed to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8,250kg maximum authorised mass (MAM).”

“Also, you are allowed to drive a minibus with a trailer over 750kg MAM.”

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

If you passed your car driving test from January 1st, 1997 to January 18th, 2013, you were allowed to 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)

Licences issued from January 19th, 2013

If you passed your car driving test from this date, you were allowed to drive either of the following:

  • a car or van up to 3,500kg MAM towing 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
HGV shortage

As reported by us, scrapping trailer tests is one of a raft of measures the government has introduced 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.

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