November 29, 2017 at 9:30 AM
Drivers who qualified before January 1997 can drive vehicle and trailer combinations weighing up to 8,250kg Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM). However, those who passed on or after 1st January 1997 may only drive a vehicle of up to 3,500kg MAM and tow a trailer of up to 750kg MAM. They can also tow a trailer over 750kg MAM if the combined MAM of the trailer and vehicle is no more than 3,500kg.
This is vitally important because exceeding the Gross Combination Weight (GCW) of your trailer and vehicle is prohibited. Details of the maximum GCW allowed can be found in your vehicle handbook and many vehicles also provide these details on a front door sill.
Where the towing vehicle has a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of up to and including 3500kg the size of the trailer that it is allowed to tow is restricted to ones measuring 7m long and 2.55m wide. That limit does not apply to trailers designed to carry long loads. Vehicles above that weight can tow a trailer of up to 12m long and 2.55m wide.
Whether the trailer is legally obligated to have brakes fitted, or not, depends on the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of the trailer. Breaks are not required for trailers with a GVW up to and including 750kg.
When towing a trailer, the speed limit on motorways and dual carriageways is only 60mph and on single-carriageway A and B roads, it is only 50mph. That applies provided that no lower limit is in force, of course.
Tachographs are used to record information about your driving and need to be installed if the Gross Vehicle Weight (GCW) of the towing vehicle and trailer is more than 3,500kg, and the purpose your journey is for business. In such circumstances the driver may be subject to the drivers hours regulations and operator licensing may apply.
This brief guide outlines what to consider when towing a trailer using a used van or used pick-up. If you require further information visit the Department Of Transport’s website where you can find more detailed advice on towing a trailer with a car or van.