Changes in trailer towing law

The proposed changes in the car and trailer towing law have been delayed. The new law was due to come into force on 15th Nocember 2021 however the DVLA have provided on update stating “The change will be intrdouced at a later date, and as soon as possible.”

The changes in the law would allow 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 therefore allowing more people to tow horse trailers without the requirement to pass an additional test. The DVLA announced the plans to remove the (B+E) towing test on 10th September as part of the Governments plan to ease the HGV driver shortage and allow time for testing for lorry drivers. To many people in the equine world this was exciting news however the changes caused huge debates over road safety, training schools, rescue providers and other road safety organisations who all urged drviers to particiapte in training before towing a trailer on the roads.

Until the law is changed, 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.