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Licensing Laws


If you obtained your licence before 1st January 1997, you are entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer combination with a MAM (maximum authorised mass) of up to 8,250kg (8.25 tonnes), which should cover the majority of laden horse trailer and towing vehicle combinations.

Licences obtained on or after the 1st January 1997

If, however, you obtained your full driving licence on, or after, 1st January 1997 you will need to take an additional test to gain entitlement to category B+E.

Category B+E entitles you to drive vehicles with a Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) up to 3500kgs towing a trailer with a MAM over 750kgs. Read about the category B+E driving test

Towing without the category B+E entitlement
The category B entitlement (standard car licence) entitles you to couple a category B vehicle (up to MAM of 3500kgs) with a trailer up to 750kgs MAM. (in this instance allowing a combined weight of 4250kgs MAM).
 

You can pull a trailer over 750kgs so long as the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen weight of the towing vehicle and that the combination does not exceed 3500kgs.

Example where a category B licence could tow

Your towing vehicle has an unladen weight of 1.25 tonnes and a MAM of 2 tonnes;

It is coupled with a trailer with a MAM of 1.25 tonnes;

This could be driven by the holder of a category B (standard driving licence) entitlement because the MAM of the combination does not exceed 3.5 tonnes and also the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen weight of the drawing vehicle.

Example where a B+E licence would be required
The same towing vehicle with an unladen weight of 1.25 tonnes and a MAM of 2 tonnes;

Coupled with a trailer with a MAM of 1.5 tonnes;

This combination could not be towed by a driver with the only a category B entitlement. A category B+E pass would be required because the MAM of the trailer is more than the unladen weight of the towing vehicle even though the combined weight of the vehicle and trailer is within the 3.5 tonnes MAM limit.

 

For more information on licensing laws, visit:  


www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/DriverLicensing/CaravansTrailersCommercialVehicles/DG_4022564

www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/DriverLicensing/CaravansTrailersCommercialVehicles/DG_4022521
 

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Last updated: 28/07/2010
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