Trailer Licence Changes 2021
Good news for those with Full UK Driving Licences who missed out on the “Grandad Rights” on licences issued before January 1st 1997. A new change is coming into place on 20th September 2021 where people who passed their test after January 1st 1997 will soon be eligible to tow trailers with a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of 3,500KG. None of our trailers at Coventry Trailer Hire have a MAM exceeding 3,500KG so all customers can now tow any of our trailers on their Full UK Driving Licence from late Autumn 2021 when the law officially changes.
The Current Laws
Before the changes following 20th September 2021
Licences issued before 1 January 1997
You will not be affected by the changes if you passed your car driving test before 1 January 1997.
You’re usually allowed to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8,250kg maximum authorised mass (MAM). View your driving licence information to check.
You’re also allowed to drive a minibus with a trailer over 750kg MAM.
MAM is the limit on how much the vehicle can weigh when it’s loaded.
Licences issued from 1 January 1997 to 18 January 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 MAM towing 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’ve had to pass a Car & Trailer driving test if you want to tow anything heavier.
The New Laws
After the changes following 20th September 2021
Licences issued from 1st January 1997 onwards
If you passed your car driving test on or after the 1st January 1997, you’ll now be allowed to tow trailers up to 3,500kg MAM when the law changes.
The DVLA will update your driving licence record to show that you’re allowed to tow trailers. You will receive the category BE rights added to your driving licence when you apply for a new photo driving licence after the law changes.
The official date for the new law change is yet to be announced but it is estimated for late Autumn 2021.
Car & Trailer driving tests are stopping from 20th September 2021
Car & Trailer driving tests are stopping before the law changes.
This means you can no longer book or take a Car & Trailer driving test from 20th September 2021. However, the law will not change until later in 2021.
What you can tow until the law changes
Until the law officially changes in late Autumn 2021, you must continue to follow the current rules about what you’re allowed to tow based on when you passed your car driving test.
You could be fined up to £1,000, get up to 6 penalty points on your driving licence or be banned from driving altogether if you are caught towing anything heavier than your current licence allows before the law changes.
You’re only allowed to tow anything heavier if you’re being properly supervised. Whilst being supervised, you must:
- clearly display “L” plates to the front of the towing vehicle and the rear of the trailer
- be accompanied by a competent person who is at least 21 years old and has had category BE on their own UK driving licence for at least 3 years.
Towing a trailer for the first time
Towing a trailer can be a daunting task and prove difficult for some. It is always best to take training from a driving instructor if you want to start driving a car and trailer. Drive within your own capabilities and ensure you have read up on trailer towing using our Trailer Tips & Tricks guides.
The ‘National standard for driving cars and light vans’ tells you about the skills, knowledge and understanding you need to tow a trailer or caravan.
You may also wish to read up on:
- our towing a trailer guide
- our reversing a trailer guide
- trailer hitching advice
- why learning to tow is important
- safety checks you should do when you’re towing a trailer or caravan with a car
If you’ve already booked a Car & Trailer driving test
What happens next if you have a Car & Trailer test coming up
Tests before 20th September 2021
If you have booked a Car & Trailer test scheduled before the 20th September then your car and trailer driving test will go ahead as planned. You can cancel your appointment if you no longer want to take the test. If your driving instructor booked your test for you, please talk to them about cancelling it.
Tests from 20th September 2021
Your Car & Trailer test will not go ahead if it was due to take place on or after 20th September 2021. If you booked the test yourself, the DVSA will automatically cancel it for you and you’ll receive a full refund.
If you have already passed a Car & Trailer driving test
Unfortunately, you are not entitled to any refund or compensation for any training that you took to help you prepare to take a car and trailer driving test or get a refund for any tests you took. You will not receive any additional licence category at this time, putting you in the same position as those who have benefited from the new law change.
Putting your new licence to use
Coventry Trailer Hire are the Midlands’ premier trailer centre, with over 20 years experience in hiring quality trailers to the public and a larger variety of trailers than anyone else! We offer car trailer hire, box trailer hire, flat bed trailer hire and much more. Call us on 02476666304 to book a quality trailer for rental.
Our West Midlands based site in Coventry is situated just minutes from Junction 3 of the M6 meaning easy access for customers searching for trailer hire in Coventry, Birmingham trailer hire, trailer hire in Wolverhampton, Walsall trailer hire and trailer hire West Midlands. Just outside of the county of Warwickshire ensuring easy access for Nuneaton trailer hire, trailer hire in Leamington Spa, Warwick trailer hire and trailer hire in Rugby.
Our Midlands based site is just a short drive away from the M69 and A5 meaning we are ideally located for customers looking for trailer hire in Leicester, Hinckley trailer hire, trailer hire in Atherstone, Barwell trailer hire, trailer hire in Burbage, Stoney Stanton trailer hire, trailer hire in Lutterworth, Northampton trailer hire and trailer hire in East Midlands.