Thursday, 30 August 2012

Horseboxes and Trailers: UK Driving License Rules

So many people are confused regarding the UK driving license rules for horseboxes and trailers. This is quite understandable, because the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) rules on this matter are a bit complicated. Essentially, the rules are based upon the time that you passed your driving test. In most cases, those who passed their test before 1996 have it easier.

Individuals who passed the Driving test before January 1, 1997
If you passed the driving test before January 1, 1997 then by now, you should have a license with a category B+E. This indicates that there is no need for you to take extra tests to be permitted to tow a horsebox or trailer, so long as what you are towing does not go over 8.25 tonnes.

Individuals who passed the driving test on or after January 1, 1997
If you passed the driving test after January 1, 1997, then the rules are different for you. Your driving license will be under the category B+B1. This means, you are only permitted to drive cars or vehicles with a maximum weight of 3.5 tonnes, and tow horseboxes and trailers with a maximum weight of 750 kg. If you want to tow something that exceeds this weight limit, then you are required by the DVLA to take an extra test, so that category B+E can be added to your driving license.

How to Determine if you are Required to take the Additional Car and Trailer Test
In order to determine if you would need to take the extra test, you have to check the information below. This information can be obtained through the guidebook or manufacturer of your vehicle or trailer.

  •             The towing vehicle’s unladen weight
  •             The towing vehicle’s Maximum Authorized Mass (MAM)
  •             The trailer’s MAM

What you will be Tested for in the Additional Car and Trailer Test
If you find that you do need to take the extra test, you will be asked to complete a number of requirements. The test is derived from the lorry-driving test, and it lasts about an hour. It normally includes questions on vehicle safety, reverse off road manoeuvre, controlled stop, driving on road, and coupling, or un-coupling of the trailer. The test for the category B+E driving license will also have ten minutes of independent driving. This is meant to display your capacity to drive safely, while making decisions on your own.

Where can you take the test?
To take the test, you will need to go to a lorry driving test centre or a vocational bus test centre, as this test is not offered in any ordinary centres. As of 2011, the cost of the test is £115 if taken on a weekday, and £141 if taken on a weekend or at night.

At first, the UK driving license rules for trailers and horseboxes may seem a bit tricky. However, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. You just need to review your basics and keep calm on the practical test.

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