Using a car for towing involves a range of requirements for UK drivers. We’ve rounded up some key points.
Is my car up to the task?
You need to check your car’s towing capacity – the weight it is permitted to tow includes a fully loaded car and a fully loaded caravan – which you’ll find in the vehicle’s handbook. You’ll also need to make sure you’ve fitted an approved towbar.
Is my trailer the right size?
You can’t just tow any length of trailer. UK rules stipulate that the maximum trailer width for any towing vehicle is 2.55 metres, while the maximum length is seven metres for a trailer being towed by a car weighing up to 3,500kg.
Does my trailer need a braking system?
Any trailer weighing over 750kg inclusive of the load it’s carrying must have a working brake system. If a trailer doesn’t have a braking system, the maximum it’s allowed to be is 750kg, or half the kerbsite weight of the towing vehicle. You’ll be able to find this in the vehicle’s handbook.
Are my tyres set to the correct pressure?
If you’ve got the right car and the correct licence – check the gov.uk website if you’re unsure – you need to check your tyres. You’ll be able to find the right pressures for towing a caravan or trailer in your handbook, inside the fuel cap or on a plate inside the driver’s door shuts.
Are the speed limits the same for cars with or without trailers?
The rules for speed when towing a caravan or trailer are different to when you’re driving a car. On single carriageway roads where the speed limit for cars is 60mph, those towing a caravan or trailer must stick to 50mph. On a motorway or dual carriageway where the speed limit is 70mph, you must travel at 60mph. On roads with lower speed limits, such as 30, 40 or 50mph, the same applies to those towing trailers or caravans as it does to regular cars.
Can I carry passengers in a caravan while I tow it?
NO! Passengers are not permitted to stay in the caravan while it’s being towed – they must be sat and belted in the towing vehicle.
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