Can I tow a caravan or horsebox on my car licence - without taking a test 2021?

New driving licence rules mean drivers who passed their driving test after 1996 will be able to tow a full-size caravan or two-animal horse trailer without passing an additional examination from 15 November 2021.

This is down to weight limitations being removed from licences issued after 1996, in a move that will help increase test capacity for HGV testing to help ease the current shortage.

What are the current rules?

Currently, drivers who first passed their test before 1 January 1997 are allowed to tow caravans or trailers weighing up to a maximum of 3500kg MAM.

Those who passed their test after 1 January 1997 are currently restricted to trailers or caravans up to 750kg, unless they take an additional test.

What are the categories to check on your licence?

If categories B and E include validity dates, you are currently allowed to tow, with a car, caravans and trailers up to 3500kg. If not, this entitlement will apply from 15 November 2o21.

Why is the licence restriction being scrapped?

As many of us will be aware, as shortage of HGV drivers is causing major problems for the UK supply chain. Scrapping the need for 30,000 B and E tests the DVLA oversees will mean more examiners available for HGV tests.

How licence regulations on towing currently stand

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 and trailer driving test if you want to tow anything heavier.

Licences issued from 19 January 2013

If you passed your car driving test from 19 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 the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg

You’ve had to pass a car and trailer driving test if you want to tow anything heavier.

Will I need to send my licence back to have B and E categories added after 15 November?

No. The DVLA will add the categories to your driving licence record, but this will only be added to your photocard when you apply to have it renewed.

Can I get a refund after previously paying to take a car and trailer test?

No - you will not be able to get a refund for the test or lessons preparing for it.