Knowing who can tow a caravan is not as complex as it may seem. As a driver, in most cases you can tow a caravan or trailer without needing to update your licence. However, if you are a younger driver or over 70 years of age, you need to check exactly what your licence allows you to tow.
What size caravan can I tow on a car licence?
When asking “what can I tow on my licence?” you need to think about the size of a caravan in terms of its weight ratio.
If you passed your driving test after 1 January 1997, you’ll be more restricted by your licence when towing above certain weights. For heavier outfit combinations, a B+E or C1+E licence may be required - these categories are no longer included as standard, meaning you may need to pass an additional test.
If you have a Category B licence and passed your test prior to 1 January 1997 you can drive:
Towed outfits: any outfit where the combined Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) does not exceed 8,250kg (over this weight would have required an additional test pre-1997). However, our recommended weight ratio between trailer and towing vehicle is 85%.
Rigid motorhomes without a trailer: any of these where the MAM does not exceed 7,500kg.
Rigid motorhomes with a trailer: as long as the total MAM of trailer and motorhome does not go over 8,250kg no further test is required, but our recommended weight ratio between trailer and towing vehicle is 85%.
If you have a Category B licence and passed your test on or after 1 January 1997 you can drive:
Towed outfits: you’re restricted to a combined MAM of 3,500kg and the trailer MAM must not exceed the unladen weight of the towing vehicle (85% ratio remains strongly recommended). If this MAM is to be exceeded, an additional E Test pass is required.
Rigid motorhomes without a trailer: you're restricted to a MAM of 3,500kg until passing the Large Good Vehicle (LGV) test, after which you're is qualified to 7,500kg MAM.
Rigid motorhomes towing a trailer: as long as the trailer doesn’t exceed 750kg and the combined MAM doesn’t exceed 4,250kg you don't need to take another test for this type of outfit. However if the trailer MAM exceeds 750kg then the first point applies for a vehicle less than 3,500kg. Otherwise an LGV test plus an E test is needed.
The caravan test in the UK is often known as a B+E test or a C1+ E test (if wanting to drive a 7.5 tonne with trailer).
The Driving Instructors’ Association has a list of qualified driving instructors that can tutor those wishing to take the B+E driving test - visit the Driving Standards website at www.dsa.gov.uk