Guide to towing trailers and caravans
If you are considering buying a trailer or caravan there are a number of points you need to consider in order to be both legal and safe on the road.
Towing and your driving licenceThe gross (combined) weight of your vehicle and it's towed counterpart needs to be checked, as the weight that you are legally allowed to drive will depend on when you first got your driving licence. These are:-
- Licences obtained before Jan 1 1997 - 8.25 metric tonnes or whatever is indicated on your licence
- Licences obtained after Jan 1 1997 - 3.5 metric tonnes with trailer of up to 750kgs
Choosing a suitable towing vehicleIt's important to choose the right vehicle if you want to tow a trailer or caravan. It will have to be powerful enough to pull the trailer/caravan up a modest incline without difficulty. Ideally it will have a long wheelbase and be a fairly heavy vehicle like a 4X4.
The vehicle has to be properly maintained. Bulbs, brakes and brake pads must all be in excellent working order and your tyres should have a decent amount of tread and be inflated to the recommended pressure for the vehicle.
European regulations state that tow bars must be fitted to the point on the vehicle recommended by the manufacturer.
Check your insurance policy to make sure you are covered for towing a caravan or trailer and if you are not then ask them to amend it accordingly.
Speed restrictions for towing trailers or caravansFor towing vehicles, the UK speed limit on a dual carriageway or motorway is 60mph. On a single carriageway the speed limit for towing a caravan or trailer is 50mph.
If you are planning to travel outside of the UK you will have to check the speed restrictions for that particular country as they may vary.
Restrictions for weight and length
The weight of your braked trailer or caravan must not exceed 85% of the kerb weight of the towing vehicle. Checking your towing vehicles specification in it's manual should reveal this. Your unbraked trailer/caravan should have a gross maximum weight of 750kg or half the kerb weight of the towing vehicle.
For those unsure of the difference between braked and unbraked weights, the 'unbraked' weight of a trailer/caravan means the weight of one that does not have it's own brake system. The towing vehicle will have more control over a trailer/caravan if it has it's own set of brakes.
Excluding the A-frame and the hitch, the length of your trailer/caravan should not me more than 7 metres in length, and the width should be no more than 2.3m.
The rear of your trailer/caravanAs trailer/caravan obscures the rear of your vehicle, it is a required to replicate the functionality of signaling lights on the rear of your trailer or caravan. This includes:-
- Brake lights
- Red rear driving lights
- Number plate
- Number plate light
- A rear fog light
- Two red triangular reflectors
Call us now on 02392 484 244 for free help and advice from one of our experienced claims advisors.
No need to claim on your insurance
However if you were not at-fault for the accident, you can choose to either claim on your own insurance policy or make a claim independently of your insurer. To find out more call 02392 484 244 and we will be happy to help.
We and our partners help thousands of people make independent accident claims. Our service enables motorists to get the help and assistance they need to resolve their accident related issues, with the costs being recovered directly from the at-fault driver on your behalf.
No excess to pay
This money should of course be recovered by an insurer at a later date, but with our service - you do not have to pay it at all.
By using our independent claims service, you are not making a claim on your insurance policy and so you will have no excess to pay.
Receive a like-for-like replacement hire vehicle
Other policies may offer a 'courtesy car' but this is often just a 'basic' saloon or hatchback which may not be suitable for your needs.
Car Call and its partners will provide a like-for-like replacement vehicle as part of our service. This means we will endeavour to supply a hire-vehicle that similar to your own in terms of its type, make and engine size.
So whether you drive a small hatchback or a prestige sports car, we will look to provide a similar hire-vehicle that suits your needs.
Manufacturer approved vehicle repairs
Many of our accident repair centres are have manufacturer approvals for specific brands, so if you require a manufacturer approved repair centre, simply tell your personal claim handler and they will ensure your vehicle goes to an approved repairer.
Want you vehicle repaired by a specific garage? No problem, we can alternatively use a repairer that you specify.
They issues they can assist you with include:
- Recovery of the cost of the replacement hire-vehicle
- Recovery of the cost of uplifting your damaged vehicle
- Recovery of all repair costs
- Recovery of the cost of damaged of personal items
- Seeking financial compensation for an injury