Clarity over trailer licensing test

Changes surrounding trailer tests and licensing announced this week by the UK Government mean that drivers who passed their car driving test after January 1997 are now allowed to tow trailers behind pickups, vans and 4x4s up to their maximum approved towing capacity.

The dropping of the test requirement had been due to come into effect earlier this year - however, the move had been delayed in parliament. But the DVLA will now add Category BE automatically when photocard driving licenses are renewed - although drivers need not wait for this to be done before towing a trailer.

While it welcomed the move NFU Scotland, however, recommended that those planning to tow for the first time should still participate in training before taking to the roads, for health and safety reasons.

“NFU Scotland are pleased that the uncertainty over trailer licensing has been resolved and as of the 16 December 2021 anyone who holds a category B (car licence) will also be entitled to tow a trailer up to 3500kg subject to the towing vehicle’s towing capacity,” said the union’s transport expert, Jamie Smart.

He welcomed the fact that the ‘Catch 22’ situation which had left many younger drivers in limbo - as they still required to pass a test, yet were unable to book one - had come to an end.


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However, Smart repeated the advice that anyone who intended to tow a trailer behind their car or pickup still undertook appropriate training to improve road safety as well as ensuring compliance with health and safety legislation.


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