Confusion over trailer towing changes

The overturning of planned changes to test requirements for light vehicles such as pickups, 4x4s and cars towing trailers which were due to come into effect at the beginning of next week was widely condemned when it was announced yesterday.

The news that the planned changes to remove tests for those using trailers up to a Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) of 3,500kg would not go ahead was sprung on drivers on Friday.

The announcement means that anyone who does not already hold a trailer licence for towing a heavier weight trailer with a light vehicle (B + E) will continue to be unable to tow braked livestock trailers or horse boxes behind pickups or other vehicles.

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Jamie Smart, transport specialist with NFU Scotland said that currently there was no way for anyone who didn’t already have the licence to gain the required entitlement - as the tests which were previously required had been stopped by DVSA.

“This is the worst of both worlds as nobody can now obtain a licence to tow with a car or pickup - and you can't tow without one.

“It is not clear when the law will change - but we now know for certain that it won’t change on the 15 November,” said Smart adding he hoped it would be before the end of the year.

“But regardless of when the rule change comes into force, we continue to urge members to ensure that anybody towing has had adequate training to reduce the risk of accidents and ensure compliance with health and safety legislation around trailers,” he added.