The rules about towing a trailer or caravan with a car have changed as of today (Thursday 16 December 2021), the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)  has announced.

Drivers who passed their car driving test after 1 January 1997 are now allowed to tow trailers up to 3,500kg maximum authorised mass (MAM).

This will affect numerous horse owners who previously needed to take and pass a trailer towing test in order to be able to tow their horses within the law. There is now no need to.

Drivers who passed their test before 1 January 1997 were already entitled to tow trailers and caravans up to 3,500kg MAM and so are not affected by today’s law change.

The DVLA made the announcement today, after the change was discussed and passed in parliament.

The change has been made so that more lorry tests can be offered instead, helping to combat the shortage of lorry drivers in the UK.

The DVLA confirmed that it will automatically update driving records to show that drivers are allowed to tow trailers and the category BE will be added to licences when you next get a photo card driving licence. There is no need to contact the DVLA for this to happen, it will be done automatically.

Trailer tests ceased earlier this year, on 20 September, after the changes to the licence requirements were first announced.

The original date for the change in law to come into effect was Monday 15 November, however it was delayed.

A statement from the DVLA said that drivers are not able to get a refund or compensation for any trailer towing trailer that they have undertaken, or for any trailer tests that have been taken in the past.

It also added that “it’s best to take training from a driving instructor if you want to start driving a car and trailer”.

Read the full update from the DVLA here.

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