TOWING ON A CATEGORY B LICENSE

alsxx

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There have been a lot of disagreements on here about whether or not you can tow on just a cat B license.

I e-mailed the DVLA a few weeks ago, and finally had a response this afternoon:

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Thank you for your email.

I am sorry for the delay in replying to your email. We are currently experiencing technical difficulties resulting in delayed receipt of emails.

However, I can confirm that as the holder of a full Category B licence, you are able to tow the following combinations:

If your car weighs less than 3.5 tonnes maximum authorised mass (MAM) you are able to drive a combination weight of 3.5 tonnes (i.e. car of 2.5 tonnes and a trailer of 1 tonne). In this instance the laden weight of the trailer must not exceed the weight of the towing vehicle.

If your car weighs exactly 3.5 tonnes MAM you are able to tow a small trailer of 750kgs.

I hope this helps.

Regards

Mrs xxxx (deleted name out as thought I should!
www.direct.gov.uk/motoring

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So hopefully that should put an end to it, and for some out there it is legal for them to juggle their weights and avoid having to take a test (me included to drive the pone around!).
 

Stoxx

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So in other words, no you can't get away with towing a sufficient 4x4 and horsey trailer.

(As the MAM would most certainly be over 3.5t)
 

martlin

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[ QUOTE ]
So in other words, no you can't get away with towing a sufficient 4x4 and horsey trailer.

(As the MAM would most certainly be over 3.5t)

[/ QUOTE ]
Well, you can just about get away with some, for example my x-trail has MAM of 2t, a l1 horse trailer would be about 700 kg, which would leave me with 800 kg payload
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Stoxx

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Ah, yes the single trailers. I never even count those as options!

Suppose I should have put, for your IW505/510's you can't really legally get away with it. Even though I know lots do. I would never make my insurance invalid for the sake of a one off test though!!
 

martlin

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OK then 2 horse Cheval Liberte 720 kg - still leaves you with 780 kg payload
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I don't care either way, I don't tow a trailer
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Just like doing the maths, sad that I am
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Stoxx

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This is where the grey area is though and that email from the DVLA doesn't clear it up.

I was always told that should you get stopped they would take it on the MAM of both car and trailer. My trailer is just over 1t and my horse plus bits and bobs can't be more than 800kg, however the MAM of the trailer is round about 2600kg (off the top of my head).

So what we really need is the DVLA to confirm that should you be stopped you would be given the opportunity to go to a weigh bridge.
 

martlin

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No, it's the MAM they take into consideration, but you can have a trailer downgraded to the desired MAM at any trailer dealer.
Of course that is possibly restricting resale value/saleability of the trailer, but nonetheless it can be done
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alsxx

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I worked it out for me in my Rav4 (which has a manufacturers advised max towing weight of 1500kgs) and my 450kg mare that it is possible...only mare is broke so wont be getting one now anyway, but:

My MAM of car is just under 2tonnes, with a Cheval Liberte single trailer which can be downgraded to MAM of 1200kgs, the total MAM comes to 3200kgs which is legal.

With unladen weight of trailer of say 600kgs (this is a grey area as different CL retailers quote different unladen weights, varying between 500kgs and 600kgs) meaning I have a payload of 600kgs, enough for 450kg horse, but the 1200kgs is not more than the unladen weight of car.

Single horse trailer I think is the only way it can be done, and obviously not an option for some, but for me with only one that would go out at a time is no problem.
 

emma69

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But isn't the guidline for safety that you tow no more than 85% of your cars actual weight, not it's MAM (therefore for an Xtrail, the actual weight seems to be under 1500kg depending on the model, thus the 85% weight would be around 1250). Thus a trailer with actual mass of 700 would only leave you with 550kg to play with. As horses move when they are in transit, there is a real difference when towing a horse to say, a caravan - it really isn't safe to play at or around the actual permissable by law weight - these don't take into account steep hills, moving creatures or poor weather.
 

Patchwork

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I think I'm probably being thick here, but what if the MAM of the car is just under 3.5 tonnes? You can only tow the difference between this weight and 3.5 tonnes (i.e. not much!), whereas if your car's MAM was 3.5 tonnes you could tow an extra 750 kgs?
confused.gif
 

martlin

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The 85% guideline is not exactly up to date, it doesn't take into consideration 4x4s, vehicles designed for towing etc.
My x-trail's max towing weight for braked trailer is just over 2t.
Take for example Kia Sorento - apparently the tow car
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I am not sure how much it weighs in reality, but with tow weight up to 3,5t do you really think it weighs 4,1T?? I seriously doubt it, otherwise you wouldn't be able to drive it on B license, never mind tow with it.
I disagree with the easiness of towing being better for a caravan than a horse trailer - for starters, 2 axle makes a horse trailer much more stable, then the build itself, the height of suspension etc, etc.
 

alsxx

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Emma69, I know that the caravan club recommends the 85% rule....however, I would think it more advisable to go by the actual car manufacturers guidelines. Toyota recommends a max braked towing weight of 1500kgs for my particular vehicle, so if I ever went down the route of towing, as I said above I would look to tow 1200kgs, which is well under what the car is capable of.

But think of all those out there that tow any combination they like because they dont have to worry about getting the weights the right way round (because they have an older licence), I can think of at least 3 people I know that tow 2 horse ifor's, with 2 16handers in, in a freelander!!
 

martlin

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[ QUOTE ]
I think I'm probably being thick here, but what if the MAM of the car is just under 3.5 tonnes? You can only tow the difference between this weight and 3.5 tonnes (i.e. not much!), whereas if your car's MAM was 3.5 tonnes you could tow an extra 750 kgs?
confused.gif


[/ QUOTE ]
It is a bit rubbish, but that's the reality I'm afraid.
 

martlin

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[ QUOTE ]


But think of all those out there that tow any combination they like because they dont have to worry about getting the weights the right way round (because they have an older licence), I can think of at least 3 people I know that tow 2 horse ifor's, with 2 16handers in, in a freelander!!

[/ QUOTE ]
That actually is illegal, whether you have a towing license or not
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Binkybex

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My advice is to just do the test. I am so glad I did (and got professional lessons) as I am far more confident in my ability to tow than I would have been otherwise. Plus I can actualy reverse the trailer, which allways comes as a shock to my farmer/YO and people at events and so on (I have actually had a round of applause on one occasion!)
 

FigJam

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[ QUOTE ]
I worked it out for me in my Rav4 (which has a manufacturers advised max towing weight of 1500kgs) and my 450kg mare that it is possible...only mare is broke so wont be getting one now anyway, but:

My MAM of car is just under 2tonnes, with a Cheval Liberte single trailer which can be downgraded to MAM of 1200kgs, the total MAM comes to 3200kgs which is legal.

With unladen weight of trailer of say 600kgs (this is a grey area as different CL retailers quote different unladen weights, varying between 500kgs and 600kgs) meaning I have a payload of 600kgs, enough for 450kg horse, but the 1200kgs is not more than the unladen weight of car.

Single horse trailer I think is the only way it can be done, and obviously not an option for some, but for me with only one that would go out at a time is no problem.

[/ QUOTE ]

Spot on alsxx!
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The DVLA rules for towing on a B entitled licence (rather than B+E which if you passed your driving test after 1997 you will need a separate test for, anyone who passed before 1997 will already have it) are;

Trailer's MAM must be less than car's kerb weight (basically it's unladen weight)

AND

Trailer's MAM plus car's MAM must be less than 3.5t

I have an Ifor Williams HB401 (mare & foal/single horse trailer) which has unladen weight 680kg, MAM downrated from 1600kg to 1450kg (gives me 770kg I can put in the trailer, plenty for my 15.2 mare + haynet)

I tow it with a Ford Mondeo, 2.0l tdci 130bhp 6-speed engine with a towing capacity of 1800kg according to the manufacturer and a kerb weight of 1515kg. It's MAM is 2035kg.

So car kerb weight is heavier than trailer's MAM and trailer MAM + car MAM = 3485kg which is less than 3.5t. Perfectly legal, car is towing approximately 70% of what the manufacturer says it can and about 80% of it's kerb weight.

It can tow up and break down hills perfectly well, my mare travels brilliantly in it and looking at the above figures, relatively speaking, it's probably beating a lot of other towing combinations out on the roads. Yet everyone still looks down their nose at me.
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I did plenty practicing empty, along with advice from an experienced horse tower before going out myself and although in an ideal world we'd all have either big lorries or tanks of 4x4s, it's just not possible for everyone.
 
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