DVSA Announces Changes for Towing a Trailer or Caravan from Autumn 2021
In an effort to combat the driver shortages and free up test availability, DVSA announced a major change due to come in later this year (date TBC). Drivers who passed their Driving Test from 1 January 1997 will now be able to tow a trailer up to 3500kg without taking a further test.
This entitlement previously could only be obtained by undertaking a further driving examination which will now be scrapped. The current limit allows a trailer up to 750kg Mass Authorised Weight, or a trailer over 750kg as long as it is not heavier than the unladen weight of the trailer and the combined vehicle and trailer weight is no more than 3500kg.
Tests for the trailer examination will stop on 20 September, those with a test booked have been advised to contact DVSA.
Once the new changes come into force, Drivers will see the new category BE entitlement on their Licence.
Drivers have been advised not to take advantage of these changes until the law is changed, to do so may result in prosecution for Driving Not In Accordance With A Licence and Driving Without Insurance. This could lead to up to 6 penalty points or disqualification from driving.
Drivers are also urged to undergo training if they wish to begin towing trailers as they would ordinarily have done prior to an examination. Failing to drive safely to the required standard could also lead to prosecution for offences such as careless driving or even dangerous driving.
There has been some criticism against this given the risk to road safety if drivers do not have the required level of training and understanding for this kind of driving. Other sectors, such as equestrians, have welcomed the news as this will allow more riders to transport their own horses.
Whether it will free up sufficient spaces to make a significant difference to the driver shortage crisis remains to be seen. For the official release from DVSA click here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-rules-for-towing-a-trailer-or-caravan-with-a-car-from-autumn-2021