Towing With A Car - What Are The Rules For Towing?

Can I Tow a Trailer or Caravan?

Towing is something which most of us don’t do often, but it’s sometimes useful to be able to hitch up a trailer in order to transport a load that can’t be transported within the vehicle itself. Towing a trailer takes skill and practice and you’ll have to adjust your driving style to suit, but for the most part, it’s something that with a little care, most people can do without too much difficulty. Parking and reversing while towing a trailer attached is often the hardest part.

You might be transporting large bulky items, pulling a horse trailer, towing a motorboat or jetski, or even a caravan (wouldn’t you be better off with a luxury motorhome?), but the most important thing to bear in mind when towing anything is the weight of the car the weight of the trailer and the weight ratio of one to the other. We have a number of rental cars which are suitable for towing, but whether they’re suitable for your particular needs bears closer examination.


What Can I Tow On My Licence?

If you passed your driving test before 1997, you’ll be able to automatically tow a vehicle trailer combination up to 8.25 tons. In practice this a large car and a large trailer and you’ll have a tough time exceeding this. For those who passed their tests after 1997, you’ll be limited to 4.25 tons unless you’ve taken further tests. No matter what your licence, the trailer must not exceed the weight of the towing vehicle. Also check the maximum towing weight for the specific vehicle you’re using.


Other Towing Rules

There are a number of rules for towing, which for most part are common sense and there to make sure you’re towing safely. These include the following;

  • Naturally you’ll need a suitable and approved tow-bar fitted
  • Trailers over 3/4 of a ton must have their own brakes
  • A number plate matching the tow vehicle must be displayed and illuminated at night.
  • Trailers must have similar rear light arrays as cars as well as triangular reflectors. Larger and newer trailers need even more lights.
  • You need to be able to see the road behind you, so if your trailer obscures your door mirrors, entendible mirrors should be fitted.


Stay Safe When Towing

Unless you’re accustomed to towing, it can be quite a daunting prospect, but so long as you stay within the rules and drive carefully, it’s something that you’re likely to get the hang of fairly quickly with a little practice. If you’re looking to hire a car with towing in mind, contact us to let us know your requirements and we’ll happily advise.