Trailer towing:- B and B+E licence rules explained
I have extensive knowledge on this issue and already have a trailer towing clinic HERE
Trailers over 3500 kgs plated MAM weight come under different rules which is why all the trailers towed by B class vehicles , those of 3.5 tonnes and under, are not plated at more than 3500 kgs or 3.5 tonnes MAM
Trailers without plates use the total of the TYRE LOAD RATINGS
to determine the MAM.
A rating of 66 on 4 tyres would give a MAM of 1200 kgs.
Vehicles in the B licence category will have the following information on a plate in the vehicle, in the handbook or on the V5 form.
Information can also be found on many internet vehicle specification sites.
Unladen or Kerb weight
- although there is a slight difference in the two it is not that much
- the max weight the vehicle can weigh when fully loaded
- the max weight the vehicle and trailer can ACTUALLY weigh when added together. This does not refer to the total of the vehicle GWV and trailer MAM weights.
- this is the ACTUAL weight that can be towed by the vehicle - it does not mean the trailer MAM weight.
None of the above weights must be exceeded
Some vehicles have a GVW, a towing capacity and a GTW. In such a case the GTW takes priority over the GVW and towing capacity when added together
FOR B+E LICENCES
Where a towing capacity is listed then this would be a legal example:-
CAR has GVW of 2000 and a towing capacity of 1800
TRAILER has a MAM of 3500 and an unladen weight of 1000
The trailer can be loaded with a maximum weight of 800
Where there is not a towing capacity listed then the GTW is used
GTW minus the GVW does not give the towing capacity unless the vehicle is fully laden
VAN has GVW of 3500 and GTW of 6000
TRAILER has MAM of 3500
The van and trailer can weigh 3000 each and be legal
FOR B LICENCES
The Gov sites are not that good at explaining this so I have managed to find a simple way of determining whether a driver can tow something on a B only licence -
To tow over 750 kgs with a B licence you need to say NO
to the following:-
Is the plated MAM of the trailer more than the UNLADEN/KERB/EMPTY weight of the towing vehicle?
Does the GVW of the towing vehicle plus the plated MAM of the trailer add up to more than 3500 kgs?
Is the ACTUAL weight of the empty trailer and its load more than the listed towing capacity?
Example of legally towing over 750 kgs with a B licence - made up figures but not that far from what can be found....
Towing vehicle -
Unladen/empty/kerb = 1500
GVW = 2000
Towing capacity = 1800
Unladen/empty = 800
MAM = 1500 (Perhaps originally a 2000 MAM but downplated by manufacturer so it conforms to B licence towing)
Load trailer with 700 max
Reasons it is legal for towing on a B licence -
The 1500 MAM of the trailer is not more than the 1500 unladen/empty weight of the towing vehicle
The 2000 GVW of the towing vehicle plus the 1500 MAM of the trailer is not more than 3500
The towing capacity/actual weight being towed does not exceed 1800
SUPERVISING A B+E LEARNER
In April 2010 new rules were introduced for those supervising certain learner drivers but they only affected those supervising VOCATIONAL categories such as C1 C1+E D1 & D1+E where the supervising driver had those categories given to them for free when they passed a pre 1997 car test.
They do not affect those with a pre 1997 B+E licence who wish to supervise a B+E learner.
The usual rules apply when a learner is driving -
The supervising driver must be aged over 21
The supervising driver must have held a B+E licence for at least 3 years
L plates must be fitted to the front of the vehicle and the rear of the trailer
Correct insurance for a B+E learner
Caravan weights work on a slightly different system as they take into account the recommended (not legal) 85% towing rule
I hope this helps those who are unsure of the rules