Changes to towing laws: How do they affect me?

By Tiana Bradshaw | Published on September 28, 2021 | 3 min read

Home > News > Changes to towing laws: How do they affect me?


The rules on what you can tow are different depending on the date that you passed your car driving test. However, the Government is making changes to these rules, to help tackle the shortage of lorry drivers, which will come into effect at some point towards the end of 2021. In this blog, we aim to explain what these changes are, and how they will affect you.

What are the current laws on towing?

To read our blog on the current laws of towing and what your license allows you to tow, click here.

What are the changes?

If you passed your driving test after 1 January 1997, you’ll be allowed to tow trailers up to 3,500kg MAM (maximum authorised mass) when the law changes. The DVLA will update your driving license record to show that you’re allowed to tow trailers and you’ll get the BE category added to your driving license when you get a new photocard driving license. This will be done automatically so you don’t need to contact the DVLA for this to happen.

When are the changes going to occur?

The date that the law will change has not yet been confirmed, however, if you visit the government page here, you can sign up for email alerts to be told when the law changes.

Car and trailer driving tests are stopping before the law changes. You can no longer book or take a car and trailer driving test from the 20th of September 2021.

What can I do until the law changes?

Until the law changes later in 2021, you must continue to follow the current rules and regulations regarding what you are allowed to tow, based on when you passed your car driving test.

You can be fined up to £1,000, be banned from driving and get up to 6 penalty points on your license if you tow anything heavier before the law changes. You’re only allowed to tow anything heavier if you’re being supervised. When you’re being supervised, you must:

  • Display L plates to the front of the car and the rear of the trailer.
  • Be accompanied by a person who is at least 21 years old and has had the category BE on the driving license for at least 3 years.

If you want to start driving a car and trailer or caravan for the first time:

  • It’s best to take training from a qualified driving instructor
  • The “National standard for driving cards and light vans” tells you about the skills, knowledge and understanding you need to tow a trailer or caravan.

For more information or to visit the government website regarding these changes, click here.