Cars towing trailers or caravans
On this page you can find out about towing trailers and caravans, as well as the maximum load you are allowed to carry. The Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) of vehicles and trailers means the maximum weight you are allowed, also known as the gross vehicle weight.
Category B are vehicles up to 3,500 kilograms (kgs) MAM and with up to eight passenger seats.
You may couple a category B vehicle with a trailer over 750 kgs MAM, if the two together do not exceed 3,500 kgs MAM. Or you could couple it with a trailer up to 750 kgs MAM, if the two together do not exceed 4,250 kgs MAM.
Vehicle manufacturers normally recommend a maximum weight of trailer proper to their vehicle. You can usually find details in the vehicle's handbook or from car dealerships.
An exception to the above paired weight limits allows anyone with a category B licence to tow a broken down vehicle from a position where it would cause danger or obstruction to other road users.
Category B+E allows you to share vehicles up to 3,500 kgs MAM with trailers more than 750 kgs MAM, but not exceeding 3,500 kgs. MAM and the total weight must not be more than 7,000 kgs MAM. Construction and use regulations may also apply.
To gain this entitlement if you are a category B licence holder, who took your category B test on or after 1 January 1997, you have to pass a further practical test for category B+E. Category B licence holders who took their test before this date already hold B+E entitlement. There is no category B+E theory test.
Drivers before 19 January 2013 – category B+E
If you passed a category B+E test before 19 January 2013 (within the UK) you will keep your existing entitlement where the trailer you tow may be heavier than 3,500 kg MAM if construction and use regulations are not infringed.
Existing caravanning general guidelines recommend that the laden weight of your caravan does not exceed 85 per cent of the unladen weight of your car. Although this is not a necessity by law, this recommendation is designed to help improve stability when you are towing a caravan.
You can tow caravans of a greater weight if you hold the right licence category. However, vehicle manufacturers normally recommend a maximum weight of trailer proper to their vehicle based on construction and use rules. You can usually find details in the vehicle's handbook or from car dealerships.
Construction and use
This information relates to driver licensing matters only. If you are in doubt about how much your vehicle can legally tow, or the types of trailers it may tow you can contact Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA).
For details on the construction and use rules about weights and dimensions for vehicles and trailers, contact DVA: