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A November 3 (2014) news story published by the Darlington & Stockton Times suggests there are many people towing trailers in the UK who are doing so illegally. They are not aware of the fact mind you, but driving illegally nonetheless. At the heart of the issue is confusion over changes in licencing laws that went into effect more than 10 years ago.

Prior to the changes, anyone with a standard car licence could tow a trailer without a special towing licence as long as the combined weights of the tow vehicle and trailer did not exceed 7.5 tonnes. However, from January 1 of 1997, the limit was reduced to 3.5 tonnes. Adding to the confusion is the fact that people who earned their car licences prior to 1997 are exempt in some cases.

The Darlington & Stockton Times interviewed one local trainer who says he recently worked with two students who came to him only after being stopped by police for driving illegally. Neither of the individuals had the appropriate towing licence to cover the vehicles they were operating. As such, they were also not covered by their insurance while on the road. They had no idea until their encounters with authorities.

In light of this, authorities are urging people who regularly tow trailers to make sure they know and understand the law. They also need to know the weights of their tow vehicles and trailers in order to determine whether they need an additional licence entitlement or not. Consumers can check the GOV.UK website for information about whether or not an upgraded licence is necessary.

If it is, an individual must take and pass a trailer-towing test. Passing the test demonstrates the driver knows how to attach and detach a trailer properly, manoeuvre their vehicles in a backing scenario, and drive safely on the open road. Tests are conducted by DSA examiners.

We Can Train You

The HGV Training Centre joins local officials in urging you to check your own situation. If it turns out you do need the upgraded licenced, we can provide the training you need to pass your test. We cover everything you will need to know for your exam. What’s more, training with us is as convenient as can be.

We operate more than 45 facilities in locations all around the UK. With new classes forming regularly, we can get you in and out in no time at all. You will also be pleased to know that our proven training strategy will prepare you to pass your test the first time you take it.

There is no written theory test to earn a towing licence, as you have already demonstrated mastery of the information by earning your car licence. That means all you have to undertake is the practical skills training necessary to ensure you pass your DSA test. For more information about earning your towing licence quickly and safely, contact the HGV Training Centre by phone or through this website.


  1. Darlington Stockton & Times – https://www.darlingtonandstocktontimes.co.uk/farming/11575656.Trailer_towers_urged_to_respect_latest_rules_before_they_drive/


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