The government has announced a package of measures to streamline the HGV test process in a move aimed at freeing up driving examiner time and helping tackle the backlog of tests.
One measure announced was the ending of the requirement that car drivers must take a practical test to get a B+E driving licence entitlement to drive heavier weight trailers over 750kg.
Rules in place until November
Trailer tests ended on 20 September, but the laws on driving a car with a trailer will not actually change until sometime after 15 November.
Until the law is actually changed all the current rules remain in place, with the legal requirement for car drivers who first passed their car test after 1 January 1997 to have passed a B+E practical test to drive trailers over 750kg in certain circumstances.
What are the current driving licence rules?
Licences issued before 1 January 1997
Drivers are usually allowed to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8,250 maximum authorised mass (MAM). Check your driving licence and what entitlements to drive you have here.
MAM is the limit on how much the vehicle can weigh when it is fully loaded. Get explanations on vehicle weights here.
Licences issued 1 January 1997 to 18 January 2013
If you passed your car test from 1 January 1997 to 18 January 2013 you can currently drive:
- A car or van up to 3,500kg towing a trailer up to 750kg (4,250kg max car/trailer combination).
- A trailer over 750kg as long as it is no more than the unladen weight of the towing vehicle (3,500kg max car/trailer combination).
To tow anything heavier a car and trailer driving test is required.
Licences issued from 19 January 2013
If you passed your car driving test from 19 January 2013 you can drive either of the following:
- A car or van up to 3,500kg towing a trailer of 750kg (max car/trailer combination 4,250kg).
- A trailer over 750kg as long as the combined weight of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg.
A car and trailer test is needed to tow anything heavier.
What will the new rules be?
Under the new rules anyone who passed their car driving test from 1 January 1997 will be allowed to drive a car up to 3,500kg and tow a trailer up to 3,500kg.