How do I know
what my car can tow?
Caravan weight is a major factor
when choosing a touring caravan. But your local dealer
will have a computerized caravan matching system to
take away the complexity - talk to them.
caravans that can be towed by an average sized saloon
Most major manufacturers offer light-weight caravans
that provide the perfect mobile base for touring
holidays. The 85% guide match is generally recommended
for beginners i.e. restricting the laden weight of the
caravan to 85% of the towcar’s kerbweight - download
caravans that can be towed safely by small cars?
There are folding and slimline caravans such as those
made by Gobur Caravans – see www.goburcaravans.co.uk/slimline
- that can be towed by smaller cars.
a caravan can I tow legally in the UK?
A touring caravan with:
» with a maximum
laden weight not exceeding 3,500 kg
» overall width not
exceeding 2.3 metres
» overall body
length not exceeding 7 metres (excluding drawbar and
is the maximum size that can be legally towed by a
motor vehicle whose maximum gross vehicle weight is
less than 3,500 kg (so most 4x4s and even Transit type
vans are not allowed to tow caravans that exceed the
above dimensions). There are very few such large
caravans in the UK, but it is as well to be aware of
licence do I need to tow?
All drivers who passed a car test before 1 January 1997
retain their existing entitlement to tow trailers until
their licence expires. This means they are generally
entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up
to 8,250 kg Gross Train Weight (GTW).
For Car licences
gained since 1 January 1997:
Category B: Vehicles up to 3,500 kg MPW and with
up to eight passenger seats (including driver)
Category B vehicles may be coupled with:
» a caravan up to 750 kg
MTPLM* (allowing a combined weight up to 4,250 kg GTW)
» or a caravan over 750 kg
MTPLM provided the MTPLM of the caravan does not exceed
the unladen weight of the car and the combination does
not exceed 3,500 kg GTW.
If you passed your test after 1st
January 1997 you will need to take an additional driving
test in order to gain entitlement to Category B+E and
all larger vehicles. For more information, see www.directgov.uk.
* MTPLM = Maximum Technically
Permissible Laden Mass, sometimes shown as MAM = Maximum