Trailer Test Changes Mean More Riders Can Tow Their Horses
Trailer test changes mean more riders can tow their horses without taking an additional qualification.
The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has announced changes to the trailer test requirements, although the date has not been confirmed. It means that drivers who passed their car test after 1 January 1997 will no longer have to sit a test in order to tow a trailer or caravan. The maximum authorised mass (MAM) will be 3,500kg, the weight normally required when towing two horses in a trailer.
Despite no effective date, category B + E (car + trailer) test will cease on 20 September 2021. This suggests the law change is imminent.
The changes come as the result of a recent government consultation. As the UK face a lorry driver shortage, this is thought to be a tactic to offer more lorry test and recruit.
When the law does change, it will be riders who passed after 01/01/1997 will be able to tow their horse on a standard driving license. No additional tests will have to be taken.
Currently, only drivers who passed their car tests before this date can tow a trailer weighing over 750kg. Anyone who passed their test after this date has had to pass a trailer test to add the category B + E to their licence.
In a statement, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) confirmed that it will update driving licence records with the new allowances automatically. Category B + E will be added to driving licences when a new photocard driving licence is ordered.
Tests booked for 20 September 2021 onwards will be automatically cancelled and refunded. Those who have already taken a trailer test will not receive a refund and there is no compensation for any training that has already been paid for.
However until an effective date is announced for the new rule, drivers must continue to drive what they are qualified for under current law. Anyone found towing anything heavier before the law changes in the autumn can be fined up to £1,000.
The DVLA have also advised training from a driving instructor before towing a trailer.
For the full guidance from the DVLA, visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-rules-for-towing-a-trailer-or-caravan-with-a-car-from-autumn-2021
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