A NEW driving law that has been delayed for weeks has finally come into effect in the UK – and you need to know about it
The road law, which will allow drivers to tow caravans and trailers, with a weight of up to 3,500kg, was passed on December 16.
Drivers were warned about the law in September, but after being challenged in Parliament, the law was then delayed in November.
What was the law before?
Motorists who passed their driving test after 1997 were previously only allowed to tow trailers but were limited to a weight of 750kg.
If you wanted to tow something heavier then you had to take a test to do so.
Previously, the law stated that you had to take a test to add B and E categories to your driver's licence.
However, if you had passed your test and got your licence before 1997 then these changes won't affect you.
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What is the law now?
Now that the law has passed in the UK, any driver with a licence after 1997 will be able to tow up to a maximum weight of 3,500kg without any tests, training or supervision required.
However, under the current law, some motorists will be required to take a driving test to tow a trailer.
The DVLA confirmed that the new law would automatically apply to those with a UK driver's licence.
There is no need to contact the DVLA about the new rule change or do anything to be eligible to tow loads up to the new limit.
So, if you already have a licence you will get a category BE added next time you renew your photocard.
Of course, you'll still need to check how much your vehicle can safely tow.
If you’re unsure how much your car can tow, check your car’s manual to find out its gross train weight (GTW).
This will detail the allowable weight of the car plus the weight of the trailer, and the weight of the load.
How to stay safe
According to the National Accident Helpline, tips on how to stay safe when towing on the roads include:
- Ensuring the load is evenly distributed
- Checking the weather for high winds or heavy rain
- Making allowances for the extra length of the vehicle
- Fitting extended towing mirrors
We also take a look at the eight checks you need to make to avoid a Christmas roadside breakdown
As well as UK laws surrounding using a mobile phone whilst driving and seven ways drivers could be fined up to £10,000 this Christmas
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