The UK has been flooded with tourists towing caravans, pods and everything in between as many Brits continue to choose staycations over holidays abroad.
Sticking around the UK for a holiday undoubtedly requires less organisation than travelling overseas, but there are still things to consider, particularly as a slew of new rules for motorists carrying caravans or trailers come into play.
Here’s a rundown of all the change before they come into play in Autumn.
What will change
If you passed your car driving test from 1 January 1997, you’ll be allowed to tow trailers up to 3,500kg MAM (Maximum Authorised Mass) when the law changes, Devon Live reports.
DVLA will update your driving licence record to show that you’re allowed to tow trailers. You’ll get category BE added to your driving licence when you get a new photocard driving licence.
You do not need to contact DVLA for this to happen. It will be done automatically.
The date the law will change has not yet been confirmed.
Car and trailer driving tests stopping from 20 September 2021.
Car and trailer driving tests are stopping before the law changes. You can no longer book or take a car and trailer driving test from 20 September 2021.
What you can do until the law changes
Until the law changes later in autumn 2021, you must continue to follow the current rules about what you’re allowed to tow based on when you passed your car driving test.
You can be fined up to £1,000, be banned from driving and get up to 6 penalty points on your driving licence if you tow anything heavier before the law changes.
You’re only allowed to tow anything heavier if you’re being supervised. When you’re being supervised, you must:
display L plates to the front of the car and the rear of the trailer.
be accompanied by a person who’s at least 21 years old and has had category BE on their driving licence for at least 3 years.
Driving a car and trailer for the first time
It’s best to take training from a driving instructor if you want to start driving a car and trailer.
The ‘National standard for driving cars and light vans’ tells you about the skills, knowledge and understanding you need to tow a trailer or caravan.
Tests before 20 September 2021
Your car and trailer driving test will go ahead as planned. You can cancel your appointment if you no longer want to take the test. If your driving instructor booked your test for you, talk to them about cancelling it.
If your test is:
up to and including Tuesday 14 September 2021, you’ll need to contact the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) after you’ve cancelled your test to get a refund.
from Wednesday 15 September to Sunday 19 September 2021, you’ll automatically get a full refund when you cancel your test
DVSA customer services: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tests from 20 September 2021
Your car and trailer driving test will not go ahead if it was due to take place on or after 20 September 2021.
If you booked the test yourself, DVSA will automatically cancel it for you. You’ll get a full refund within 5 working days.
If your driving instructor booked your test for you, talk to them about what happens next.
You cannot get a refund or compensation for any training that you’ve taken to help you prepare to take the test.
If you had previously passed a car and trailer driving test
You cannot get a refund or compensation for any training that you took to help you prepare to take a car and trailer driving test.
You also cannot get a refund for any tests you took.