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Be Wary of New Towing Fines!

Trade News from Teesside Caravans (Trade)

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Recently, the Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency have made a change to laws regarding towing a caravan.

It is no longer required for drivers to take an additional test to be allowed to tow heavy loads on their cars, within reason of around 3,500kg. 

This might motivate a lot of drivers to tow their first caravan, but we all need to remember the looming threat of a brutal £2,500 fine! 

However, these pricey fines are more than avoidable. So what do we need to do to stay in the clear? 

Ripe Insurance’s John Woosey has called out to drivers, in hopes of preventing any sort of unneeded fines or some completely avoidable accidents. He stated, “Many people towing caravans this winter may well be doing so for the very first time. So, I’d urge everyone to brush up on the rules before going any further."

This is the first and easiest thing to do when it comes to protecting yourself from any sort of legal troubles. Make sure you know what rules you’re supposed to be following, make sure you know exactly what you need to be doing.

Woosey also offered advice to be sure drivers are completely aware that the condition of their caravan is important, and that they should familiarize themselves with towing in general. While tests are no longer legally required, it would be ideal for a driver to at least get some training in towing before they do it themselves.

“The last thing anybody wants right now is a fine - especially when it’s so easily avoidable. Towing a caravan can be challenging all year round, but winter certainly throws up additional challenges when the roads are typically more treacherous.”, added Woosey. 

Two of the most important things you need to be sure of are your tow bar and your view of the road. 

Tow Bar: You need to have the correct tow bar. This means your tow bar is designed specifically for your vehicle, properly working with the car’s power to ensure it does not lose control of the caravan it is towing. All tow bars need to be “type approved” by EU standards. 

View of the Road: Drivers must have a clear view of the road around them, which will require installing extended mirrors that are wider than the width of the car. This particular rule being broken would result in a £1,000 fine.

While the prospect of not needing to take a test now is likely tempting for people to dive right into traveling with a caravan, it’s absolutely crucial to understand and remember all the rules before setting out and possibly getting in trouble and spoiling your whole holiday. 

This law was applied around a year ago, with the DVSA surveying thousands of drivers to gather opinions on what these laws should be. 65% of the participants agreed to the removal of the required testing, but around 5,000 people still insisted that they would still like to take training as an option, without legal requirement.

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