Drivers warned of huge caravan fines and penalty points for towing limits and tyre issues
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Late last year, driving laws were changed so that anyone with a full driving licence can now tow a caravan without additional qualifications. This is as long as maximum authorised mass (MAM) of the vehicle and caravan doesn’t exceed 3,500kg.
Experts are warning drivers that not all caravans fall into the category, and that they should double check the weight of their model to ensure they can tow it on a standard licence.
Only those who passed their test before January 1, 1997 are eligible to tow a larger caravan without an additional driving qualification.
This is generally a combined vehicle and caravan weight of up to 8.25 tonnes MAM.
Drivers can check this by looking on the reverse side of their driving licence.
If they have category B or BE, they can drive caravans up to 3,500kg, while category C1E(107) allows them to tow a larger trailer.
Rhiannon Philps, personal finance expert at NerdWallet, has warned new caravan owners they must know the laws before taking to the road.
She said: “Easter often signals the start of caravan and camping season, with longer days and drier weather encouraging holidays at home.
“And although it’s great for the UK travel industry, people new to caravanning can get caught out.
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“But small checks, planning ahead, and simple maintenance can save a lot of heartache – and stop potential fines.”
Caravan owners are also being warned of other potential dangers, including warning lights.
When a bulb needs replacing on a car, the visual cue is noticeable, but it isn’t always as clear when it comes to caravans.
As they’re generally used less often than our cars, faults with a caravan’s lights are not always noticeable and may not be checked as regularly.
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