What Insurance Do You Need To Tow A Caravan?

Whether you’ve just bought a caravan and want to take it out on the road, or you need a refresher on the rules after so long, it pays to be clued up when it comes to towing a caravan including towing laws, your car’s towing capacity, and if you need insurance to tow a caravan. What do you need to know? 

a family towing their caravan holiday on the beach

Do I Need a Special Licence To Tow a Caravan?

Car towing rules will depend on when you passed your driving test and got your licence, as well as what you are towing. The simplest way to do this is to check your driving licence to see what vehicles you can drive and what you are legally allowed to tow. You can get in contact with the DVLA to find out more information.

The old rules were that if you passed your driving test before 1 January 1997, you could drive a four-wheel vehicle and a trailer combination as long as it did not exceed the 8,250 kg MAM (maximum authorised mass). MAM is a measurement of how much you can tow, and is classed as the total vehicle’s weight when it’s loaded and is sometimes known as gross vehicle weight (GVW). 

If you passed your driving test on or after 1 January 1997 you can drive vehicles with a maximum authorised mass of up to 3,500kg, which includes a trailer of up to 750kg and you can tow heavier trailers if the total vehicle and the trailer MAM is not over 3500kg.

But as of 16 December 2021, the rules were relaxed. If anyone who passed their test after 1 January 1997 wanted to tow trailers to a 3,500kg MAM, there would be no need to take an additional test. After this date, this driving licence code (BE) is put on your record automatically. 

So, What Insurance Do I Need To Tow a Caravan?

The vast majority of insurers will cover your car when you are towing a caravan. However, it’s best to get in contact with your insurance provider and inform them that you are going to use your car for towing, so they can inform you of any exclusions to your insurance policy. 

It’s important to note that while your insurance policy would cover your car, it’s unlikely the caravan would be covered. Having caravan insurance is a separate entity, and while caravan insurance isn’t compulsory in the UK, a specialist policy would cover you if something was to happen to the caravan. 

When the caravan is being towed, the insurance policy for the car may only extend to third-party cover. Many insurers may include third-party cover for trailers, but will not cover caravans. 

Additional cover might be available as an added extra that you can put on top of your existing policy and you may be able to get some “away from home” cover on your home insurance policy in case something gets stolen from your caravan.

The Essential Regulations for Towing

Before you set off with your caravan, you need to make sure it complies with certain rules, including the following: 

  • The width cannot exceed 2.55 metres. 
  • The length cannot exceed 7 metres if you are towing it with a vehicle that weighs up to 3,500kg. 
  • You need towing mirrors to ensure you can see the road behind you. Without towing mirrors, you could have 3 penalty points on your licence and a fine of £1,000. 
  • Trailer lights are essential and need to have two brake lights, two red sidelights, indicators, and a pair of triangular red reflectors. Additionally, if the trailer is longer than 1.3 metres, you need a fog lamp. 
  • Towing bars need to be type-approved. The towing bar needs to meet EU regulations and is designed for your car. You can check if your towing bar is type-approved if it has an approval number and details of the car it was approved for. However, the towbar doesn’t need to be type-approved if the car was used prior to 1 August 1998.

If you are looking for insurance for your caravan, it’s important that you comply with all of these. Anything that doesn’t fall into these essential regulations could make your insurance policy void if you were to experience an accident and needed to claim.

Having insurance to tow a caravan is not essential but you have to bear in mind that it is peace of mind, especially when you are heading on a caravan holiday. And don’t forget, we can help you to get a loan for a new caravan

Related Post: Towing A Caravan With An Electric Car

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