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The Law and Caravans

On these pages we have attempted to outline the main points of the laws regarding caravans and caravanning.



Adequate visibility.

You must be able to see along the sides and behind your caravan whilst towing. The most simple and effective way to ensure this to use a set of towing mirrors, there are many different designs most of which are relatively inexpensive. The only thing that you need to remember when deciding which style to use is that the mirrors themselves must not project more than 20cm outside the extremities of the caravan when fitted and must be removed when you are driving without the caravan in tow.

M.O.T. and Tax.

Currently you are not required to have an M.O.T. certificate or road fund licence disc for you caravan or trailer. You are however responsible for maintaining the caravan or trailer in a roadworthy condition, and can be fined for not doing so.


The driver of the vehicle towing a caravan must hold a full and valid drivers licence. Caravanners who obtained their category B full drivers licence on or after 1 January 1997 can drive a vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes maximum authorized mass, as long as the trailer or caravan does not exceed the towing vehicles kerbweight. If the combined outfit of car and caravan exceeds 3.5 tonnes, those drivers who obtained their licence on or after 1 January 1997 must take an additional driving test to qualify for category B+E. The test is similar to the standard driving test but also includes aspects related to coupling, uncoupling, manoeuvring and reversing. For more information contact D.V.L.C. at Swansea.

Size & weight.

You are allowed to tow any single or twin-axle caravan up to 7m in length (excluding the drawbar), and up to 2.3m wide with a domestic motor vehicle. These measurements include and fixtures, attachments and fittings outside the main body of the caravan, e.g. mudguards. Twin-axle caravans exceeding the length of 7m, excluding drawbar, can be towed using a commercial vehicle with a combined maximum authorised mass (the weight of the vehicle and its load), of more than 3500kg.

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