Navigating the Roads Safely: The Essential Guide to Trailer Towing Training in the UK

9 Nov 2023

In December 2021, significant changes were implemented in the UK regarding trailer towing licences. The alterations in legislation meant that anyone with a car licence can now tow a trailer up to 3,500kg without undertaking a separate trailer test. The new legal landscape for towing trailers underscores the importance of proper training and certification for individuals looking to tow trailers on the roads. This shift has brought attention to the need for comprehensive trailer towing training, emphasising safety, skill development, and adherence to the legal requirements.

Understanding the Legal Requirements

Towing a trailer may seem like a straightforward task, but with the recent changes in legislation, it’s crucial to stay informed about the legal requirements. If you are towing a trailer for personal use, e.g. a touring caravan to go on a family holiday, then there is no specific legal requirement to undergo training for this.

Whilst there is no legal requirement, your trailer – and potentially its cargo – is both expensive and has the potential to cause significant harm in the event of an incident. Therefore, drivers should still ensure that they have the knowledge and skill to be able to tow safely.

This is where specialised training comes into play. A reputable training provider, such as ourselves, can provide tailored programmes to ensure individuals are legal, safe and confident when it comes to towing. Investing in proper training not only ensures compliance but also enhances safety on the roads.

Where you are towing for work purposes, there is a legal requirement for you to be adequately trained. Simply having the category on your licence (which is now automatically added) isn’t enough. Your employer must ensure that you are able to use work equipment safely, without putting yourself or others at risk. That includes towing a trailer.

Comprehensive Training for Safe Towing

Trailer towing is more than just attaching a trailer to your vehicle and hitting the road. The comprehensive training provided by professional, experienced instructors covers a range of essential skills to ensure a safe and confident towing experience.

The trailer towing training programme typically includes:

  1. Safety Checks: Understanding the importance of pre-journey safety checks is paramount. Candidates learn to inspect trailers, ensuring they are roadworthy and safe for transportation.
  2. Coupling and Uncoupling: Properly attaching and detaching a trailer is a fundamental skill. Candidates gain hands-on experience in correctly coupling and uncoupling trailers, preventing accidents and ensuring a smooth towing process.
  3. Manoeuvring: with a trailer, this can be challenging. The training programme focuses on honing skills for navigating turns, reversing, and parking with a trailer in tow.
  4. On-Road Driving: The heart of the training lies in on-road driving experience. Candidates learn to handle various road conditions, traffic scenarios, and unforeseen challenges while towing a trailer.
  5. Safe Loading of the Trailer: Overloading a trailer can lead to instability and increased safety risks, not to mention fines and points on your licence. Training includes guidelines on safe loading practices, ensuring that trailers are balanced and within legal weight limits.

Certification and Employer Reports

Upon successful completion of the training, candidates receive a valuable Certificate of Training. This certification not only serves as proof of their acquired skills but also demonstrates their commitment to safety and compliance. Some insurance companies will want to see evidence of training as part of their terms of insurance, so it’s worth checking if this is the case.

For those towing trailers as part of their job, the benefits extend to their employers. A detailed report on the candidate’s driving performance, highlighting strengths and areas for improvement, is provided to employers. This information allows employers to ensure that their team is not only legally compliant but also proficient in safe trailer towing practices.

In conclusion, the recent changes in trailer towing licences highlight the importance of proper training. Choosing a reputable training company ensures that individuals not only meet legal requirements but also develop the skills necessary for safe and confident trailer towing. Investing in training is an investment in safety, compliance, and the overall well-being of all road users.