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Leicester Trailers

Legal Towing Requirements

Driving Licences required

Holders of new licences can upgrade to tow larger trailers by taking another test, B+E for trailers or a better option would be a C1 licence for 7.5 tonne vehicles which would allow them to use trailers up to 3500kg behind suitable vehicles or 750kg behind a 7.5 tonne vehicle.

Holders of car licences issued after July 1996 can tow a 750kg unbraked trailer or if heavier trailers are towed, a vehicle and trailer combination of up to 3500 kg. Assuming that the trailer and its load are lighter than the towing vehicle. i.e. a 2000 kg. vehicle with a 1500 kg trailer.

Holders of driving licences issued before July 1996 and providing that they have Group A or if after 1990, category B, are entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to a maximum train weight of 8.25 tons.


A tachograph is required to be fitted to record the driver’s hours in a vehicle and trailer combination that exceeds 3500 kg. when used for commercial purposes.

Exempt from this requirement are vehicles used for the non-commercial carriage of goods for personal use, vehicles carrying live animals between a farm and a local market or from a local market to a slaughterhouse and vehicles carrying goods having a maximum weight not exceeding 7.5 tonnes if carrying materials or equipment for the drivers use, in the course of his work, within a 50km radius of the vehicle base.

There are other exemptions but they are not likely to be relevant to most trailer users.

Trailer Towing Speed

The maximum speed limit for trailers is 60 mph on motorways and dual carriageways, otherwise 50 mph unless a lower speed limit is in operation. Trailers are not permitted in the outside lane of motorways.

Maximum Size

The maximum width of a trailer must not exceed 2.3 metres (7’6”) or 2.5 metres (8’2.5”) when towed by a heavy goods vehicle. The trailer must not extend more than 305mm (12”) outwards each side of the towing vehicle, irrespective of allowable width.
The maximum permitted trailer body length without the tow bar is 7 metres but the overall train length must not exceed 18.35 metres.

Trailer Stability

As stated the centre of gravity should be ahead of the axles but not too far. The nose weight should be about 100kg to 150kg any more would impede the movement of the overrun coupling which will affect the brakes. Too much weight will overload the back of the towing vehicle, making the steering light and unsafe and causing the back to dip, overloading the trailer front axle and effectively moving the axle centre.

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