DVSA warns drivers over speed limits when towing a caravan or trailer

Car towing a caravan (file picture)
Car towing a caravan (file picture) -Credit:Katie Pugh

The DVSA has issued a stern warning to drivers, reminding them to adhere to the correct speed limits when towing a caravan or trailer, or face the risk of substantial fines. In England and Scotland, the current speed limit in built-up areas is 30mph, while in Wales, drivers must stick to a 20mph limit.

The speed limits then rise to 50mph on single carriageways and 60mph on dual carriageways. The DVSA took to social media to remind drivers of these rules. However, the DVSA also cautioned drivers that the speed limits can differ from those displayed on road signs, which may not have been updated to reflect recent changes.

Previously, drivers could take specific tests for towing an additional vehicle, but these have now been discontinued. This means many drivers might be unaware of the most recent rules.

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Drivers who exceed the speed limits while towing a caravan or trailer could receive up to six penalty points on their licence. Vehicles towing heavy loads may struggle to slow down as quickly as standard vehicles, posing a greater risk on the roads, reports Birmingham Live.

The typical stopping distance when driving at 60mph is 73 metres, but research suggests that when towing a caravan, this distance can more than double. In 2021, the Department for Transport altered the rules for towing, now permitting drivers who passed their test post-1997 to tow trailers up to 3,500kg.

To tow a caravan or trailer, drivers must demonstrate they hold the appropriate licence and that the trailer or caravan is roadworthy and legal. Additionally, drivers need insurance to cover both the vehicle and the trailer or caravan, as some insurers may not offer towing coverage.

Motorists are also required to prove their vehicle can manage the extra weight, which could catch some drivers out. It's recommended that drivers conduct necessary safety checks before embarking on their journey, including checking tyre pressure.