A GUIDE TO SAFE AND LEGAL TOWING  

Towing Equipment Requirements


TOW BAR STANDARDS

All tow bars must meet EU regulations and be designed for your vehicle. This is often referred to as being ‘type approved’.

Type approved tow bars will have an approval number and details of the vehicles it is approved for listed on its label.

TOWING MIRRORS

You may need to fit suitable towing mirrors if your trailer or caravan is wider than the rear of your towing vehicle.The penalties for towing without proper mirrors are:
• 3 points on your licence
• a fine of up to £1,000


TRAILER BRAKES
Trailers and caravans weighing over 750 kg must have a working brake system.

TRAILER LIGHTS

At the back of each trailer and caravan, there must be the following lights:
• 2 red side lights
• 2 red stop lights
• 2 amber indicators (which flash between 60 and 120 times per minute)
• An illuminated number plate
• 1 red fog lamp (if more than 1.3m wide)
• 2 red triangular reflectors.

The lighting required at the front of each trailer and caravan depends on the width:
• 2 front reflectors – for trailers less than 1.6m wide
• 2 front position lights – for trailers more than 1.6m wide

‘A’-FRAMES AND DOLLIES

When an ‘A’ frame is attached to a car and towed by a larger vehicle (for example, when a motorhome tows a car), the ‘A’ frame and the car become a single unit and are classified as a trailer. As a result, the vehicle and ‘A’-frame are required to meet the legal regulations for trailers.

If a dolly is used to tow a vehicle that has broken down, the dolly is classified as a trailer. Again, in this situation it is required to meet the regulations for trailers.

NUMBER PLATES

Trailers and caravans are required to have legal number plates. You can only get a number plate made by a registered number plate supplier.

TRAILER TYRES

Trailer tyres are subject to the same regulations as other vehicle tyres.The penalties for having illegal tyres are a fine of up to £2,500 and 3 penalty points – per tyre.


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