With more people than ever taking to the open road with their caravans this summer, it’s important drivers are fully qualified to tow.
This is the message being shared by a driving training specialist who is concerned that not everyone planning a caravan holiday understands the risks.
Steve Dulson of Dulson Training has spoken out about the legal responsibilities associated with towing and how neglecting them can lead to a large fine or insurance being invalidated.
Another unexpected consequence is the caravan being confiscated, which would certainly ruin any holiday plans.
He said: “Drivers may be unaware that if they are towing they will need a BE driving licence.”
Anyone who passed their car driving test prior to 1997 will automatically have been granted BE status, but a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) trailer test must be completed by all those whose licences were awarded after January 1st 1997.
A number of courses are available for drivers to prepare themselves for taking the trailer test, taking into account the amount of experience they have and the size of the vehicles and caravans they intend to tow.
Drivers can expect to learn about vehicle safety checks, general driving, reversing, coupling and loading during the course.
Not only will this make them legal on the road, but it will help them to be confident and safer while towing a caravan this summer.
Mr Dulson added: “We are here to help guide anyone who is unsure about towing or whether they have the correct licence. It is imperative to stay both legal and safe when towing.”
Caravanners must know about the maximum authorised mass (MAM) they’re allowed to tow. To find out more about weight in relation to your caravan or motorhome, check out CaravanTimes’ very own Dan Cartright’s advice on the matter.
The DVSA has said it will be carrying out on-the-spot checks for cars towing caravans this weekend as people head off on bank holiday breaks.
It believes that 17 per cent of all caravans are unsafe, based on data collated from two years of roadside checks.
Photo credit: Salop Leisure courtesy of Dulson Training