Elderly drivers warned over expiring driving licences amid caravan law changes

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The changes, which will be coming before the end of 2021, mean that anyone with a full driving licence will be able to tow a trailer or caravan without an extra test. Before the rule change, those who passed their car driving test before January 1, 1997, could drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8,250kg maximum authorised mass (MAM).

Once the law has changed, drivers who passed their test from January 1, 1997, will be allowed to tow trailers up to 3,500kg MAM.

The laws changes are designed to make it easier for drivers to tow trailers and caravans.

According to the Government website, if drivers got their driving licence before January 1, 1997, they can usually drive a vehicle and trailer with a combined weight of up to 8,2509kg maximum authorised mass (MAM).

For those who got their licence between January 1, 1997, and January 18, 2013, they can tow a trailer that is either 750kg or less MAM, with a car or van up to 3,500kg MAM.

They can also tow a trailer that is more than 750kg MAM, as long as the trailer weighs less than the unladen weight of the vehicle (up to 3,500kg in total).

Driving licence entitlements expire when drivers reach the age of 70 and must be renewed.

On reaching the age of 70, drivers will retain their driving entitlement for Category B and Category B+E.

This is provided Category B+E was held prior to the expiry date of their driving licence.

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Category B+E entitles drivers to drive a motor vehicle (car, van or 4×4) not exceeding 3.5 tonnes Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM), drawing/towing any weight trailer/caravan within the prescribed maximum towing weight.

In other words, it is only the weight of the towing vehicle that must not exceed this weight, the weight of the trailer or caravan is not taken into account.

The Caravan Club states that older caravan drivers may also have to take an additional test.

They state that drivers over 70 years of age must pass the D4 Medical Test.

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