The UK government has announced big changes to the law for towing trailers. From Thursday 16th December, anyone in England, Scotland and Wales with a full driving licence will be able to tow a trailer and load up to a maximum gross weight of 3500Kg (if the tow vehicle allows).
The law has been changed primarily due to the current shortage of HGV drivers and the need to create more testing capacity for new drivers and these changes will have significant long-term consequences for the general public and the trailer industry. Naturally, there are legitimate concerns regarding road safety; the onus is now squarely on the driver to ensure that they know how to tow safely and are competent to do so, and not everyone is as conscientious or self-aware as they should be.
However, towing trailers is now more appealing than ever across many walks of life. For those with light-weight towing needs, higher capacity fully-braked trailers are now available as a better and safer solution without having the cost and inconvenience of training and testing. For those considering motorsport as a hobby, the barriers to entry have been lowered by not requiring a special licence to tow the racing or rally car to events and for those involved in professional logistics, towing is now very appealing as an alternative to HGVs, especially while the driver shortage persists. It may also be especially useful in the car retail sector, where a salesman can double up as a delivery driver.
All in all, we welcome the changes and are excited by the possibilities it opens up, while urging caution to anyone who will start towing without having had to pass a test.