If you have turned 70 and wondering if you can tow your caravans, there are a few aspects you need to address before you head out on the road again with the caravan attached to your car.
If you are a pro at caravan life and have been hauling caravans for a long time, you may want to continue doing that and enjoy your freedom. Even if you have turned 70 and are fit to drive, there is no reason why you cannot tow a caravan.
However, like any caravan expert, you may know that there is much more to towing caravans than meets the eye, particularly when you reach a certain age. Read this section to learn all the information you need about towing a caravan after turning 70 years old.
Legal Requirements For Towing A Caravan
According to UK law, anyone with a full driver’s licence can tow a trailer or caravan up to a maximum authorises mass of 3,500kg. Earlier, individuals who had passed their driving licence test after January 1st, 1997, and had the category B licence; they could tow weight of up to 750kg. However, the rules were changed on December 16th, 2021, and now the drivers can tow a trailer with their vehicle, given the total weight does not exceed 3,500kg (MAM).
It is important to note that the maximum authorised mass or MAM refers to the total weight of the passengers and luggage in the vehicle and the loaded caravan attached to the vehicle. This is also called permissible maximum weight or gross vehicle weight.
However, if you want to tow a heavier trailer or caravan, you will need to apply for a licence for a medium-sized vehicle like a lorry. The licence category, in that case, is C1+E, and to acquire it, you need to pass a theory and practical driving test.
Can I Tow A Caravan After Age 70?
When you turn 70 years old, your licence expires automatically, and you need to get it renewed every three years.
That being said, when you turn 70, you can drive any vehicle and tow a caravan as well if your licence category prior to expiry allowed you to tow a caravan while adhering to the prescribed weight limit as per your licence category.
However, the main issue is the expiry of the licence, which happens when individuals turn 70. If you want to continue driving, you will need to renew your licence and continue to do so every three years.
The DLVA sends you an application form (D46P) ninety days before you turn 70. If you have not received a letter, you can also pick one from a post office. Most facilities have this form readily available. You can renew your category B1 licence online as well. However, for categories C1 (medium-sized vehicle) and D1 (minibus category), you will need to renew them by post.
To renew your licence, you must fulfil the minimum eyesight requirement and assure that you are not prevented from driving for any particular reason.
The form is a questionnaire requiring you to make a declaration of the answers you fill out. If you have any health issues, you need to provide details even if you are not yet 70. This is for the car licence and allows you to drive a vehicle with a MAM of up to 3,500kgs.
However, if you wish to drive a vehicle with a MAM over 3500, you will need to provide additional documents, which must be endorsed by a doctor once they are satisfied with your health status.
What Weight Can I Tow With My Car?
If you have embarked on a road trip with a caravan in tow for the first time, you not only need to adhere to the licence category weight restrictions, but you also need to assess if your car is up to the task, regardless of your age.
If your caravan exceeds a certain weight limit, it is illegal and also unsafe.
You can determine the car’s towing capacity by taking into account the weight of the car, the caravan, and the maximum mass you can load on the vehicle before it becomes unsafe.
These details are listed on the vehicle and caravan’s registration documents or user manual. Ideally, you should not tow more than 75-85% of the car’s towing capacity. If the caravan is heavier, you may find it difficult to manoeuvre the car on the road.