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What are the Towing Weights?

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 11 May 2013 | comments*Discuss
What Are The Towing Weights?

Q.I have had a driving licence since 1984 and HGV C class since 1993. What are the limits on towing weights i.e. how heavy can a trailer be. un-braked is 750KG but what is braked trailor limit on a car for instance. The car I drive tells me I can drive up to 3.5 Tons

(Mr Ian Newman, 8 September 2008)


As well as being dangerous, towing more weight than your car is capable of can also make your insurance invalid. For safety purposes, the maximum laden weight of your trailer should be less than your car's kerb weight (the total weight of your car, including accessories, which can increase it). It is usually recommended that you do not tow more than 85% of your car's kerb weight, although this is not a legal obligation. Even if your car 's maximum towing figure indicates that it can pull a great weight than this, it is not necessarily safe to do so. The maximum trailer weight can usually be found in the vehicle's handbook.

To work out your vehicle's towing capacity, you can deduct your vehicle's Maximum Permitted Weight otherwise known as Gross Vehicle Weight) from the trailer's Gross Trailer Weight. You also need to factor in the added weight of luggage, passengers and other things that can increase the overall weight of both your car and the trailer being towed. If you can, try putting heavier items in your car so that they do not increase the weight of the trailer. In strong winds, this can prevent the trailer from swaying or tipping.

For unbraked trailers, you can tow up to 750kg, but this needs to be no more than half of the kerb weight of the towing vehicle. Whichever of these figures is the lowest is the recommended route to take. For braked trailers (especially large ones), they should be 85% of your car's kerb weight or less.

For caravan towing, safety guidance recommends that the unladen weight of the caravan is a maximum of 85% of the unladen weight of the towing vehicle. This is not strictly a legal requirement, but going above this can be dangerous, especially in windy conditions.

If you got your car driving licence before January 1st 1997, you cannot exceed a gross maximum weight of 8.25 tonnes as a combined weight for both the towing vehicle and the trailer. If you got your car driving licence on or after January 1st 1997, you can drive a combined gross maximum weight of 3.5 tonnes.

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What is the legal towing weight for a Victory Hammer (1634)
edie - 11-May-13 @ 10:27 AM
My Suzuki's kerb weight is almost one and a half tonnes, which means I can tow nearly 750 kg. unladen weight. But on my registration document the maximum towing weight is listed as 400 kg. In the event of an accident when towing, which figure would apply for the purposes of insurance cover ?
stewpot - 17-May-12 @ 9:44 AM
i wish to know the legal weight my 54 bhp panda can pull and if I pull over this weight will my insurance be void if I am involved in an accident when towing an unladen trailer over said weight and would I be guilty of any road traffic offence under uk and scottish law
BLU - 27-Mar-12 @ 10:12 PM
What caravan weight can I pull with my 2001 rav 4 gx vvti?
bear - 13-May-11 @ 9:32 PM
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