Check Towing Weights

Click here for new rules for towing a trailer with a car from 16 December 2021

When towing, great care should be taken and more responsibility accepted; accidents involving trailers or caravans are much worse with greater consequences. Your vehicle becomes longer, is heavier, and all your load is anchored to your vehicle at one small towing point. You must remember to regularly check the condition of your caravan and linkages to make sure that you arrive safely and with everything that you had at the start of your journey.

Safely loading your caravan is critical. Check your towing weights and capacity for the vehicle carefully, as getting this wrong can cost you dearly. It's essential to make sure that your load is spread evenly inside the caravan.

The big problem we have in the UK is the traffic density, especially on Motorways, which has caravans in close proximity to both cars and large goods vehicles at speed. The vortices encountered can cause caravans to wander if not loaded correctly and matched to the towing vehicle.

An excellent site to check towing weights is They have an extensive list of vehicles and caravans for you to match up and check to see if it's safe to tow with what you have. If your vehicle or caravan is not listed, choose one that's close to yours, and you can adjust the weights/specs to fit your needs.

The following was submitted to CLIC by Ian Willis in answer to an inquiry about the 85% beginners towing rule. It was generally thought within CLIC that Ian's words helped clarify the situation regarding towing in Great Britain. 85% (or even 100%) rules are not "rules" but guidelines that have no substance in law. They are designed to ensure that the outfit will be stable (all other factors being equal). Exceeding this figure, whilst not illegal in itself, COULD lead to prosecution if the driver was stopped because of (say) instability or after an accident as there is a requirement on the driver to ensure the safety of his vehicle in the Construction and Use Regulations. Usually, a manufacturer will quote a tow weight that is far greater than the vehicle's mass. Generally, this is based on the total train weight (car + caravan), which can be started on a 12% gradient. Where this weight (or any other, e.g. nose weight) is given as lower by the manufacturer, the user ignores it at his peril. Insurance could well be void after an accident - worse, the illegal combination could cause the accident if the vehicle cannot handle it.

Check Towing Weights Enquiry