Caravan owners warned to check towing requirements before Summer holidays

A driver training specialist is urging people to ensure they are properly qualified when it comes to towing caravans and trailers - or risk large fines, invalidating their insurance and having their pride and joy confiscated!

The warning comes at a time when the country is opening up as Covid restrictions continue to ease and more people are looking at touring caravans as an attractive option for holidaying in the UK rather than risk the uncertainties of travelling abroad.

Steve Dulson of Dulson Training, which has centres in Shrewsbury, Telford and Wrexham, said it was important for anyone new to towing and caravan handling to be sure they are legal.

“Drivers may be unaware that if they are towing a caravan they will probably need a BE category driving licence,” he said. Anyone who passed their car test before 1997 should automatically have the BE, also known as 'grandfather' or 'acquired rights' - but if they passed the car test after January 1st that year, they need to pass a DVSA trailer test to add the BE category. 

“Not having the correct licence will invalidate your insurance, you may receive a large fine and could have your caravan or trailer confiscated.” 

Dulson Training provides fully managed intensive courses which prepare drivers to pass the trailer test. This includes relevant training, the use of the firm’s equipment, car and trailer and the test itself arranged by the Dulson team. 

“We supply new Nissan Navara tow cars and tandem axle box trailers, manual or automatic,” Steve added. “We chose this combination because we feel they make towing and reversing as simple as possible with 360 degree camera systems to give everyone a better chance of passing the trailer test.  

“These intensive courses are available at our centres in Shrewsbury, Telford and Wrexham, providing access to a high volume of driving tests which keep waiting times to a minimum. Attending our private test facilities in Shrewsbury or Telford allows drivers to practice and prepare for their test at the same facility where they will be taking that test - a familiarity in surroundings which is great for improving confidence.”

Anyone interested in the courses is welcome to visit Dulson Training for a chat and free assessment drive in a vehicle and trailer after which advice can be given on a suitable training duration - the most popular option being a two-day course with a test at the end. But there is a one-day course available for already highly experienced towers and three-day courses for complete novices. Training covers everything in the test including safety questions about the vehicle, reversing, uncoupling and coupling and a general road drive. 

Steve said: “Another popular course is the Caravan/Motorhome Handling Course, designed for people who will be towing or driving a larger vehicle but already hold the correct licence category. It’s ideal for those who may have a lack of confidence or are concerned that they may not be towing safely. 

“The course covers vehicle safety checks, general driving, reversing, coupling and loading, usually held over one day but again any duration can be arranged using our equipment or the customer’s own car, caravan or motorhome. 

“We are here to help guide anyone who is unsure about towing or whether they have the correct licence. It is imperative to stay both legal and safe when towing.” 

Training courses are available seven days a week and finance packages are available subject to status. Dulson Training has teamed with Salop Leisure in Shrewsbury to provide some attractive offers and the Dulson team are regularly on site at Salop Leisure offering free taster sessions and advice about towing and training.