Wednesday, June 7, 2023
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Drivers warned of huge caravan fines and penalty points for towing limits and tyre issues


Experts are warning drivers that not all caravans fall into the category, and that they should double check the weight of their model to ensure they can tow it on a standard licence.

Only those who passed their test before January 1, 1997 are eligible to tow a larger caravan without an additional driving qualification.

This is generally a combined vehicle and caravan weight of up to 8.25 tonnes MAM.

Drivers can check this by looking on the reverse side of their driving licence.

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“But small checks, planning ahead, and simple maintenance can save a lot of heartache – and stop potential fines.”

Caravan owners are also being warned of other potential dangers, including warning lights.

When a bulb needs replacing on a car, the visual cue is noticeable, but it isn’t always as clear when it comes to caravans.

As they’re generally used less often than our cars, faults with a caravan’s lights are not always noticeable and may not be checked as regularly. 

But driving with a light out on a vehicle can constitute driving it in a dangerous condition resulting in a fine of up to £2,500, be banned from driving, and get three penalty points for using a vehicle in a dangerous condition.

Similarly, caravan tyres aren’t always checked because they are not constantly used, but after a couple of months of sitting on a driveway, the tyres can lose pressure and even crack.

It’s always advised to check all the tyres before a long journey for air pressure and any signs of damage.

Drivers also need to ensure the tread depth is above the legal limit of 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tread – and around the entire circumference of the tyre.

Towing any vehicle with tyres that don’t meet the legal limit can result in any insurance being invalidated – as well as a £2,500 fine per tyre – and three penalty points.

Speed limits are also different for caravans, with drivers not being able to exceed 60mph on a motorway, nor are they able to enter the right-hand lane when there are three or more lanes.

When driving on a single carriageway, the maximum speed limit for those towing a caravan is 50mph to ensure vehicle stability.

Failure to follow these rules can result in a £100 fine and three penalty points.

Rhiannon Philips added: “Although it’s not the law, it’s always worth getting caravan breakdown cover in place – just in case anything happens.

“Should you break down in the middle of a motorway, your car breakdown cover is likely to only cover your car – not your caravan, leaving you footing an expensive call out bill.”


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