How to correctly tow a horsebox

Oct 31, 2018 | Towbars, Towing

If you read our last article, you’d know that when it comes to the rules of towing a trailer, the waters are a little muddy. Now add a large box and a load of galloping animals into the mix and you’ve got some seriously filthy water.

Have no fear. The team at Towbar2U have written this article to provide all the necessary rules about how to legally tow a horsebox.

MAM and Licenses

Part of the reason why people often get confused with the rules of towing a horsebox is because, unlike the majority of towing and automobile regulations, the rules regarding legally towing a horsebox is different depending on the date you received your driving license.

There are two things you will need to do to discover which regulations apply to you. The first is referring to MAM. MAM stands for ‘maximum authorised weight’ and refers to the maximum loaded weight of your vehicle or horsebox. Bear in mind that the MAM of a towing vehicle will include the weight of the trailer, horsebox or vehicle being towed.

The second is the date you passed your standard driving test. If it was on or after January 1st 1997 then the following rules apply:

  • You can tow a trailer with a MAM up to 750kg without needing any extra licenses. Unless you’re towing an extremely small horsebox, it will be unlikely for your horsebox not to exceed this MAM, however.
  • If it does exceed this MAM, you may still tow the trailer given that the actual weight of both the vehicle and trailer does not exceed 3500kg and that the actual weight of the trailer does not exceed the unladen weight of the vehicle towing it.

You can legally tow a horsebox if they comply with the above rules. However, it will be the case that most horseboxes will exceed the legal weights and thus in order to legally tow a horsebox you will need to obtain one of the following licenses:

B+E License – this will allow you to tow a horsebox that doesn’t fit the above criteria but does have a MAM of up to 3500kg.

C1+E License – this will allow you to tow a horsebox that doesn’t fit the above criteria but does have a MAM between 3500kg-7500kg.

To obtain these licenses you will have to take the designated tests – either the B+E test or the C1+E test.

If you passed your standard driving test before January 1st 1997 the following rules apply:

You are legally allowed to tow a horsebox without obtaining a C1+E license so long as the combined actual weight of both the trailer/horsebox and the vehicle towing it doesn’t exceed 8250kg

Towbar installation

Once you’ve understood the legal regulations to tow a horsebox, it’s important you have the right towbar fitted. The towbar needs to be EU approved and be the correct match for your vehicle. It needs to be wired in correctly and be compliant with the towbar regulations.

It is highly recommended that your towbar is fitted by a professional. This will ensure that your vehicle’s towbar is installed correctly and safely. Towbar2U offer a variety of towbar types, and using our wide range of knowledge we can recommend and advise on which towbar will be best suited for your vehicle to tow a horsebox. Our team can then travel to you to fit your towbar professionally and efficiently.

Towbar2U also offer vehicle specific wiring. Our experts have a wide range of knowledge of vehicle types and manufacturers and will wire your vehicle in compliance with your car manufacturer’s intentions, ensuring the safest towing solution for your specific vehicle.

If you’d like to hear more about any of extensive range of products and services, or simply for any advice about towing legalities and regulations, give our friendly team a call today on 0800 998 1969 and we’ll be happy to help.

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