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Jeep Trailer Lessons

Trailer Towing: Jeep Trailer Lessons

Are you planning to tow a trailer behind a car, jeep or van? You may be unclear about whether or not you need a special licence to do this. While it is legal to tow a light trailer on a category B licence, there are many guidelines you should review before determining whether or not you are towing legally. You may need a category BE drivers licence or special insurance coverage.

Towing on a Category B License

The image below illustrates what is allowed on a category B licence. The RSA explains their regulations as:

A category B driving licence authorises you to drive a car, van or 4 x 4 which has a maximum mass (as specified by the manufacturer) of not more than 3,500kg and is designed and constructed to carry no more than eight passengers in addition to the driver. You may tow a trailer with a maximum mass (again as specified by the manufacturer) not greater than 750kg, or where the maximum mass is more than 750kg, the combined maximum mass of the towing vehicle and the trailer is not greater than 3,500kg.

As a general rule, a category B licence does not entitle the holder to tow a horsebox or a livestock trailer because the combined maximum mass would exceed 3,500kg

It is important to note that it is illegal to tow a trailer of any size on a category B Learner Permit. 

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In this image from the RSA, you can see what is allowed on a category B licence.

Towing with a Category BE Licence

A category BE driving licence authorises you to tow a trailer where thecombined maximum mass of the towing vehicle and trailer is greater than 3,500kg.

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This image from the RSA shows when you will be required to hold a category BE licence.

You can learn more about towing requirement in this article about horse box towing lessons and guidelines.

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Other Towing Licence Categories

There are other licence categories that also apply to towing. This table provided by the NDLS explains each of the 15 driving licence categories. Minimum age refers to the age at which you can receive a learner permit for that category.

Category Vehicle type Minimum age*
AM Mopeds and Light quadricycles. 16 years
A1 Motorcycles with an engine capacity not exceeding 125 cubic centimetres, with a power rating not exceeding 11 kW and with a power to weight ratio not exceeding 0.1 kW/kg. Motor tricycles with a power rating not exceeding 15 kW. 16 years
A2 Motorcycles with a power rating not exceeding 35 kW, with a power to weight ratio not exceeding 0.2 kW/kg and not derived from a vehicle of more than double its power. 18 years
A Motorcycles and Motor tricycles. 24 years or 20 with progressive access
B Vehicles (other than motorcycles, mopeds, work vehicles or land tractors) having a MAM1 not exceeding 3,500 kg, designed and constructed for the carriage of no more than eight passengers in addition to the driver.

The vehicle may tow a trailer (a) where the MAM of the trailer is not greater than 750 kg or (b) where the MAM of the trailer exceeds 750kg the combined MAM of the towing vehicle and the trailer is not greater than 3,500 kg.

Quadricycles (other than those covered by AM) are also covered by this category.

17 years
BE Combination of drawing vehicles in category B and trailer where the MAM1 of the trailer is not greater than 3,500 kg. 17 years
W Work vehicles and land tractor with or without a trailer. 16 years
C Vehicles (other than work vehicles or land tractors) having a MAM1 exceeding 3,500 kg, designed and constructed for the carriage of no more than eight passengers in addition to the driver and where the MAM1 of the trailer is not greater than 750 kg. 21 years or 18 with CPC
CE Combination of drawing vehicles in category C and trailer where the MAM1 of the trailer is greater than 750 kg. 21 years or 18 with CPC
C1 Vehicles in category C having a MAM1 weight not exceeding 7,500 kg, designed and constructed for the carriage of no more than eight passengers in addition to the driver and where the MAM1 of the trailer is not greater than 750 kg. 18 years
C1E Combination of drawing vehicles in category C1 and trailer where the MAM1 of the trailer is greater than 750 kg and where the MAM1 of the drawing vehicle and trailer combined does not exceed 12,000 kg.
Combination of drawing vehicles in category B with trailer where the MAM1 of the trailer is greater than 3,500 kg and where the MAM1 of the drawing vehicle and trailer combined does not exceed 12,000 kg.
18 years
D Vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of more than eight passengers in addition to the driver and where the MAM1 of the trailer is not greater than 750 kg. 24 years or 21 years with CPC
DE Combination of drawing vehicles in category D and trailer where the MAM1 of the trailer is greater than 750 kg. 24 years or 21 years with CPC
D1 Vehicles in category D designed and constructed for the carriage of not more than sixteen passengers in addition to the driver with a maximum length not exceeding 8 metres and where the MAM1 of the trailer is not greater than 750 kg. 21 years
D1E Combination of drawing vehicles in category D1 and trailer where the MAM1 of the trailer is greater than 750 kg. 21 years

Minimum age*:

This refers to minimun age at which you can hold a learner permit in that category

Note:

“Passenger accommodation” means seating accommodation for passengers in addition to the driver.

1 Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM1). Manufacturers generally refer to it as gross vehicle weight (g.v.w.) and it is usually displayed on a metal plate attached to the vehicle by the manufacturer.

Important

Tricycle: Where a person had an entitlement to the category B full licence prior to 19 January 2013 that also covered them to ride tricycles. They still retain that entitlement. All first full Licences issued for the category B from 19 January 2013 would not have this entitlement and therefore they must take out the appropriate Bike category to ride a trike. The appropriate bike category will depend on the CC of the Tricycle.

Moped: Where a person was issued the category B full licence prior to 21 October 2006 that also covered them to ride mopeds and therefore are entitled to the moped category AM provided the category B licence has not expired for more than 10 years.

 

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