NCC Approved Tourers
All new tourers approved under the NCC Product Approval scheme are safe and legal for use on UK roads. The NCC scheme is the only one in Europe which verifies complete product compliance with the comprehensive health and safety standards set by the British Standards Institution (BSI) and European Standards body CEN. If the vehicle is NCC approved, it will have an NCC Approved badge near the main entrance door. To achieve approval, the model will have undergone over 600 checks covering all aspects of the motorhome, including:

• Gas and electrical installations
• Tyres, road lights, reflectors
• Weights and dimensions
• Fridge, heater and water systems
• Ventilation and emergency exits

For peace of mind - Check out the list of NCC Approved Tourers and look for the Badge on a tourer before you buy.

How do I know what my car can tow?
Caravan weight is a major factor when choosing a touring caravan. But your local dealer will have a computerized caravan matching system to take away the complexity - talk to them.

Are there caravans that can be towed by an average sized saloon car?
Most major manufacturers offer light-weight caravans that provide the perfect mobile base for touring holidays. The 85% guide match is generally recommended for beginners i.e. restricting the laden weight of the caravan to 85% of the towcar’s kerbweight - Read the NCC's Caravan Towing Guide

Are there caravans that can be towed safely by small cars?
There are folding and slimline caravans such as those made by Gobur Caravans – see www.goburcaravans.co.uk/slimline.htm - that can be towed by smaller cars.

How large a caravan can I tow legally in the UK?
A touring caravan with:
with a maximum laden weight not exceeding 3,500 kg
overall width not exceeding 2.3 metres
overall body length not exceeding 7 metres (excluding drawbar and coupling)
is the maximum size that can be legally towed by a motor vehicle whose maximum gross vehicle weight is less than 3,500 kg (so most 4x4s and even Transit type vans are not allowed to tow caravans that exceed the above dimensions). There are very few such large caravans in the UK, but it is as well to be aware of this.

What driving licence do I need to tow?
All drivers who passed a car test before 1 January 1997 retain their existing entitlement to tow trailers until their licence expires. This means they are generally entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8,250 kg Gross Train Weight (GTW).

For Car licences gained since 1 January 1997:
Category B: Vehicles up to 3,500 kg MPW and with up to eight passenger seats (including driver) Category B vehicles may be coupled with:
a caravan up to 750 kg MTPLM* (allowing a combined weight up to 4,250 kg GTW)
or a caravan over 750 kg MTPLM provided the MTPLM of the caravan does not exceed the unladen weight of the car and the combination does not exceed 3,500 kg GTW.

If you passed your test after 1st January 1997 you will need to take an additional driving test in order to gain entitlement to Category B+E and all larger vehicles. For more information, see www.direct.gov.uk

* MTPLM = Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass, sometimes shown as MAM = Maximum Authorised Mass

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