"What licence do I need to tow a trailer? "What am I allowed to tow with my vehicle? "or "Can I drive a horsebox with my B licence?" These are recurring questions that we have all wondered about at least once in our lives!
Technical data: GVWR, GCWR what is it?
Before you know if you can tow your van or drive a horsebox with your licence, it is essential to know the technical data of your vehicles, to be able to calculate whether you are in order:
The GVWR or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (F2 on the vehicle registration document) is the maximum weight of a vehicle (specified by the manufacturer), including the vehicle's chassis, body, fuel, and passengers. It is the maximum weight allowed for a single vehicle or a trailer.
The GCWR or Gross Combined Weight Rating (F3 on the vehicle registration document) is the maximum permissible laden weight of the combination (vehicle + trailer).
This rating is, in general, set by the vehicle manufacturer. Otherwise, GCW will be determined by adding the gross vehicle weight (GVW) of the horsebox and the total weight of the trailer and any load thereon.
How do you know what your vehicle is allowed to tow?
It is very simple! To find out the theoretical GVW of the trailer you are allowed to tow with your vehicle, do the following calculation: (GCWR – GVWR)
Or (F3 - F2) on your vehicle registration document
The GVW of the towed van must be less than or equal to the result obtained.
Which licence do I need to tow a van?
Your B licence is enough if:
- The GCWR (vehicle + trailer) is less than or equal to 3.5 T.
- The GVW of the trailer is less than 750 kg.
Example: car + « 1 horse » trailer
In this situation, B licence is enough : GCWR is less than 3,5 T
The B96 licence is obtained after a specific training (without exam). With this licence, you are in order if:
- The GCWR (vehicle + trailer) is less than or equal to 4.25 T.
Example: car + “2 horses” trailer, or 4×4 + “1 horse” trailer
The B96 licence is necessary in this configuration because the total weight (trailer + car) is higher than 3.5 T but lower than 4.25 T.
The BE licence is necessary if:
The sum of the GVW (car + trailer) is above 4.25 T.
Example: 4×4 + 2/3 horses trailer
The BE licence is essential when the total weight of the vehicle+trailer exceeds 4.25 T
What licence to drive a horsebox ?
Small horsebox (2 horses)
The small horseboxes allow to transport 2 horses.
The B licence is sufficient if the GVW of the truck is under 3.5 T.
The C1 licence will be required if the GVW of the truck is between 3.5 T and 7.5 T.
Small horsebox + trailer
If you want to tow a trailer to your horsebox, it is possible depending on several criteria:
- Check what your truck is allowed to tow with the basic rule: GCWR – GVWR. The GVW of the trailer must be less than or equal to the result.
- A B licence is sufficient if the total weight of the vehicle + trailer is under 3.5 tonnes, or if the weight of the van does not exceed 750 kg.
- The B96 licence will be required if the total weight (vehicle + trailer) is less than (or equal to) 4.25 T.
- The BE licence will be required if the total weight of the vehicle+trailer exceeds 4.25 T.
- The C1E permit will be required if the GVW of the vehicle is between 3.5 T and 7.5 T, and the GVW of the van exceeds 750 kg.
Overloading: you are outlawed!
The actual weight of the loaded car + the actual weight of the loaded trailer must not exceed the GCWR (F3) of the towing vehicle.
The actual weight of the trailer must not exceed the GVWR of the trailer (F2)
The actual weight of the trailer must not exceed 30% of the actual weight of the towing vehicle.
In addition to having the right licence, you must therefore be careful to comply with the maximum load rules for your vehicle if you do not want to be fined!
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