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trailer limits confirmation


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hi guys, looking for some clarification on towing weight limits (with proper +E category on license)

the vehicle has GVW of 2600kg and GTW of 3500kg

firstly i can assume that the trailer limit is depending on how loaded the tow car is, but assuming it was 1700kg i'd be able to tow 1800kgs yes? if it was loaded up to 2000kg i could only tow 1500kg which i think i understand.

my query is if i can tow 1800kg, is this on the actual trailer weight or its MAM. ie if the trailer weighs 1700kg and MAM is 2500kg is it ok to tow with tow vehicle weighing 1700kg as the 1700+1700 is still within the 3500kg GTW?

sorry if thats confusing But i cant seem to get a streiggt answer anywhere!


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These things are usually about the maximums. In other words, if the GTW is 3500kg and the GVW is 2600kg then you can tow a trailer with MAM (Maximum allowable mass) of 900kg. Even if they are not loaded.


Hah! (I hear the creak of the can of worms opening in the background). In all cases the GTW and towing capacity of the vehicle are the obvious limiting factors. However from there on it gets 'fluffy'.

I've got documents hanging around somewhere that partially contradict one another but the basic outcome of discussions with the various Ministries and the Police was:

If you are a commercial the maximum tow weight limit is related to plated weights. Ie, actual train weight=GVW+trailer MAM, irrespective of actual load (as specified above). This was specified in a reply from VOSA I believe who declined to comment about non-commercial towing regulation.

If you are non-commercial the maximum weight limit is the actual weight of the vehicles - ie actual train weight=GVW+actual trailer weight. This was specified in a reply from the local Chief Constable of Police. The comment was made that if pulled over he would expect the entire vehicle to be put on a weigh bridge - ie 'ignoring' the plated weights (including the tow vehicle's GVW). Therefore it is possible that if the vehicle was not fully loaded this would be offset against the GTW, allowing a slightly heavier trailer to be towed as long as the towing capacity of the vehicle was not exceeded. To use the example above, an empty 3500kg trailer with a weight of 900kg could *not* be towed commercially but could be perfectly legal if non-commercial.

As ever, this is the interpretation of our local police force ... others may vary and nick you ...

Told you it involved cans of worms ...


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yer it seems that way to me too!

the first post is wrong for sure as the transit has 1800kg trailer limit but gtw-gvw is only 900 so clearly the weight of the vehicle is taken into account!

things are different still without the +E as then it DOES use MAM of trailer and GVW and the trailer also cant be heavier than the tow car which makes limits much lower (hence doing trailer test for +E gets higher limits)

it seems to point to what youve said there to me, and its non-commercial so as long as i dont physically exceed GTW i'll be fine


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