The Tare (licence weight) of the vehicle, needs to be double that of the trailer (for trailers up to 750kg). In other words, for a 750kg trailer, the drawing vehicle must have a Tare of 1500kg. To put that into perspective, an average size German sedan with a Tare of 1425kg would be illegal to tow a 750kg trailer with.
The regulations are somewhat different for drivers in possession of Code EB licenses. “An EB classified driver’s licence allows the driver to tow up to 3500kg. If the trailer exceeds 750kg and has its own braking system, the weight of the vehicle must be equal to, or more than, the weight of the trailer.”
“Your motor vehicle insurance policy requires you to have a valid driver’s licence and that you act within the law. Every insurance policy will also expect you to disclose every material fact that would increase the risk which they have accepted to cover.
“Consequently, if you have an accident at the time you are not adhering to the regulations (towing illegally for instance), your insurer may have cause to repudiate your claim.
Taking extras into account
Drivers also need to take note that when they buy a standard caravan or trailer and opt to add extras, the Tare mass needs to be recalculated.
“When all the optional extras are taken into account, there may be a risk of overloading the car’s suspension after the trailer has been loaded. Again this may affect your claim after a possible accident.
This law extends to anyone who received their licences after the new codes were introduced. Drivers with a Code B licence will unfortunately need to complete their learner’s test again and do the driving test for the EB license. Older drivers have a slight advantage, however, needing only to apply for an exemption in order to obtain their licence.