Towing is a minefield. There are a number of different rules you need to be following before even considering towing any amount of weight using your vehicle. 
Do you have the right type of licence? 
Generally, you will not need a specific type of licence to drive a van; a normal car licence is fine for most conventional vehicles under 3.5 tonnes. However, when towing heavier trailers and/or loads, it can put you over the limit of what you’re legally allowed to drive. If you passed your driving test before January 1997 then you may automatically be able to drive vehicles weighing up to 7.5 tonnes (the categories on the back of your driving licence will clarify this). But, if you passed your driving test after that date, you will need to pass a further test to be able to drive vehicles over 3.5 tonnes. 
Know your weights 
The individual and combined weights of the vehicle and the trailer are two of the most important things you need to know before you embark on your journey. It’s vital that you stick to them - exceed them, and you may be breaking the law. 
The gross vehicle weight or maximum authorised mass tells you how much a vehicle or a trailer can legally weigh in order to be used on the road, while the gross train weight or gross combination weight is the collective permitted weight of the vehicle, the trailer and everything it’s carrying. 
You can find these figures on the van or trailer’s chassis plate, in the handbook, or it is sometimes listed on the V5C registration certificate. 
Driver hours 
Are you aware that the amount of driving you do daily is governed by law? 
The Domestic Rules on van driving hours 
(These apply to goods and vehicles not exceeding 3.5 tonnes). 
10 hours of daily driving – this limit applies from the moment you start driving, including time off-road and time behind the wheel with the engine running and controlling the vehicle. This could be when the vehicle is stationary, as well as moving. 
11 hours of daily duty – for the period of 24 hours from the beginning of your shift. Drivers are excluded from the daily duty limit on any working day if they don’t drive. 
To sum up, when practicing Domestic Rules, you can spend 11 hours of the day working, but no more than 10 of those can be driving. 
If you drive a vehicle to which these rules apply, but spend just four hours at the most behind the wheel per week then you’re not subject to the “daily duty” limit on any day of the week. However, if you exceed more than four hours in one day, the limit is applied to the whole week. 
These rules do not apply to drivers of vehicles used by the armed forces, police and fire brigades, drivers who always drive off the public road, and private driving unconnected with any employment. 
EU Rules on van driving hours 
(These rules apply to vehicles and any vehicle combinations that exceed 3.5 tonnes). 
9 hours of daily driving – or the driving time between rest periods (of which there should be two), no more than 9 hours. However, this may be extended to 10 hours twice a week, without the need to compensate for the extra time. 
56 hours maximum of weekly driving – a week being the fixed period between 00:00 Monday to 24:00 the following Sunday. 
A 45-minute break is required after every 4.5 hours of driving – this break must be taken after continuous or accumulated driving, unless you start another daily or weekly rest. You don’t just have to take the 45-minute rest in one go, instead you can take the break in two periods, the first being at least 15 minutes long and the second 30 minutes. 
These regulations may be broken only to reach a suitable stopping place in an emergency. 
You’ll also need an operator’s licence to operate vehicles above 3.5 tonnes being used to carry goods (anything not permanently attached to the vehicle) on public roads for trade or business purposes. This includes short-term rental vehicles hired for as little as one day. 
As you’ll have read, there’s a lot to think about when transporting anything - never mind your pride and joy vehicles - so it’s probably safest that you find yourself a trusted and reliable company to do so for you, safely, legally and with all the right insurance in place. 
We here at Ecomotive Logistics have you and your vehicle in mind. We are petrol heads ourselves and take a lot of pride in transporting vehicles of any ilk. We care about our customers and we care about the good we move. Why not have a chat with one of our team, we will talk you through the process and what we can do for you. You can either call us on 01162 838 507 or drop us an email at And one of our team will get back to you as soon as possible. 
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