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RAC issues warning over UK driving licences and caravans

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The RAC has issued a warning for drivers in the UK who passed their tests after 1997. The timely reminder explained that drivers who passed after New Year's Day 1997 could only tow caravans or trailers which together with the towing vehicle had a combined weight of 3,500kgs.

The Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) allows for a vehicle up to 3,500kgs and a caravan or trailer up to 750kgs, but the total cannot be more than the maximum 3,500kgs. The Gov.UK website explains that drivers with post '97 licences need to take and pass a separate car and trailer test to be fully legal.

In comparison, drivers with pre-1997 licences have got it a lot easier. They are legally allowed to drive a vehicle-trailer combination up to a maximum of 8,250kgs MAM.

Although the permitted 3,500kgs for those who passed after '97 sounds like a lot, motoring experts say the combined weight of a larger SUV and a caravan for a family of four would exceed it. Any driver convicted of being over the MAM limit faces a £1,000 fine plus three penalty points on their licences.

The RAC's Rod Dennis said drivers could only tow vehicles with maximum weights as specified on their licences and anything over this was against the law. He did note that it seemed a little strange a random date dictated the size of caravans and trailers drivers could hitch up to their vehicles.