Are caravans allowed in the outside lane of a motorway?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Are caravans allowed in the outside lane of a motorway? We will discuss more rules and laws for towing with a caravan. 

Are caravans allowed in the outside lane of a motorway?

Yes, caravans are allowed in the outside lane of a dual motorway and are allowed a 60mph maximum speed. Attention, caravans are not allowed in the outside lane of a three or more lane motorway. 

The following vehicles are not allowed in the outside lane of a motorway: 

  • Vehicles that are towing a trailer;
  • Vehicles whose maximum allowed mass (MAM) exceeds 7.5 tonnes;
  • Vehicles with a MAM between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes that don’t have a speed limiter fitted;
  • Passenger vehicles with a MAM exceeding 7.5 tonnes;
  • Passenger vehicles with a MAM between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes that don’t have a speed limiter fitted.

The fine for breaking this rule is up to $3000 and 3 penalty points. 

What is the maximum speed you can go when towing a caravan?

This is how fast you can drive when towing a caravan:

  • 60mph – on a motorway or dual carriageway;
  • 50mph – on a single carriageway;
  • 50mph – other roads outside the urban area;
  • 30mph – built-up areas.

The required and advisable thing is to circulate in the right lane whenever possible. The rest of the lanes should only be used to overtake or when the traffic density forces them to be divided, as well as to facilitate the entry of other vehicles that want to join the road. In fact, driving on the left lanes for no reason is punishable.

If driving on the right and we only use the rest of the lanes to overtake, traffic is more fluid and risk situations are avoided, such as a car travelling on the right having to change lanes twice to overtake another vehicle that circulates through the centre. It is also dangerous to overtake on the right, which is also prohibited. 

The safest thing is to maintain a uniform flow in circulatory flow. If we always go to the right, we avoid that many cars go zigzag, trying to overtake, thus avoiding risky situations.

What driving licence do you need if towing a caravan?

If the caravan you are driving weighs less than 750 kg, you can tow it with any licence, except A or A1 (as these are for motorcycles). Please see the table below for more information on what type of licence you need for towing a caravan.

Type of vehicleType of licence needed
Vehicle (up to 3500 kg) + a caravan of up to 750 kg Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) Licence category B
Vehicle (up to 3500 kg) + a caravan with a GVM more than 750 kg, without the combination of both vehicles exceeding 4250 kgLicence category B
Vehicle (up to 3500 kg) + a caravan with a GVM more than 750 kg, but both vehicles weigh between 4,250 and 7,000 kgLicence category B+E
Vehicle (3500 kg+) + a caravan with a GVM more than 750kgLicence category  C+E
Vehicle (3500 kg+) + a caravan with a GVM more than 750kg, without the set exceeding 12,000 kilogramsLicence category D+E
Vehicle of those authorized by permit D1 + a trailer or semi-trailer of more than 750 kilograms of GVWLicence category D+E

If we only have a type B driving license, we must bear in mind that we can only drive a tractor vehicle of those authorized by this type of permit and that pulls a trailer with a Maximum Authorized Mass of less than 750 kilograms as long as both are not allowed. 

If, on the contrary, we want to tow a trailer of 750 kilograms of MAM or higher with our tourism, we will need the B + E permit that authorizes to tow a trailer of up to 3,500 kilograms of MAM.

Other rules and tips for towing a caravan

Whether you are a new or experienced driver, here are some tips to consider when towing a caravan or trailer:

  1. Check the blind spot – You didn’t see that car coming, did you? The blind spot has that name for something: it is the space around the car that we cannot easily see through the mirrors. Each vehicle has different blind spots, so turn your head when you can’t see properly and want to change lanes or do a manoeuvre.
  1. Get in the right lane – When you enter a highway, adapt your speed to the rest of the vehicles travelling, except those that exceed the speed limits! Choose the correct lane for the speed with which you feel most comfortable and always give directions if you change lanes.
  1. Understand the safety requirements of your vehicle – It is very likely that you will have to perform safety checks on your vehicle at least once a year to ensure that it can circulate. Mark yourself a reminder on your calendar and don’t hesitate to take your vehicle to the workshop if you notice something strange.
  1. Avoid driving too late – Low visibility, tiredness … there are a lot of reasons why driving too late is a bad idea. If you can, take a bus or a taxi at night.
  1. Don’t drive with many passengers – One of the best things about driving is being able to take a ride with your friends, but you are more likely to have an accident if you are distracted by the passengers behind!
  1. Drive through familiar areas and take short trips – Drive around your area, take short trips, and don’t drive long distances in the car for now until you have more practice.
  1. Put the phone on silent – Even hands-free calls can be distracting, so keep your phone away when driving. Most smartphones now have “Do Not Disturb” mode, so it won’t ring or vibrate while you’re driving.

Final thoughts

Before towing with a caravan, make sure you know the weight of the caravan (loaded) and that your car is capable of towing it. We previously wrote an article on how to know if your car can tow a caravan, so make sure you check it out.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments on the content. 

FAQ on Are caravans allowed in the outside lane of a motorway?

What weight can a car tow?

Generally, a car shouldn’t tow more than 3,500 kg: if the car is towing a trailer whose maximum authorized mass (MAM) is greater than 750 kg, the maximum permitted trailer + car weight will be 3,500 kg.

What is caravan MAM?

A caravan MAM – Maximum Authorized Mass – is the vehicle’s total weight with the maximum load inside. That is the sum of the payload plus the tare of the caravan.

How much weight can you drive with the B license?

With the B license, you can tow a trailer that does not exceed 750 kg of maximum authorized mass. The set, including the vehicle and the trailer, must not exceed 3,500 kg of maximum authorized mass, which is what the driving license B establishes.

How much does it cost to get a category E driving license?

The cost to get a category E on your driving licence will vary according to the city, the driving school, the number of practices that we need, and the vehicle that you are going to drive (B + E, C + E, D + E…).

References

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