Towing Insurance And Rules Explained
For some, a caravan holiday is the perfect getaway. For others, towing is just part of their job. But in either case it pays to be clued up.
Heres everything you need to know about towing a caravan and using a tow trailer. That includes UK towing laws, and how to find out your cars towing capacity.
What’s The Difference Between ‘new For Old’ And ‘market Value’
‘Market value’ means your caravan will be insured for how much it’s currently worth. So if you bought it for £20,000 and it was stolen 3 weeks later, you’d get around £20,000 from your insurer. If it’s 10 years old and worth around £7,000, then that’s what you’d get from the insurance company if stolen enough to buy a similar caravan of the same age.
With ‘new for old’ cover you would get around £20,000 at any point even 10 years later, when the value of your caravan has decreased.
Can I Tow A Caravan
The first thing you need to do is check your licence eligibility.
Your standard driving licence may not cover you for towing a caravan, depending on the size and weight of your caravan and car, and when you passed your driving test.
If you passed your driving test on or after January 1 1997 and have an ordinary category B licence, you can drive a vehicle up to 3.5 tonnes or 3,500kg maximum authorised mass towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM.
You can also tow a trailer over 750kg MAM as long as the combined weight of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg. For anything heavier you need to take a category B+E driving test.
However, if you passed your driving test before January 1997 youre generally allowed to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8.25 tonnes MAM.
If you exceed these limits you could receive up to six points on your licence.
Does Roadside Assistance Cover Towing
Yes, in some circumstances. If you obtain roadside assistance, whether it’s from your insurer or a dedicated roadside assistance provider, towing should be included as part of the service.
However, unlike towing provided after an incident on an insurance policy, free towing as part of roadside assistance is usually subject to a couple of restrictions:
- Distance limits. Budget Direct’s roadside assistance will only tow your vehicle for free up to 15km in a metropolitan area or 50km in a country area. Standalone roadside assistance from RAC offers free towing anywhere from 10km to 300km, depending on whether you’re in a metro or country area and which tier you sign up to.
- Size limits. Your vehicle has to be under a certain weight and height, usually less than about 3.5-4 tonnes and no more than 3 or so metres high.
Whether roadside assistance is worth it depends on how likely you think your car is to face routine mechanical issues, since it won’t help with a tow in the event of an accident or fire you’ll need car insurance to be covered for that. Also, roadside assistance tends to have a limited service area. While you might be covered for accidents Australia-wide, you simply may not be able to get roadside assistance in some parts of the country.
Caravan And Trailer Breakdown Cover
With Green Flag you get all the benefits of our standard breakdown cover for any caravan or trailer youre towing This way youre fully covered on any campsite within the UK. We have a massive range of recovery vehicles available so that if we cant repair your caravan or trailer at the roadside, we can get you, your car and your caravan or trailer moving again in no time.
Car Insurance With Hastings Direct
While towing a car is a good skill to have, you can save yourself the headache by taking out quality breakdown cover with Hastings Direct. We offer four levels of optional breakdown cover with our car insurance policies, all of which feature benefits such as UK-wide coverage, roadside assistance, and cover for misfuelling in the UK.
Can I Tow Using My Car
The vehicle you use to pull your trailer must be adequate for the job. Simply, you must make sure that your car is as heavy as possible. To work this out roughly, experts recommend that the weight of the loaded caravan should not be more than 85% of the car’s Kerb Weight – otherwise you may find your caravan ‘takes control’ of your car. However, this is only a rough guide.
If youre short on time, there are online towing calculators available so you can work out the maximum weight your car can carry.
You should also check your brakes are powerful enough to stop the vehicle and unit safely, and crucially you should make sure that the unit’s gross weight does not exceed the towing capacity of the towing vehicle.
Does My Cover Apply If Ive Rented A Car And Borrowed A Caravan From A Friend Or Family Member
Many customers are coming to us because theyve had the opportunity to borrow a caravan from a friend or family member. The problem here is that not all of us own cars capable of towing a caravan so instead choose to rent a vehicle in order to still jump at the opportunity! Here is how you stay covered in this situation.
As it says above, if youve found a rental car to tow your borrowed caravan then from this angle you have no worries. The car cover can accommodate you towing a caravan. The friend you have borrowed the caravan from should also have their own caravan insurance too. So as long as you havent rented the caravan from them, and have indeed borrowed it, then the correct insurance is in place of the caravan itself.
What Is The Speed Limit For Towing A Trailer
While speed restrictions are simple enough when driving unhitched, once youre towing things get a little more complicated. At the bare minimum, you should be able to drive at 80 km/h in any state or territory in Australia in an appropriate tow vehicle. Above that, you need to take into account the regulations of your state and also the recommendation of your vehicle manufacturer.
So how fast can you go towing a trailer? At the time of writing, the states and territories still dont have uniform laws in regards to maximum speed limits while towing. These are the current towing speed limits across Australia:
- NSW: In NSW, youre allowed to drive the full 110 km/h, but the combined weight of your vehicle and trailer/caravan must not exceed 4,500kg. If your rig exceed the weight limit, youre restricted to 100 km/h.
- WA: In WA youre only allowed to drive at a maximum speed of 100 km/h while towing, regardless of weight.
- Tasmania: You can drive at the maximum posted speed limit on any given road, so long as your GVM does not exceed 12 tonnes.
- QLD, VIC, ACT, SA & NT: All remaining states stipulate that towers drive to the prevailing conditions, but do not enforce a separate towing speed limit.
What Can I Tow
Car towing rules vary and depend on when you passed your driving test and got your licence, and what youre towing.
For more information on driving licence rules, see our guide on driving licence categories and codes.How much you can tow is measured in maximum authorised mass .In other words, MAM is the total weight of a vehicle when its loaded and represents the absolute limit a car can safely tow. Its also sometimes referred to as gross vehicle weight . Just like MAM, it shows the maximum weight that you can carry safely..
Rules for drivers with licences issued on or after 1 January 1997:
You can drive a car or van of up to 3,500kg MAM while towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM, with a combined total weight of 4,250kg.
You can tow a trailer of over 750kg MAM as long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg.
If you need to tow anything heavier than this youll have to pass the car and trailer driving test, also known as the B+E category test.
Rules for drivers with licences issued before 1 January 1997:
Drive a car or van and a trailer or caravan of up to 8,250kg MAM.
You can drive a minibus while towing a trailer of over 750kg MAM.
If you need to tow even heavier vehicles, youll have to:
Thisll allow you to tow a combined weight of up to 12,000kg MAM.
Does Auto Insurance Cover Towing
Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com
Driving can be dangerous. Without warning, you could find yourself on the side of the road with a flat tire, a dead battery, or a crunched up car after a catastrophic collision. No matter how safe you drive or how much you take care of your car, youre probably going to need roadside assistance at some point. Not only is driving unpredictable, but cars are too.
Will you be prepared for it when it happens?
In this article, well discuss why you need car towing insurance and what you need to know about it.
Does Your Insurance Cover Towing
Towing is usually not covered by liability-only insurance plans. You should expect to pay upfront for any towing, including after an accident. However, if another driver was deemed at fault for the accident, their insurance should cover damages to your vehicle and may cover any towing expenses.6 mai 2021
What Engine Size Do I Need To Tow A Caravan
An engine size of 1.8L petrol or diesel will manage towing functions competently.
Smaller engines can be used but towing with a 1.6L engine will restrict your towing weight to a maximum of 1500kg. As always check the curb weight and your vehicle’s towing limits to ensure you are remaining within the safety guidelines.
Licences Issued Before 1 January 1997
If your licence was issued before this date you can:
- drive a towing vehicle and trailer combination with a MAM of up to 8,250kg
- drive a minibus with a trailer over 750kg MAM
To tow heavier loads, youll have to pass the category C theory test and the C1+E practical test. This would allow you to drive a rigid lorry up to 7,500kg towing a trailer to a combined MAM OF 12,000kg.
Does Car Insurance Cover The Contents Of My Caravan
In addition to the types of coverage listed above, you will want coverage that pays for damages or loss of any of the contents that you are carrying inside the towed caravan.
When traveling, you may carry clothing, cooking supplies, or other essentials for life on the road. You need insurance to cover your contents. If you have homeowners or renters insurance, they will include some content coverage that is away from your home, which would include traveling in a caravan.
Check with your insurance agent to verify that coverage and for how much you are insured.
Choosing Person Or Vehicle Cover
There are two main ways you can be covered by caravan breakdown insurance:
Person cover: This means you will be covered in any vehicle you travel in, whether you are driving or a passenger.
Vehicle cover: This means only your vehicle will be covered. Therefore you, or anyone driving, can only call out for assistance when the covered car breaks down.
To work out which option is right for you think about whether you drive more than one vehicle or if you are you regularly a passenger in another car.
If you only ever drive your own automobile, a vehicle cover policy is the cheaper option
If you share driving, or sometimes drive another vehicle, a person cover policy will cover you whenever you travel
Speed Limits And Other Laws For Caravans
Vehicles towing a caravan or other trailer are subject to stricter speed limits than regular cars. On a motorway or dual carriageway it is 60mph, on single carriageway roads it is 50mph. It remains 30mph in built up areas.
Its also worth knowing that caravans are not permitted in the outside lane of motorways.
You must be able to see clearly down both sides of your caravan and four metres either side at a distance of 20 metres behind the caravan. This means you will need to fit extension towing mirrors, otherwise you could receive a £1,000 fine, three points on your licence and risk invalidating your insurance if involved in a crash.
Its also a legal requirement for vehicle registration plates to be visible on your caravan or trailer, and these must be illuminated at night.
What Types Of Caravan Breakdown Cover Can You Get
Caravan breakdown insurance policies offer the same protection as standard cover, including:
Roadside assistance: This covers call outs when you break down at least a quarter of a mile from home
Caravan recovery: This covers towing your caravan to any location if it cannot be fixed by the side of the road. Caravan recovery will usually also include towing your car
Onward travel cover: This covers the cost of a hire car, public transport or overnight accommodation so you can continue your journey
Home start: This covers breakdowns that happen at your home
If you take a caravan on holiday in Europe, you can add European breakdown cover to your policy, or buy separate caravan breakdown cover for your trip. Here is how European breakdown cover works.
Does Car Insurance Cover Towing A Caravan
Most comprehensive car insurance policies cover you to tow a trailer, but usually only for third party liability. In other words, you would be covered for any injury to another person or damage to their property. However, your policy would not pay out to repair damage suffered by your caravan or if your caravan was stolen.
Therefore it makes sense to think about getting specialist insurance for your caravan, even though insuring a caravan isnt compulsory. Check if your current car insurance policy covers you for towing. Most insurers include third-party cover to tow a trailer, but they may not cover you to tow a caravan over a certain length
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How Much Torque Is Needed To Tow A Caravan
A car with 80lb ft of torque for every tonne of combined car and caravan weight should be able to tow well. Most vehicles will tow loads well at this level of torque, but if your car has a lesser torque power and drops to around 60lb ft per tonne, your performance will be affected. It can become harder to accelerate and handling can become more difficult.
How Is A Trailer Covered Under A Personal Auto Policy
The broadest coverage on any vehicle listed on the policy will extend to newly acquired vehicles and also to temporary substitutes, but thats not the case with trailers in tow. Instead, your liability coverage will extend to the trailer in tow.
The main reason insurers justify extending the liability coverage is because its believed that damages caused by a trailer are still the result of the actions of the driver in the lead car.
Under the PAP, trailers that are in the process of being towed will only receive third-party liability coverage from the lead car.
Are Trailers And Caravans Covered By Ctp Insurance
Yes, provided your trailer or caravan is in a roadworthy condition, its covered by CTP insurance when being towed by a registered vehicle.
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Should I Pay For Roadside Assistance Coverage
Breakdown cover can give you peace of mind, meanwhile its worth taking into account the cost of a single tow is often much more than getting insurance for the year. However you dont need it. Here are a few factors to think about that might help make up your mind:
- Commute distance. If you have a lengthy commute, roadside assistance could be helpful if you need a tow from the side of a motorway.
- Your vehicles age. Older vehicles are more likely to lose power and towing is expensive. Breakdown cover might save you money in the long run.
- Any previous damage. Should your vehicle have a history of mechanical faults then roadside assistance might give you some peace of mind, and save you a few quid if you do break down too.
- Help from friends and family. If you have someone in your area that could give you a lift home or even help tow your car to the local garage, you might not need to pay for roadside assistance.
Does My Car Insurance Cover Towing A Caravan
This question is hard to provide a single answer for due to the variety of insurance providers and plans available. Make sure to contact your insurer before hitting the road to make sure youre covered. Many comprehensive car insurance policies do cover trailers, but generally only for third party damage or injury and often not for damage to the trailer itself.
In insurance policies where your trailer is covered for third party liability, this cover is often only active while the trailer is hitched to your tow vehicle. This means that if your trailer became unhitched and caused damage to another vehicle you may not be covered.
Do you need insurance to tow a caravan? Youre not required to have trailer insurance in the same way that you need to have CTP for your tow vehicle. But its probably a good idea.
Tips For Caravan Security
You may think that security isnt a concern if youre on an enclosed caravan site, but many sites including public walking paths that could mean members of the public have easy access to your caravan.
Make sure its locked when youre not inside, and that you dont store any valuables in an awning during the day or overnight.
Consider installing security devices like an alarm or wheel clamp.
Does My Auto Insurance Cover My Trailer
Naturally, you have personal car insurance coverage to protect your investment in your vehicle and to shield you from liability in case of a crash. But what about car accessories such as utility or travel trailers? If you own a trailer, is it automatically covered under the same policy?
The answer, generally speaking, is that most auto insurance policies will provide liability coverage for a trailer you own if it is being pulled by the insured vehicle when an accident occurs. However, this can vary among different policies and in different states. For comprehensive and collision insurance on a trailer, you may need to purchase separate coverage and list the trailer on the declarations page of your policy.
How Are Trailers Covered Under Personal Auto Insurance Policies?
Most insurers will extend liability coverage for a trailer in tow if an accident should occur. This is because personal injury and property damage caused by a towed trailer is considered to be the result of the actions of the driver in the lead car. This extended coverage is typically limited to third-party liability. It only kicks in if the trailer is owned and registered in the name of the insured, and the trailer is attached to the insured vehicle when the accident occurs. Personal car insurance liability coverage does not extend to any vehicle with its own motor.
What If You Are Towing A Trailer Out Of State?
Different Coverage For Different Types Of Trailers
What Is Caravan Insurance
Caravan insurance is not the same as RV or motor home insurance. Rather, it is a special type of coverage that protects your caravan in the event that it is damaged or stolen. Here are a few situations that caravan insurance may cover:
- Your caravan is stolen while stored at your home or detached at a campsite.
- Someone breaks into your caravan and steals your personal belongings.
- The interior of your caravan is damaged due to a plumbing or electrical problem.
- The exterior of your caravan is damaged due to an accident or bad weather.
- You cause damage to a person or property with your caravan.
There are two types of caravans, touring and static. A touring caravan is usually towed by your vehicle, while a static caravan is a standalone residence. Static caravans are often more durable and heavier because they may resemble a residence. According to GoCompare.com, insurance rates for a static caravan are more similar to a homeowner’s insurance policy than an auto one.
Depending on where you live and what type of caravan you have, insurance may or may not be a requirement, but it is always a good idea to consider caravan coverage. That way, if something happens to it, whether it is weather-related or from an accident, you know that you are covered.
Am I Insured To Tow A Caravan
Most insurers should still cover your car when you’re towing a caravan. It’s best to get in touch with them and let them know you plan on using your car for towing.
That way they’ll be able to let you know of any exclusions to your policy.
Although the policy should still cover your car, it’s less likely that your caravan would also be covered.
Car Insurance And Towing
Your car insurance insures your car. It probably won’t insure your caravan or trailer as well but will cover against third party towing risks, so for example if the caravan became detached and hit into someones car the damage to the other vehicle would be covered but damage to the caravan wouldnt. Check your policy before you head out on the road.
Car insurance is a legal requirement, but insurance for a towed unit isn’t mandatory. However, if you have an accident as a result of towing your caravan or trailer, it can be very costly if you’re not insured.
To make sure you’re covered look in to getting your caravan insured separately. LV= can cover your caravan not only for fixtures and fittings, but also for liability whilst it’s not being towed in case you have a claim against you.
Also remember that a tow bar can be considered a modification to your car so you may need to let your insurance company know that you’ve had one fitted.
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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University.Zaneta has prepared technical p…
Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida.Jo…