Avoid Travel Trailer Trauma this Summer

20 July 2021 #SMMT News
  • Automotive industry organisation SMMT updates its Trailer Towing Guidance and the Law Guide ahead of Great British summer staycation.
  • Latest guidance for towing loads up to 3,500 kg released as interest in caravans jumps 14% mainly from first time users.1
  • Updated advice covers everything from caravans to trailers and boats to horse boxes.

With ‘staycations’ increasingly on the agenda for the Great British Summer, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has released the 10th edition of its Trailer Towing Guidance and the Law Guide to promote safe driving, as growing numbers of holiday makers look at using caravans and other towed vehicles for the first time.

SMMT’s guidance has been updated as interest in caravan use has grown by 14% since 2019, with many first-time caravan buyers and users looking forward to their maiden caravan holiday. The new guide is designed to help motorists familiarise themselves with the latest legal requirements and enable them to tow safely this summer.

Originally launched in the late 1950s, the guidance caters for those towing caravans, and anything from a trailer, to a horsebox or boat. Over the past decade, more than 300,000 drivers have picked up the guide as a vital tool, helping to keep British roads amongst the safest in the world.

Fully updated to incorporate the latest legislation, the booklet is essential for first time and experienced towers alike, when towing anything that weighs up to 3,500kg. This includes an updated range of topics including the specific requirements for those with a license issued from 2013, buying and insuring a trailer properly and new rules about towing in the EU following Brexit. It also covers essential safety points such as the use of breakaway cables, correct tyre pressures and brake lights.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said:

The number one priority for the UK automotive industry is safety and British roads are amongst the safest in the world. Over the past 60 years the Trailer Towing Guidance and the Law Guide has helped ensure businesses and individuals alike have the required information to tow safely. The tenth edition of the booklet is a must-have for first-time caravan towers as well as experienced users as it contains the latest legislation and information needed for a safe Summer staycation

Martin  Spencer, Caravan and Motorhome Club Technical Manager and Chairman of the SMMT Light Trailer and Trailer Equipment section, said

The Trailer Towing Guidance and the Law Guide provides a valuable reference source for all forms of light trailer towing. If you own, hire or use a trailer for work or for pleasure, it will help keep you safe and on the right side of the law. If your business sells, hires out or simply uses trailers as part of its activities, it will help keep your customers and employees safe and legal too.

The tenth edition of the guide, available in hard copy, can be purchased for £6.00 plus postage and packaging via the SMMT website. SMMT members are entitled to buy the booklet for a reduced price of £3.50 plus postage and packaging and can contact to obtain a discount code.

Notes to editors

1. Membership of the Caravan and Motorhome Club has increased 14% between 2019 and 2020

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