What can I Tow with my Caddy Van ? -

There’s a lot of confusion out there as to what you can and cannot legally tow and its no wonder as it can be very confusing. Let’s throw some light on it and hopefully clear up some misconceptions. Hopefully we wont add to the confusion !!

There are two distinct sets of data to consider, as well as your driving licence to understand what you can legally tow. First , we need to consider the towing vehicle. Every vehicle will have a plate attached (often attached to a door pillar) similar to this one from a VW Caddy Van.

2012 VW Caddy Van Plate

In This case, The design gross vehicle weight , DGVW of the van is 2161 Kg.

The design Gross combined weight , DGCW ( to include a trailer on tow is 3650 Kg. )

The difference of these two figures , 1489 KG is the van’s specified towing capacity. This is an important figure and signifies the maximum mass of trailer (Total mass of trailer and its load) that the van manufacturer specifies that can be towed.

It should be noted that VW advertise a towing capacity of 1500Kg for the Caddy van on their promotional material !! (but for now we’ll stick with the legal plated info )

So if you loaded up this Caddy Van with tools or produce of about 700kg to reach its design gross vehicle weight DGVW of 2161 Kg , ( van empty weight plus occupants and cargo ) it could then tow a loaded trailer of max total weight (includes trailer and its load ) of 1489Kg…bringing the total weight to 3650kG , designed Gross Combined Weight , DGCW (This is OK if you have a BE licence, but if you only have a B licence , you cannot exceed a DGCW (design gross combined weight ) of 3500 Kg , so you have to select a trailer of DGVW below 1339Kg (3500Kg – 2161 Kg)

What will my Licence allow me to tow ?

A vehicle which can be towed by the holder of a category B licence can tow a trailer in either of these cases below;


So , with a B licence you can tow any 750KG Trailer (DGVW), so your Max combined on the road weight could be up to 4250 Kg. (Towing Vehicle up to 3500 Kg DGVW + Trailer DGVW of 750 Kg) Trailers of up to 750KG , DGVW are generally un-braked (brakes not necessary on trailers up to 750Kg DGVW ) and are typically (though not always) single axle trailers. So you can tow any 750Kg (DGVW) trailer with the Caddy van !!


Car Trailers Towing Rules From RSA.ie

And also , with a B licence you can tow any trailer of over 750KG DGVW , Design Gross vehicle weight (braked) , so that your Max combined on the road weight would not exceed 3500 Kg.(DGCW ,Design Gross Combined Weight ) In The case of the Caddy Van , with a B licence you can tow a trailer of up to 1339 KG DGVW (3500kg – 2161) with a B licence. If you wanted to fully exploit the full towing capacity of 1489Kg of the caddy van (operate at a DGCW of 3650Kg ) , you would require a BE licence.


Trailer VIN Plate

It is a legal requirement that all new trailers are fitted with a VIN (vehicle Identification Number ) plate. This plate shows the “Type Approval” number , signifying that the trailer is manufactured to an approved standard , Its VIN serial number , Its maximum allowed weight (DGVW) and its approved axle and nose weight loading. The VIN Serial number is also separately stamped onto the trailer chassis.


750 Kg Trailer

This is a single axle, un-braked 750 KG Trailer. Max allowed weight (includes trailer and its load ) of 750KG. The Max allowed nose weight is 50 Kg

This Saris King XL75 trailer’s own weight is 130Kg , so it has a max load capacity of 620Kg.

Any 750Kg DGVW Trailer can be towed with the Caddy van with a B Licence


1350 Kg Trailer

This is a single axle, braked 1350 KG DGVW Trailer. (any trailer over 750Kg must have brakes fitted) Max allowed weight (includes trailer and its load ) of 1350KG. The Max allowed nose weight is 75 Kg

This Saris DV 135 trailer’s (DVGW of 1350 Kg ) own weight is 265Kg , so it has a max load capacity of 1085Kg.


Mc Alu Pro DV 135

This 1350Kg DGVW trailer would be a good choice for this VW Caddy Van. Car Trailers Mc Alu Pro But , while OK to tow with a BE licence , (Its DGVW of 1350 is below the van’s towing capacity of 1489 Kg ) this trailer would have to be re-plated to be towed on a B Licence with the Caddy van


This 1350 Kg DGVW trailer (own weight 235 Kg ) can be towed with a Caddy Van with a BE licence, However it cannot be towed by this Caddy van (even when the trailer is empty ! ) with a B licence , as this trailer’s DGVW of 1350 Kg exceeds the limit of 1339 Kg that you would be allowed to tow with this van on a B licence.

To legally tow this trailer with a B licence, we could have this trailer re-plated to 1300Kg DGVW for you , and issue you with a corresponding new certificate of conformity, so that you could then legally tow this trailer with this VW Caddy Van, with a load capacity of 1065Kg (1300- 235 Kg)


2000Kg Trailer

This is a double axle, braked 2000 KG DGVW Trailer. (any trailer over 750Kg must have brakes fitted) Max allowed weight (includes trailer and its load ) of 2000Kg. The Max allowed nose weight is 100 Kg.

This Saris DV 2000 trailer’s own weight is 340Kg , so it has a max load capacity of 1660Kg.

To legally tow this trailer with a B licence, we could have this trailer re-plated to 1300Kg DGVW for you , and issue you with a corresponding new certificate of conformity, so that you could then legally tow this trailer with this VW Caddy Van, with a load capacity of 960Kg (1300- 340 Kg)

To legally tow this trailer with a BE licence, we could have this trailer re-plated to 1450 Kg DGVW for you , and issue you with a corresponding new certificate of conformity, so that you could then legally tow this trailer with this VW Caddy Van, with a load capacity of 1110Kg (1450- 340 Kg)


2700Kg Trailer

This is a double axle, braked 2700 KG DGVW Trailer. (any trailer over 750Kg must have brakes fitted) Max allowed weight (includes trailer and its load ) of 2700Kg. The Max allowed nose weight is 100 Kg.

This Saris FW2700 trailer’s own weight is 400Kg , so it has a max load capacity of 2300Kg.

While we can re-plate trailers and issue a new corresponding certificate of conformity for all trailers, there is a lower limit to which a trailer’s DVGW can be downgraded. In the case of this trailer, it can be downgraded to a DVGW lower limit of 1600 Kg. Therefore this trailer cannot be legally towed with a Caddy Van with a B or BE licence. (even when completly empty !! )


Trailer’s Own Weight

We have established that a Caddy van can tow a a trailer of DGVW (trailer’s own weight + its load)

  • 1339 KG on a B Licence
  • 1489 KG on a BE Licence

However , the heavier the un-laden trailer is , the less load capacity you will have. Below we outline the consequential differences in load capacity when towing a single axle 1350 Kg trailer v a heavier 2000Kg twin axle trailer.

Saris DV 135 : Towing a Saris 1350 Kg DGVW single axle trailer which has an un-laden weight of 235Kg, you can carry a load of

  • 1065 KG on a B licence (1300 – 235), Trailer re-plated to 1300Kg DGVW
  • 1115 KG on a BE Licence ( 1350 – 235 )

Saris DV2000 : To tow this twin axle Saris DV 2000 trailer ( normally supplied with a 2000Kg DGVW ) it must have its DGVW downgraded to suit the vehicle’s towing limitations and the licence being used. As it has an un-laden weight of 340KG, your load carrying capacity will be reduced to

  • 960 Kg on a B licence (1300 – 340), Trailer re-plated to 1300Kg DGVW
  • 1110 Kg on a BE Licence (1450 – 340 ),Trailer re-plated to 1450Kg DGVW

Small Platform Trailers

There are 2 different size small single axle Platform trailers in the Saris range, both available as 1350 Kg and 1500Kg trailers. They range in un-laden weight from 310Kg to 326Kg . These trailers would also be a good choice for this VW Caddy Van when having the flexibility of drop sides is important . (Loading pallets with a forklift etc ) The 2 sizes are 2560 x 1500 ( 8’4″ x 4′ 11″ ) and 2760 x 1500 (9′ 6 ” x 4′ 11″) Car Trailers Platform

In the case of the Platform 1350 Kg trailers , they could be used as supplied (with DGVW of 1350Kg) when using a VW Caddy Van on a BE Licence , but could be re-plated down to a DGVW of 1300Kg for use on a B licence.

In the case of the Platform 1500Kg trailers, towing with this VW Caddy van they could be re-plated to a DGVW of 1450 Kg when using a VW Caddy van on a BE licence and could be re-plated to a DGVW of 1300Kg for use on a B licence

Nose Weight

On each of the 3 Trailer plates above , we refer to “Nose” weight. This is the weight that the loaded trailer’s drawbar hitch exerts upon the towing vehicle’s tow hitch. It is important to keep this in mind when you are loading a trailer, the predominant resultant weight of a loaded trailer should be carried by the trailer’s own axle / wheels with only the designed “nose” load weight exerted on the towing vehicle’s hitch. How often have you seen excessive loading on a vehicle’s hitch resulting in the front of the towing vehicle substantially raised.

If you are towing a trailer that has a DGVW greater than permitted you are breaking the law and this has serious implications for your own safety and for that of other road users. You are legally responsible for having the correct licence and not exceeding the towing capacity of your vehicle.

The most important point to understand when considering what trailer you can tow is that it is the trailer’s Design Gross Vehicle Weight (DGVW)…..the weight stamped on the trailer’s VIN plate that you must consider – not the trailer’s unladen weight. So while your vehicle and your licence could allow you tow 1300Kg , you still cannot tow an empty trailer of DGVW 3500 KG , whose own weight is only 700Kg.

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