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We are learning fast ! Over the past few weeks , we put up some information on our website , on our towing rules page: https://thecarlowyard.com/car-trailers-towing-rules/ and also wrote a couple of blogs on the specific cases of towing with a VW Caddy van and a Nissan Qasquai car . We sourced our information from the licencing authority and the RSA websites as these are considered to be a good information source.

However, with the help of the Garda Traffic Corps, we now understand that some of this information is incorrect and is not in line with the applicable Statutory Instrument No 537 , Road Traffic Regulations 2006 that is actually implemented by An Garda on the road and in the courts

This is very technical, but we have tried to make it understandable and have now revised all applicable information on our webpage and we have rewritten both blogs covering the VW Caddy Van and the Nissan Qasquai. car. Let’s hope that this clears up some of the confusion out there.


On both the RSA and Licencing Authority and some other websites and publications there are comprehensive explanations and analysis of what one can and cannot tow with a vehicle on both a B and BE licence. But some of this is ambiguous, particularly in relation to partially loaded larger trailers.

However the finite rule on this is dictated by the Road Traffic (Licencing of Drivers) Regulations 2006. SI No. 537 of 2006. , with which the An Garda traffic corps are familiar

Statutory Instrument http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2006/si/537/made/en/print#article7

The wording  “design gross vehicle weight ” within this statutory Instrument is vital and it would appear that the incorrect wording of “maximum mass” is unintentionally substituted elsewhere in other guides in common use.

These two terms have different meanings and their interpretations would lead to two very different conclusions in what trailers can be towed with a particular vehicle and licence combination.

In effect, it is the Design gross weight of the trailer that must be taken into consideration, not the possibly much lesser actual un-laden weight + trailer load weight. For example , to understand this, it is important to realise that you cannot legally tow an empty 2000Kg DGVW (design gross vehicle weight) trailer , although it may only weigh 340Kg behind a Skoda Octavia which has a towing capacity of 1400 Kg. (Trailers must legally be plated to match the towing vehicle / licence of the driver.) In this case , the Octavia can only tow a trailer up to a DGVW of 1400 Kg. (empty or loaded up to its capacity).

We have looked at this in more detail on our page on towing rules and have also got a couple of blogs with worked examples of a Nissan Qasquai and a VW Caddy van that will help to better understand the implications and help you stay legal.

Many believe that you can tow any larger trailer with just a part load, as long as the total weight of the empty trailer + its contents do not exceed the vehicles towing capacity. In fact you can only tow a trailer (empty or loaded up to its capacity ) which has a design gross weight matching the vehicles towing capacity and the licence of the driver.

The key here is to understand the DGVW (Design gross vehicle weight ) of your trailer (as on the trailer’s VIN plate), the towing capacity of the towing vehicle (as on the vehicles plate ) and the requirements and limitations of your licence.


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