Towing Regulations and Training: A Complete Resource for Employers

The government’s move to deregulate licensing and vehicle training has reduced the need for mandatory driver training for towing. The compulsory B+E tests have been replaced by a voluntary ‘Permit To Tow’ system. However, this shift has compromised road safety due to the complexities of towing, evidenced by the 58% pass rate under the B+E regime. Businesses are reluctant to invest in optional training, as they are not legally required to, resulting in only 500 people opting for the voluntary scheme, compared to the 29,000 who took the mandatory test annually. This guide provides an overview of available training and relevant licensing criteria for employees.

Also find a full driving advisory for towing PDF at the bottom of the page.

Find out more

Pressed for time but might need something? We will contact you.

  • Note: This form is for corporate/business enquiries. For learner driving , please click here to visit the “Learn to Drive” part of our website and book lessons.

What Can I Tow Without Training?

Newly-qualified drivers can tow under the B and BE licence categories:

  • Category B: Drive vehicles up to 3,500kg with up to eight passenger seats, and tow trailers up to 3,500kg MAM.
  • Category BE: Drive vehicles up to 3,500kg MAM with a trailer. Licences valid before 19 January 2013 can tow any size trailer within vehicle limits; those after can tow trailers up to 3,500kg MAM. Electric vans have a weight limit of 4,250kg MAM due to battery weight, but the total vehicle and trailer limit is 7,000kg.


Speed Limits and Road Rules

Different speed limits apply when towing:

  • Single Carriageways: 50mph (regular vehicles 60mph)
  • Dual Carriageways and Motorways: 60mph (regular vehicles 70mph)
  • Motorways: No right-hand lane travel if towing on roads with three or more lanes

Employers have a duty of care under health and safety legislation to ensure employees are properly trained for towing tasks.

What is a Permit to Tow (PTT)?

The RED Permit To Tow (PTT) course offers one, two, and three-day sessions available nationwide or at its Donington Park headquarters. These courses combine theory and practical training, concluding with an assessment. Successful trainees receive a PTT card valid for three, four, or five years. RED recommends refresher training before the PTT expires.


Benefits of a Permit To Tow (PTT)

  • Standardised training across the fleet
  • Reduced risk of incidents
  • Improved fuel consumption
  • Less wear and tear on vehicles
  • Enhanced corporate image through better-trained drivers

RED Permit To Tow (PTT) Courses

1-Day Course (3-year expiry)

  • Suitable for infrequent towing and simple trailers
  • Includes video presentation, vehicle checks, practical assignments, and a 40-minute driving assessment

2-Day Course (4-year expiry)

  • For regular towing of one type of trailer with advanced manoeuvre
  • Focuses on real-world driving, manoeuvre, and an extended on-road practical exam

3-Day Course (5-year expiry)

  • For regular towing of multiple trailer types, involving advanced manoeuvre and load security
  • Includes loading/unloading, vehicle checks, advanced procedures, and an 80-minute assessment

Driving Advisory: Towing

Our driving advisory PDF is a valuable resource designed to equip you and your team with essential insights, tips, and best practices for understanding towing regulations and safety. Download our comprehensive guide for detailed information on training options and legal criteria.

Featured Courses

red people icon

Trailer Towing

RED’s Permit to Tow (PTT) Standards Scheme offers comprehensive training for drivers who need to tow a trailer.

Security icon

Trailer Towing to include B+E training

The course proposed is for a minimum 2 full days (up to 4 days) and is to prepare those requiring B+E trailer towing training to test level.