Tips to know how to drive with a trailer safely

Publicado el 25/04/2019
drive with a trailer

We often find we need to drive with a trailer, whether it is for moving or to transport items in a comfortable and safe manner. However, we get overwhelmed with questions when we need to drive with a trailer, due to a lack of knowledge. So, we want to help resolve all these questions.

Classification of trailers

There are basically two categories of trailers: light and non-light.

  • Light trailers: have a MAM (maximum authorised mass) equal to or less than 750 kilograms. To use them, they do not need their own registration plate, independent insurance or a special registration certificate.
  • Non-light trailers: with a MAM greater than 750kg. They do need their own registration plate, independent insurance and a special registration certificate.

Tips for driving with a trailer

The first time we use a trailer we will probably feel uncomfortable and a little unsure. It is a logical result of inexperience, but everything can be learned with practice. However, you must have this basic previous knowledge.

Check that the trailer is secured

Go to a trusted garage to secure the trailer or for advice, and make sure you have an approved trailer with a vehicle inspection test sticker.

Check its elements

Check that the tyre pressure and lighting system are good and is appropriate for the MAM.

Place the load correctly

Place it between 10 and 20 centimetres in front of the axle of the wheels, to enhance the stability.

Make sure that you can see

Some trailers may limit your vision, so additional mirrors may need to be installed.

Practice the reverse manoeuvre

Performing the reverse manoeuvre becomes a completely different experience, so you must rehearse in a safe place where there is no traffic.

Increase the safety distance

The braking distance increases 15 to 20% due to the load transfer. So, you must drive further than usual in relation to the car in front.

Take the bends with caution

Watch out for tight bends: open the turn and drive more slowly.

Reduce your speed

  • Driving with a trailer has lower speed limits than the general limits:
  • On motorways and dual carriageways, if we are using a light trailer the limit is 90km/h, and if we are driving with a non-light trailer, the speed limit is 80km/h.
  • On conventional roads with a paved shoulder of 1.50 metres wide or more or more than one lane for both traffic directions, the limit is also 80km/h.
  • On other roads out of town the limit is reduced to 70km/h.
  • In urban areas, follow the 50 or 30km/h signs.
  • On roads the maximum speed will be 25km/h.

Exercise extreme caution

Especially if it is windy and when overtaking trucks. Be more cautious than ever. A side wind can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. And don’t forget that you are carrying extra weight, so your acceleration and speed will be reduced.

How to attach a trailer to your vehicle

The first thing you should do is check that your car can actually carry a trailer and what kind. To do this, check the MTM (maximum towable mass) in your car’s documentation. For example, the manufacturers of some hybrids recommend not to do use a trailer.

There are two main types of couplings: those with a fixed structure (which cannot be dismantled) and those that include a fixed part and a stationary part.

To fix both types you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions and, preferably, to avoid problems or complications, go to a specialist garage you trust.

Types of licenses for driving with a trailer

To drive a car with a trailer with a MAM less than 750kg, or with another greater than or equal to 750kg , which added to the empty weight of the car does not exceed 3500kg, a B license is sufficient.

However, if the weight of the trailer exceeds 750kg or the overall weight is between 3500 and 4250kg, you will have to have a B96.

Finally, a B+E license is required for larger weights.

As you can see, driving with a trailer requires greater caution, practice and knowledge of all the specific elements.

Lo último
Estaciones BiciMad: mapa para encontrarlas Publicado el 03 de February de 2022

En Madrid apostamos por el transporte sostenible, el ejercicio al aire libre y el disfrute de la ciudad y no hay mejor manera que recorrerla en bici. Descubre las estaciones BiciMADque hay por la ciudad y visita la capital pedaleando. ¿Dónde puedo encontrar las estaciones BiciMad? El sistema cuenta con hasta 258 estaciones repartidas por […]

Is driving during the coronavirus allowed? Publicado el 30 de April de 2020

The state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the government to establish measures to avoid it from spreading. The Directorate General of Traffic together with the State’s Security Forces have established whether driving during the coronavirus is possible and in which circumstances. Under which circumstances can we drive? Article 7 of Royal […]

Simulation 2019

Publicado el 01 de March de 2019