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Can I Tow a Horsebox?
For some time the waters governing the legalities of towing horseboxes have been considerably muddy.
The main issue concerning responsible horsebox owners has been whether they are to be considered as trailers or as rigid goods vehicles. However, VOSA has attempted to add some clarity to the rules which, at times, can appear rather baffling.
The Potential Hazards
Knowing whether you can or cannot legally tow a horsebox is of paramount importance – especially when it comes to your horsebox insurance. Firstly, there’s the question of whether you’re breaking the law but, secondly, there’s also the question of what happens if you’re unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident. If you’re found to be driving without the proper licence then your horsebox insurance could be null and void, leaving you with a potentially hefty bill for damages to the box and any equipment – not to mention having to arrange for alternative transport or other eventualities, such as emergency stabling.
The divisions have been sorted out by breaking everything down into weight and the current legislation now runs like this:
● If you passed your driving test before the 1st January 1997 then you are entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer combination with a combined weight of up to 8.25 tonnes. As long as you have car insurance and horsebox insurance, your driver’s licence will cover this, without any need for a special operator’s licence.
● If you passed your test on or after the same date, you are able to drive a vehicle with a weight of up to 3500kgs and attach a trailer of up to 750kgs, without a special licence provision. However, if you are driving a combination that exceeds those weight limits, you are required to apply for a Category B + E entitlement, which demands that you take another type of driving test.
Tests of this sort aren’t meant to be seen as obstacles. They are a way of honouring your responsibility to yourself, your horse and the other drivers on the road. Failure to have the right licence and the right car or horsebox insurance can result in hefty fines, points on your licence and, in some cases, jail terms.