What licence is required if you have a 7.5t vehicle and tow a caravan?  Is it C1 or C1+E?

Example of C1 licence group:

a)  take a slide bed which weighs around 5t unladen but is plated at 7.5 tonnes.  The plated weight means you must not exceed 7.5 tonnes with whatever you carry on the slide bed.  Therefore your 5t vehicle has a 2.5t spare capacity on its plated weight so you can carry up to a 2.5t disabled vehicle from A to B.

b)  The slide bed is called to a disabled vehicle which is towing a caravan.  You are OK putting the disabled vehicle onto the slide bed (as long as the total weight of the slide bed and disabled vehicle does not exceed 7.5 tonnes in total).  The caravan will be towed (therefore classed as a trailer) and you must not exceed 750kg when towing.  If the caravan's plated weight exceeds 750kg, i.e. i) leave the caravan and come back for it once you have dealt with the disabled vehicle or ii) your licence, if it shows you have C1+E then you can carry out the job in one go.

Good practice is know the unladen and plated weight of the recovery vehicle you are driving and what the disabled vehicle weight it - also is it towing anything - if so, what is that weight.

Example of C1+E

Same explanation as a) above but also:

Same as b) above BUT with a slight variation on the caravan (the trailer).  The caravan (trailer) can exceed the 750kg but the plated weight of the caravan must not exceed the unladen weight of the slide bed (approx 5T).

The slide bed plated at 7.5T.

Unladen weight 5T.

Disabled vehicle plated at 1T.

Unladen weight of slide bed (5T) plus plated weight of disabled vehicle (1T) = 6 tonnes so well within the 7.5T plated weight.

Trailer - be it caravan, horsebox etc, can exceed 750kg but must not weigh more than the unladen weight of the slidebed (5T).

The combination must not exceed 12T - so you can have a 7.5T slide bed with a 1T disabled vehicle on it and tow a caravan/horsebox etc.  to 4.5T and your combination will be 12T.

If you hold a licence issued before 1997 you are restricted to a combination weight of 8.25T, so you can only tow a caravan or horsebox etc. up to a maximum plated weight of 750kgs.

Road Rescue Recovery Association. Venture House, Enterprise Way, Endeavour Park, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 7TW