How can I tow my caravan when I get to 70 years old?

smd

Mar 21, 2022
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I've been trying to look up the process of what happens when you hit 70 years old and I can't seem to make sense of what I'm finding.

As far as I can tell, before you hit 70, you receive a reminder from DVLA to renew you licence. When you do renew it, are you renewed with a B category licence or a BE? also what exactly is the difference between them both?

Lastly, is there a way you can apply for a licence that allows you tow more weight than just the 3,500kg?
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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Don't worry. In basic terms, this is the system.

On reaching 70 you can still both drive any "car" [a vehicle up to 3500kgs MGW] and tow basically anything that can tow. ie keep within the car's GTW, no different to anyone else in that.
So potentially you could have an outfit up to 7000 kgs, though realistically way less because of the car's limits, caravan weight.

This lasts three years, then if all is well, another three years. Here we assume one can meet the health requirements associated with a "car" licence.

The issues come for those who say want to carry on driving something over 3500kgs, say a motorhome of 3850 kgs, they lose that inherent right, though can take steps to retain it if they have the requisite health and eye sight for that above 3500 kg licence.

Well before that 70th birthday you will get the letter with a questionnaire you return making a declaration to the answers you provide; a health issue list but only things even under 70s legally have to notify about. This is the "car" licence route, and the licence will be B+E, the now standard allowing towing, together with motorcycle rights if you held them.
If you want to drive a vehicle, itself over 3500 kgs, then you have to get additional documents that need a doctor to sign, after he satisfies themself of your health issues. The specifics of this for over 3500 kg are not things I know about, other than at any time once over 70 you can apply to "upgrade" from a "car" licence for a plus 3500kg licence.
 
Last edited:
Oct 8, 2006
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If you need the 3500+Kg vehicle rating (licence class C1) you will have to get form D2 from a Post Office. You will need to have a medical with your GP (which may cost in excess of £50) and send it by post with the completed D2 form - you cannot do this application on line although you can download and print the licence application..
If you have a current Passport the DVLA will use a copy of your photograph from the Passport Agency. If you need to update your photograph it can be done free of charge when you apply for the new licence whether it has C1 on it or not.
If you have any medical conditions that you had before you were 70 that require DVLA notification (e.g. type 1 or 2 diabetes) and such notification was given to the DVLA and accepted then that will carry over automatically provided your GP did not make any objection during your medical if you had one.
You can apply for your 70+ licence up to 90 days before your 70th birthday but be aware that this can cause an issue if you want to drive abroad. Your new licence will be dated from when it was issued, and they are quite quick (mine took four days!) which means your licence will last for 3 years plus the balance of 90 days. If you drive up to the ferry or train terminal before your 70th birthday you will not be allowed to board as the EU does not recognise this extension so in effect you do not have a licence.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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jondogoescaravanning.com
When you reach 70, if you feel that you still want to tow your caravan, then do it. If you are able to do it safely, then there's nothing to stop you. It's more than 22 years ago that I reached 70 and I've just completed my bookings for a tour in Cornwall and Devon. As others have said, renewing your licence online is straightforward.
To convince yourself (and others!) that you are safe on the road, it's worthwhile retaking a driving test. I do it every 18 months now. My next test will be due in the Autumn.
 
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May 7, 2012
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In short the answer is exactly as you did before. You will be asked to make a health declaration to renew, but after that you get the licence you had before.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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In short the answer is exactly as you did before. You will be asked to make a health declaration to renew, but after that you get the licence you had before.

In respect to the licence for driving "cars", towing with cars and using a motorcycle yes, but not the case with driving other vehicles over 3500 kgs GVW.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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Nice to know to have this information when i am approaching 70 makes life easier
 
May 7, 2012
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In respect to the licence for driving "cars", towing with cars and using a motorcycle yes, but not the case with driving other vehicles over 3500 kgs GVW.
True but the query was about the B+E.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Got my reminder to renew my licence, for being 70 years old, two weeks ago, I requested it online on the 14th of April, sent of the old licence the same day. And got the new one back yesterday, Thursday the 21st April, not bad really. Easter in between.
 
Aug 25, 2011
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Didn,t get a reminder for my licence in December 2020, only in May 2021 trying to get a best quote for motor insurance was told by one company that I did not have a licence. So 5 months driving about with no licence, renewed on line very quickly.

Trevor
 
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May 7, 2012
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Got my reminder to renew my licence, for being 70 years old, two weeks ago, I requested it online on the 14th of April, sent of the old licence the same day. And got the new one back yesterday, Thursday the 21st April, not bad really. Easter in between.
I did not trust the service so when renewing on line I only posted the old one back once I had the new one.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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I did not trust the service so when renewing on line I only posted the old one back once I had the new one.
I took photos of both sides, as I had heard previously, of licences coming back with groups missing. Surely The DVLA would not do that, would they. 🤔
 
Mar 17, 2020
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I took photos of both sides, as I had heard previously, of licences coming back with groups missing. Surely The DVLA would not do that, would they. 🤔

I'm sure you can rest assured that your license will renew as expected. ;)
Mind you, taking photos before submission is a belt and braces approach and if that makes you feel "safer" no harm in doing it.

Can't help wondering though, if the sources of the tales you have heard are reliable. Bit like people being gassed in leisure vehicles which even Milenco refer to in their advertising (At least the did when I last read it some time ago).:(

I'm presuming your replacement license was as expected? :D
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Yes my licence and the wifes both came back without problems. Very quickly as well
 
Aug 25, 2011
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Mine came back and all as should be, Still have an old paper one as well. I think that was from when I first went to photo one.


Trevor
 
Oct 3, 2013
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I've been trying to look up the process of what happens when you hit 70 years old and I can't seem to make sense of what I'm finding.

As far as I can tell, before you hit 70, you receive a reminder from DVLA to renew you licence. When you do renew it, are you renewed with a B category licence or a BE? also what exactly is the difference between them both?

Lastly, is there a way you can apply for a licence that allows you tow more weight than just the 3,500kg?
I'm 130 and still tow a caravan
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Thank goodness there are still people with a sense of humour out there. 😂😂😂
 
Nov 2, 2005
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hi folks

Catching up here. So am I right that a licence you have held for decades and classifications allowing you to drive everything car and van regardless of weight. Suddenly is taken off you you because of age? ( talking towing here of above 3.5t)
So your ok to drive still in any size car but not towing? Is that right?
 
Nov 6, 2005
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hi folks

Catching up here. So am I right that a licence you have held for decades and classifications allowing you to drive everything car and van regardless of weight. Suddenly is taken off you you because of age? ( talking towing here of above 3.5t)
So your ok to drive still in any size car but not towing? Is that right?
No! You can still drive a car and tow a trailer up to 3500kg (subject to the car's limit), ie an outfit up to 7500kg - you can continue to drive vehicles over 3500kg IF you take/pass a medical.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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My licence , now I will be 70 on the 24th of June, allows me to drive a car upto 3500 kg and tow a trailer up to the max train weight of the car.
It is really hard to find proper information on the DVLA website.

RogerL, where did you find the bit about the outfit weight of 7500kg. I remember something like that but can't find it.
 

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