What can my vehicle tow?


There tends to be a lot of confusion of over what a vehicle can and can’t tow but the answer is quite simple.

Check your vehicle’s plate.

The plate is normally located inside the passenger door or under the bonnet. As shown in the image below, you subtract figure 1 (1,820Kg) from figure 2 (2,930Kg) and the answer (1,110Kg) is the weight your vehicle can tow, or it’s towing capacity.


And remember, this figure is the maximum weight your vehicle can tow, if you exceed this, you are breaking the law. Below are some other frequently asked questions when towing a trailer.

How do I find out what weight my trailer is?

You will find the Design Gross Vehicle Weight (DGVW) of your trailer on its plate, as shown below. You can also contact the trailer manufacturer or their authorised distributor.

What does DGVW mean?

The Design Gross Vehicle Weight (DGVW), also sometimes referred to as Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM), is the weight of the trailer, including the maximum load it can carry, as per the manufacturer’s design specifications.

Do I need a 4x4 or four wheel drive (FWD) to pull a trailer?

No. A two wheel drive is ok provided the weight of the trailer doesn’t exceed your vehicle’s towing capacity.

Is it illegal to tow a three axle trailer?

No. However the weight of the three axle trailer must not exceed the towing capacity of your vehicle and you must have the correct drivers licence.

Is it ok to tow a trailer that’s heavier than my vehicle’s towing capacity if the trailer is unloaded?

It's OK to tow a trailer whose DGVW exceeds a vehicle’s towing capacity provided the combined weight of the trailer and the load being carried does not exceed the specified towing capacity of the drawing vehicle.

My trailer is homemade and has no plate. How do I find out its weight?

All new light trailers sold after 29th October 2012 must legally be plated. You can contact an existing trailer manufacturer in your area and ask them if they will plate it for you.  

What licence do I need to tow a trailer?

For light trailers – that is, no more than 3,500Kg - you will need either a B or BE licence.

 B Licence

BE Licence

A trailer whose DGVW is no more than 750kg, or

A trailer whose DGVW is no more than 3,500kg, or

If the trailer’s DGVW is more than 750kg but the combined weight of the vehicle + trailer does not exceed 3,500kg.

The trailer’s DGVW is more than 3,500kg but the combined weight of the vehicle + trailer does not exceed 7,000kg.


What is the speed limit for towing trailers?

The speed limit is 80km/h, unless a lower speed limit sign is posted.

Do I need brakes on my trailer?

All trailers with a design weight of more than 750kg must have brakes. The type of brakes needed will depend on the year of manufacture. Please click here for more detailed information.

This document is for general information only. It does not, and is not intended to, provide legal or technical advice or to represent a legal interpretation of the matters that it addresses.