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Arran

Tow car option under 3500kg license restriction

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Hi, all

New here but thought I would ask your opinions, I currently drive a range rover sport TDV8 and tow a trailer tent, but I`m now looking for a caravan without doing the extra trailer test on my licence, so I am stuck to the 3500kg weight limit. I already have seen a few caravans I like, with a MTPLM of maximum 1350 and minimum 1250. I have been looking at 4x4 cars which are not that heavy,

1, Land rover freelendader TD4 2006ish model, approx 2000kg gross weight

2, Nissan X trail 4x4 2008ish model, approx 2100kg gross weight

3, Audi A4 3.0tdi quattro 2008ish model, approx 2200 kg gross weight

So my question is which is the best tow car out of them 3 cars or is there another car that I haven't looked at? obviously 2250 gross weight is absolute maximum. Thx for reading and I look forward to seeing your replies

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The obvious question is why not just do the test!

 

I think you’ll find a 2006 freelander is probably a bit heavier than that, you might need to check the specifics of certain cars but a RAV4 or Honda CRV might fit under the 3500kg GTW.

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It is the difference between the gross weight and the 3500kg and with the RR TDV8 I would think that you would be talking of a caravan with an MTPLM of less than 700kgs.  I would suggest that you do the test.  Even the LR Freelander has a gross weight of 2500kg so not sure about 2000kg.

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Cheaper to take the test than change the car. You may just need it eventually anyway.

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I have no idea what the max gross (solo) weight of your RR is so......

 

The important figures are the Maximum permitted weight of your RR (the second highest number on the plate) and the MTPLM of your caravan.

 

Providing that both, when added together don’t EXCEED 3500kg then you are fine with your licence. If the two added together are 3501 Kg or more than you need the B+E licence. 

 

It is pointless looking at “approx” weights, you need the exact figure. 

 

For example my car and caravan gross plated weights come in at just 3kg under the magic 3500kg point, so my son who has just a B licence could borrow the lot and drive it legally. HOWEVER I have paid for the max weight upgrade on my caravan, so the max train weight of car plus caravan is now 3547kg so his licence DOESN'T cover him to drive it.  

 

The whole point is that the figures are utterly precise and inflexible, there is NO leeway whatsoever so you cannot use approx weights.

 

I would also advise you to do the B+E test, that way you will “future proof” your choice of caravan and tow-car combinations. 

 

If you dont have the correct licence you CANNOT be insured, even if you have paid a premium. If you check your insurance cert it will say ‘Providing the driver holds, or has held, and is not disqualified from holding, a licence to drive that class of vehicle”  So if over by just 1 Kg you are uninsured as well as driving without a licence, not “driving other than accordance  with the licence you have” it’s a subtle but very important difference

 

If you are aware of all the above then I apologise, but it might help someone else who reads this thread.

 

Andy

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Thx for the replies, I have only put approx because it depends on what model and spec you get, I believe the old freelander is around 2000kgs 2004 to 2006 model, it's the freelander 2 which is heavier, I have looked into doing the test but it's more of me being stubborn for the fact that you get it for free if you passed before 1997 so it's another money spinner in my opinion 

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Have a look around for a 2012 Skoda Octavia Estate 2.0Tdi 4x4, plated GVW 2,095kg, my caravan has a mtplm of 1,318kg so no problem, kerbweight 1,495kg. I do have a B+E. 

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12 minutes ago, Arran said:

Thx for the replies, I have only put approx because it depends on what model and spec you get, I believe the old freelander is around 2000kgs 2004 to 2006 model, it's the freelander 2 which is heavier, I have looked into doing the test but it's more of me being stubborn for the fact that you get it for free if you passed before 1997 so it's another money spinner in my opinion 

 

 

The 3500 kg is based on the maximum gross vehicle weight that is plated on the vehicles Vin plate . The figures you quote sound more kerb weights for a freelancer . Some Ford Mondeo come in at under 2200 kg .

 

The car plated gross weight and the plated Mtplm for the caravan must not exceed 3500 kg when added TOGETHER .

 

The other option would be keep the RR and tow a caravan plated 750 kg or less .

 

Or take the test for b+e .

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I can understand  your frustration, but those ARE the rules and they are not ever going to change back. 

 

Personally I think it’s an excellent idea that you must pass a second test in order to pilot a large rig around the country. The “cut off” point had to be defined by something, using the gross weight is vastly easier to police/enforce than one that relied on say overall length.

 

You only have to look at the total lash up some “mature” drivers make of driving (let alone reversing!) a car and caravan  to understand why the rule was brought it. Some rigs are well over 12m in length and that’s a lot of road space!

 

Legislation cannot be applied retrospectively. The change was implemented many years ago and, I assume, before you got your first driving licence? 

 

As fir it being unfair what about the women who thought they would get their state pension at 60 and now have to wait until they are 66. My missus just missed the deadline so she has to wait an additional 6 years (and lose out over £30K)

 

She, and many others cannot go on a course to rectify that, you can to get over your problem.

 

Andy

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Thx again, didnt think to look at the Octavia's,  just done another search and the FREELANDER 2.0 Td4 SE Station Wagon 5dr comes in at 2080kgs gross weight, 

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4 minutes ago, CommanderDave said:

That's the freelander 2, I'm on about the old version 2.0 td4 but tbh there only 110bhp think it might be to inder powered anyway

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40 minutes ago, CommanderDave said:

... and it says here, Freelander - GVW 2080 Kg.


Land Rover Freelander 2.0 Td4 E Station Wagon 5dr

 

The first Freelander (1997 - 2006) was only ever known as Freelander.  The 2007 and later Freelander 2, (generally called Freelander 2) is an entirely different (and heavier) car.

 

@Arran... Freelander had a bit of a poor reputation, mainly drivetrain but have a look here  for common issues.  There are probably more reliable and cheaper to run cars capable of towing a 1.4 -1.5 tonne caravan.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by ReggiePerrin

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Don't think you will be too happy with a Freelander's towing performance in comparison with the TDV8 - do the test!

 

Cheers

Keith

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Just spend a few quid on the BE test, stop being stubborn/daft and enjoy towing with the RRS. You’ve got an awesome towcar already, yet you’re looking at buying something inferior on some principle. Doesn’t make sense to me. 

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11 hours ago, rslsys said:

Don't think you will be too happy with a Freelander's towing performance in comparison with the TDV8 - do the test!

 

Cheers

Keith

 

Bigger difference than chalk and cheese. The Freelander is vastly INFERIOR to the Rangie on just about everything. Go and drive one, you won’t need to drive far to make your decision.

 

As Iain has said, stop being so daft, get your B+E test done and keep what you currently have as a Towcar. 

 

Act in haste, repent at leisure !

 

Andy

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Recently spoke to a lady who had taken the test so she could tow a horse trailer. Her comment was that she did not know what she had worried about.

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You will miss the RRS TDV8. I used to tow with one of these and what a vehicle! As others have said take the test and then it's done. One thing just watch out for a weeping back axle on the RRS as common and very expensive to fix.

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As long as you’re a confident and sensible driver the B+E is a doddle. My Godson passed his at the first attempt. I gave him a bit of tuition regarding reversing, hitching and unhitching and went out with him a couple of times and as a previous poster said he didn’t see what the fuss was about. Just book a few lessons and go for it! You then have the freedom of choice. 

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I would like to thank you all for the responses, it seems the majority of you think I should just do the test and keep the range rover sport, the only reason I wasn't going to do that was because I only use my car at weekends as I have to get the train to work everyday and it seems a lot of money to be wasting in tax and depreciation to be just towing probably 7-8 times a year, but I will have a sit down and discuss my options, thx all for the advice

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Possibly the question is why do you need a 4x4. If you can live without that you have a massive choice of models from almost all manufacturers, which will leave you comfortably within the 3,500 limit. We tow a Quasar with  Mazda 6, but there are plenty of similar combinations that would work for you.

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The Freelander I has an often deserved poor reputation.

They are however a strong car.

They do stand up to a fair amount of stick. The picture is a result of my son taking a kink a little off line, doing almost 90, getting a little squirrelly, diving into a ditch, rolling and then end over end. I was in the passenger seat. The car, as per regulations, was a standard 1.8 petrol, albeit with a roll cage.

We could even open the doors.

When you're hanging upside down in your seat belt, you know it's going to be awkward as you need one hand to release the belt, leaving only one hand to stop you landing on your head.

 

IMG_20150607_124803.jpg

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3 hours ago, Arran said:

I would like to thank you all for the responses, it seems the majority of you think I should just do the test and keep the range rover sport, the only reason I wasn't going to do that was because I only use my car at weekends as I have to get the train to work everyday and it seems a lot of money to be wasting in tax and depreciation to be just towing probably 7-8 times a year, but I will have a sit down and discuss my options, thx all for the advice

I am not 100% sure about this, but if you could borrow somebody who passed their test before 1997 and sit them in the front passenger seat, you could then tow a caravan/combination over 3500 kg with your car as a learner driver until you pass the B+E test.

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