New caravan rule changes could introduce many ‘potential benefits’ after ‘safety concerns’

RAC shares their guide to towing a caravan

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Introducing extra testing of caravans or a new registration system would improve safety and reduce crime rates. New rules would also help the management of vehicles and improve the identification of trailers.

The DfT’s Trailer Safety Report says introducing tougher tests for light O2 trailers could have a safety-related benefit of £2.2million per year.

O2 trailers are considered light trailers and have a gross weights between 750kg and 3,500kg.

However, extra benefits have also been identified as the DfT pushes for changes such as the “prompt return” of stolen vehicles.

The report said: “A registration system would create a record of [the] number of trailers in circulation, weights and categories. This could be utilised in improving collision data.”

It added: “A mandatory registration system may allow for the prompt return of stolen assets, aiding insurance companies with claims relating to stolen vehicles.

“Mandatory registration could allow for infrequently used trailers and caravans to be declared SORN when not in use and may help regulation of scrappage at the end of service life.

“Mandatory registration and testing could improve the standard of trailer maintenance and safety.

“The introduction of a new testing/registration scheme could be an opportunity to rationalise and simplify legislation of trailers and driver licencing.”

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The DfT’s Trailer Safety Report claims the testing and registration fees could cost owners about £74million per year in total.

They suggest it would cost £61million to set up a registration scheme for existing light trailers.

The new changes are being considered after the DfT found a “poor level of compliance” around safety.

They said this was a “cause for concern” and would lead to caravan owners facing more safety checks.

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