Towing a trailer will change how your vehicle handles on the road. The heavy load will mean that your car will take longer to speed up and slow down.

Where should you practise this?

Start by practising on a quiet road to get used to the feel of driving with a trailer. Once you’re comfortable, then try going out in traffic.

Before you take a trailer onto the road

  • Make sure you lock the trailer onto the towbar, attach the safety chain correctly, and hook up the electrical connection properly. Get someone to check the indicators and brake lights on the trailer while you operate the controls in your car.
  • Centre the load on the trailer as much as possible and fasten it securely.
  • Check your mirrors to make sure you can see behind you.

When you’re on the road with a trailer

  • The top legal speed is 90km/h (in a 100km/h zone).
  • Slow down earlier as you come up to intersections.
  • You’ll need more space between you and other vehicles, so you have more time to stop when you need to. Use the 4-second rule.
  • Because it takes longer to speed up, you’ll also need bigger gaps when pulling out into traffic.
  • Change down gears (manual) when you’re travelling uphill or downhill.
  • Take corners and curves in the road a little wider than normal. The trailer will go inside the track of your car tyres so you need a bit more space to avoid hitting things on the inside of the curve.

Reminders if you’re towing a trailer

  • Be courteous to other drivers and make it easy for them to pass you if they want to. This might mean pulling over and stopping in a safe place if the road is narrow.
  • If you’re on a learner or restricted licence the combined weight of your vehicle, trailer and its load must be no more than 4500kg.
  • When you are on a full licence the combined weight must be no more than 6000kg.

Are you test ready?


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Reversing with a trailer