It is important to first understand important laws regarding trailer and towing in South Africa before travelling with trailers. For instance, a code B license means you cannot be towing medium to heavyweight trailers while an EB license entitles a driver to tow a medium and large trailer. Therefore you need to revisit your driver’s license and check before you think of towing heavier trailers or caravans.
CODE B License
You might be wondering what we mean when a license is said to be a code B or code EB. Vehicles are categorized according to their weight, products, passengers they carry and size and weight of trailers.
Code B states that light motors contain a tare weight (weight of the empty car, passengers, freight, and fuel, minus weight of the empty vehicle or container) of 3 500kgs or less.
In this category, the minibuses and buses should attain a gross vehicle mass (aka GVM is the weight specified by the manufacturer of the vehicle) of 3 500kgs or less. A trailer with a weight that is 750kgs can be attached.
CODE EB License
Articulated vehicles are those buses or vehicles with a joint. They have another sector attached to them and these cars are forced to turn sharply. According to the law of South Africa, the Maximum Authorized Mass (MAM) (allowed combination of the vehicles mass, passengers and cargo) should be 3 500kgs or less. Trailers that can be attached to such vehicles should be 750kgs or less
The law regarding the elderly is more liberal. Older drivers get to enjoy travelling with a medium or large trailer or caravan. However, a combined a Maximum Authorized Mass (MAM) of both the trailer and the vehicle should be 8.250kgs.
Drivers in South African are entitled to drive a much heavier combination if they hold a South Africa license with a pass to C theory test as well as C1 + E. The latter codes are meant for much heavier motor vehicles. The C code constitutes buses and goods vehicles reaching a GVM OF 12 000kgs.
We mentioned before that driving a heavy vehicle with a trailer is more generous to the elderly. Already their license allows them to drive vehicles with a GVM 3 500Kgs and a MAM allowing a trailer weighing 750kgs.
It will seem unfair to keep talking about the elderly and live out the younger motorists. Although the elderly have more privileges in as much as towing is concerned, car insurance has a way of working out thing so that all are satisfied at the end.
There are laws in South Africa that guide the young motorists. Younger drivers are allowed to tow a vehicle weighing not more than 750kgs. Larger vehicles can be allowed to the younger drivers has long as they don’t exceed a MAM of 3 500KGS. They should be entitled to heavy motor vehicles licenses.
Third Party Cover
Most Comprehensive policies cover trailers as part of car insurance. Since trailers are not powered vehicles and need a sharp turn at times, they also cause a lot of damages to the third party, and third party cars and property. Therefore, trailers and articulated vehicles need a third party insurance cover. The third party fire and theft will also be provided for trailers.
Trailer insurance is expensive. It would be advisable to top up extra chargers and upgrade to comprehensive policy. The comprehensive policy is an umbrella policy covering the third party, their property and cars as well as the driver’s injuries his car and property too. The caravan and trailer can be insured on its own. You get to claim it even when it was stolen or damaged.