Thursday 27 October 2016

Tow the insurance line

Martin Brennan

Published 01/05/2016 | 02:30

ON THE ROAD: Make sure your policy covers towed item
ON THE ROAD: Make sure your policy covers towed item

As summer approaches, boats and caravans are being spruced up for another adventure. The car has got the once-over too, but one important item has most likely not gone on the checklist - insurance.

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Insurance for towing leisure items, horse boxes included, and trailers for commercial and domestic and farm use, is often overlooked and may be compromised because the driver's licence is inadequate if it does not cover the combined weight of vehicle, the item in tow and the weight of the load. The consequences can be dire and the possibility of prosecutions looms.

Skoda says that 22pc of its retail customers have fitted towbars last year and has set out to warn about the laws governing towing.

Raymond Leddy, Skoda head of marketing, says that legislation around trailer standards and towing licences and testing has changed since 2012.

In the main, a standard category B licence does not entitle the holder with a large 4x4 commercial or SUV to tow a horse box or livestock trailer because the combined maximum weight exceeds 3,500kg. In this case, a test is required to acquire a BE licence.

John Kearney, manager of the HynesQuinn driving school, says it is imperative that drivers check their vehicle weight through their dealer, the owner's manual or on the manufacturer's website.

Sunday Independent

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