Towing a car with my van… Am I allowed?

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  • Towing a car with my van… Am I allowed?
  • alpin
    Member

    need to get the GF’s MX5 to a garage, rather than the fleece-your-pants main dealer where it is now.  the fan belt went the other week and we have now been told that also needs a new alternator at a cost of 900€ before he can tell us whether there is any damage to the head gasket.  want to take the car to an independant guy that i trust.

    passed my test in 2000.

    A, B1 & B are filled in on the back of my UK licence

    towing vehiclke would be a VW T5, 3500kg weight limit.  car being towed on a trailer would be a MX5, 1065kg (according to Wiki).

    i’m guessing not….

    Premier Icon mattbee
    Subscriber

    Nope. Without B&E on your license you are limited to 3500kg gross train weight & that is based on the maximum permissible weight of both vehicle &  trailer/contents, not  kerb weight so you’d be over.

    Trailer likely to be circa 300-500kg on its own plus the MX5 that’s  approaching 1800kg. If the trailer is plated for higher load that’s the figure you have to use (mtplm)

    T5 as you say is 3000-3500kg gvw depending on engine & wheelbase so you are well over unfortunately.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    Can the independent collect it for you ? (for a fee, obvs)

    alpin
    Member

    Bugger.

    Yes  he can  but it’s a bit of a slog to pick it up and get it back to his workshop. He offered that I take his trailer and pick it up.

    I suppose I could ask if any mates have a suitable licence and insure them for a day on the van.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    I’d double check Mattbee’s assertion that it’s the plated weight you have to use. I think that was the case briefly but common sense prevailed and the rule is now that the kerb weight is <3500kg.

    That does make finding a towing vehicle a pita, but i know a SWB transit could town an mg midget on a trailer.

    That assumes you’re in the uk, different parts of Europe interpret the rules around towing differently and you have to stick to the local ones above what it says on your licence.

    Where is the car? At the side of the road? Could you not change the alternator yourself? Ive never done it on an mx5 but on most cars it only really requires basic spannering ability, pattern or reconditioned alternators are £150 tops (no need to buy a bosch one for £500+) and a belt kit is usually £20-£30.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Alternatively, know anyone with a braked dolly? Much lighter than a trailer (but pretty much impossible to reverse).

    Premier Icon mattbee
    Subscriber

    <h2></h2>
    <h2 id=”licences-issued-from-1-january-1997″>Licences issued from 1 January 1997</h2>
    If you passed your car driving test on or after 1 January 1997 you can:

    • drive a car or van up to 3,500kg maximum authorised mass (<abbr title=”maximum authorised mass”>MAM</abbr>) towing a trailer of up to 750kg <abbr title=”maximum authorised mass”>MAM</abbr>
    • tow a trailer over 750kg <abbr title=”maximum authorised mass”>MAM</abbr> as long as the combined <abbr title=”maximum authorised mass”>MAM</abbr> of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg

    from gov.uk website.

    Premier Icon mattbee
    Subscriber

    Flipping forum. Anyway, it’s definitely MAM (GVW) not kerb weight. Problem with kerb weight is that it’s not a definite legal definition as different manufacturers include different driver weight allowances, different fuel amounts etc… whereas MAM/GVW is a finite specific number.

    Even so, kerb weight of T5 is circa 1800kg so with Mx5 & trailer you’d still be over 3500kg.

    timba
    Member

    The car is a trailer in its own right if towed, and would exceed the 750kg category E trailer limit. Add a trailer, dolly, etc and …

    Somewhere way back in my memory says that the trailer would need to be braked to have any chance of being within the B category with a lighter tow vehicle, and you could trigger tacho regs by exceeding 3500kg with another person driving

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    I stand corrected then.

    Im sure it’s changed and I was right at some point as I had to tow that midget!

    Is downplating the van and trailer an option?

    Premier Icon Fat-boy-fat
    Subscriber

    This may seem stupid but, why not hook up a tow rope and get your other half to steer the MX5?

    Premier Icon spennyy
    Subscriber

    Shiply? Cost my mate £60 to have a car moved 45 miles or so

    Premier Icon senor j
    Subscriber

    900euros for an alternator!!!!? holy cow.

    I’d get it towed by a pro .

    submarined
    Member

    Can’t help with the towing, but in an attempt to stop you getting fleeced…

    What gen mx5?

    Not sure about NC/ND, but on the A and B, if it’s the’fan belt'(alternator belt) as opposed to the cam belt, then I’m trying to figure out how the HG could be damaged.

    The water pump is driven off the cam belt IIRC. If that snaps, the engine will stop before it has a chance to overheat the engine. It’s also a non interference engine so valves, pistons and head should be fine.

    If it was the alernator belt, then iirc that only drives alt, PS and AC, and failure of any of these shouldn’t cause overheating.

    On an NB and NA changing the alt isn’t tricky, it’s just a bit of a faff access wise, as the lower PS bolt can be chuffing tight.

    Premier Icon rickmeister
    Subscriber

    I think Alpin is in Munich…

    Is all the weights and measures stuff un there ^^ Uk or Euro limits?

    Premier Icon duncancallum
    Subscriber

    Drag it on a rope mega early…..

    Premier Icon peterno51
    Subscriber

    Do the fine DVLA type persons in Munich allow for all the UK licence categories to work in their ‘hood?

    alpin
    Member

    cheers submarined….

    you seem to know your stuff.  it’s an NB 1.6ltr, 2002.

    if the Keilriemen (fan belt) snapped will that damage the alternator?  the GF pulled over quickly and the coolant ws still present, albeit bubbling away and pissing out of some valve.

    i’ve no idea as to why the hed gasket should be damaged.

    car also needs new discs and bearings on the rear.  not sure if it is worth repairing. similar cars can be had for ~3.5K. we paid 3.2K three years ago.

    don’t fancy towing the car on a rope as it’s a fairly long drive through town and across country…. small roads, about 50km.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    if the Keilriemen (fan belt) snapped will that damage the alternator?  the GF pulled over quickly and the coolant ws still present, albeit bubbling away and pissing out of some valve.

    Assuming the water pump is independent of the fan belt, the only way it would overheat is if the battery died completely and the fan couldn’t run, and you left it idling for ages, even then im not sure it would catastrophically overheat.

    So you have two issues possibly, the head gasket gone causing the coolant to be overpressured and the fan belt has gone independently.

    Fan belt snapping shouldn’t damage the alternator, but an alternator bearing failure would kill the fan belt, so the two are liked.

    Premier Icon v8ninety
    Subscriber

    MX5 water pump is driven by the same aux belt as the alternator, I think.

    head gasket failures often, but by no means always, occur after an engine has been ‘boiled’.

    I’d tow the car on a bar; less skill needed by the towed driver and (you could argue) that the towed driver’s license applies to the towed vehicle, so towing weight license restrictions don’t apply. (I doubt this is true, but I’d certainly argue it! Reckon it’s a very grey area) Anyway, rowing on a bar is simple and relatively stress free, compared to a rope. And a LOT cheaper than a trailer.

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