Car trailer

Car trailer: weight

The car is too small, the cargo too bulky, too heavy or too dirty? At least now, the thoughts revolve around a car trailer. Similarly, the idyllic family holiday with the caravan may be crucial to deal with the subject of car trailer. No matter for what reason, before the first ride with an attachment to the car, should be informed on the subject. Not every trailer is approved for each vehicle and also the driver's license determines to what weight a trailer may be guided.

On the one hand, there are many legal regulations and rules, on the other hand, some practice is required to rank safely and safely with a trailer. We can not offer practical exercises, but provide general basic knowledge about running a trailered vehicle.

Types of trailers

Axle trailer

This type of trailer is probably the most common among the car trailers. The construction consists of a frame on which the shaft, as well as the axles are fixed rigidly. Small trailers usually have only one axis, larger on two closely spaced axes. If the axles do not exceed the distance of one meter, the trailer according to German law is still considered uniaxial and is considered as tandem trailer designated. The steering behavior is similar in tandem trailers as in the single axle, of course, by the rigid axles of tire wear in tight turns is significantly higher.

Multi-axle trailer with steered front axle

Multi-axle trailers are rather the exception in the field of car trailers. Most of them are used in the truck sector, as they are suitable for larger load weight. As a rule, they have two or more axles, with the front axle being steerable and being able to be turned by a turntable.


What was once reserved for trucks (semi-trailers) is now also available in the passenger car sector. Especially with vans and pickups this trailer variant is used more and more often and is called in this case mini semi-trailer. For the use of a special vehicle body is required as a tractor. This is mainly designed to use the trailer or semi-trailer. This is also the towing vehicle a special recording, by which the semi-trailer is partly worn and partially pulled. The semi-trailer does not require a front axle, can be designed longer and can be ranked more easily than a multi-axle trailer.

Types of trailers

Car trailer: vehicle

Meanwhile, there are many different types of car trailers on the market. The most common and universal form is the Flatbed or box trailerwhich can be loaded up to a certain height. In addition, a corresponding scaffold can be mounted on a flatbed trailer to stretch a tarpaulin over it.

The luggage tags is similar to the box trailer built, but it has a closed structure with doors or a ramp.

In addition to the standard designs, there are also Special versions such as vehicle transporters, horse trailers, caravans, catering trailers or tipper trailers.

Brake systems for trailers

Small pendants up 750kg total mass need according to StVZO no own brake and are braked only over the brake of the car.

If the total weight of the trailer exceeds 750kg, a brake is required. Most followers are with so-called overrun brakes fitted. If the car slows down, the trailer runs on the vehicle and exerts a force on the drawbar. At the drawbar, the force is then transmitted mechanically via levers to the brake of the trailer. The braking force is therefore proportional to the deceleration of the car. When reversing the car also presses against the drawbar and would normally trigger the brake. This problem is circumvented with an automatic reverse lock, which is mandatory since 1991 and deactivates the brake.

Trailers with a weight of over 3500kg need a compressed air brake system, but this rarely falls into the car sector.

Driving license classes and regulations

A car with a trailer may run anyone who has the driving license class B. However, it should be noted that the trailer may only have a maximum total weight of 750 kg. In addition, the total weight of the team must not exceed 3500 kg, as well as the trailer not heavy than the towing vehicle itself.

If the trailer exceeds the maximum permissible mass of 750 kg or the total weight of the vehicle combination is more than 3500 kg and less than 4250 kg, driving license class B 96 is required.

If the total weight of the vehicle combination exceeds the 3500 kg mark, the driving license class BE is required to be allowed to drive the team. Here, the trailer may exceed the total mass of 750kg but must remain below 3500 kg.

Permissible maximum speeds for car trailers

Car trailer: total

In general, a maximum permissible speed of 80 km / h applies to trailer operation, which is regulated in § 18 StVO. With exceptions, however, the speed 100 km / h approval according to § 18 (5) no. 3 of the Road Traffic Act can apply. For this purpose, certain guidelines for towing vehicle and trailer are needed. These are described in more detail in the 9th exception ordinance to the StVO of 15 October 1998 (BGBl. I p. 3171) and can be read at the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection.

This exception requires testing and labeling. Many trailers who comply with the regulations are already sold with a corresponding label. An extra decrease is therefore not necessary.

Insurance, taxes and MOT

Like all other vehicles, which participate in the traffic, a trailer requires TÜV, liability insurance and must be paid for taxes. Although these are well below the cost of a car, but should be considered. Who uses a trailer only twice a year, is probably cheaper with a loaner.

For trailers up to 3.5 t every two years, the trip to TÜV necessary. Heavier supporters await a more intense exam every year. It mainly checks the lighting, if necessary the brake, the hitch and the tires. Since this is not so complicated in a normal car trailer, it may be necessary to have your own control and save unnecessary costs. The regulated TÜV costs start at € 26.50 and increase with the total weight class. Current prices can be read at the TÜV: TÜV fees

While driving, the Automobile liability insurance for damage caused to other vehicles. Nevertheless, the trailer needs its own liability insurance. This occurs when it causes damage that does not occur during operation. This can happen if the trailer comes off or is parked and not properly secured. Insurance costs of 15 € to 100 € are incurred, which are based on use, permissible total weight and coverage amount. If required, a hull protection is also possible for a trailer.

Also, the state wants in the form of Control have his share. These are based on the gross vehicle weight and for the year 2015 per started 200 kg total weight € 7.46 and are limited to a maximum of € 373.24. With rigid drawbar and central axle trailers (semitrailers) the possible vertical load can be deducted.

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Video Board: How to Load a Car Onto a Tow Trailer