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How to Choose the Right Towbar?

Choosing a Towbar

The first thing at Telford Towbars we help you with is what type of towbar and why?

Do we start by looking at what towbar towing weight you may likely be towing and the contents of what you may need to tow?

There is a huge difference between a caravan and a trailer so we need to be sure before you invest in installing a towbar what you will be towing. Otherwise, it can become an expensive game!

The last thing you want is the bodywork of your car or van ripped away driving down the road as this would be very expensive!

As Towbar Specialists in Telford, our experts will make sure that nothing like that will happen. Compliance and safety is our priority we make sure that all our parts are road legal and safe.

We always check the recommended weight limit when you are choosing your towbar.

Don’t worry if you only use your towbar for a few months in the year Telford towbar specialists offer annual checks of your vehicle for peace of mind.

It’s important you check you are licensed to tow anything on the roads. Remember learners are not allowed to tow on British roads and when you got your driving license may make a difference so, please check with the DVLA. For more information check out our page: https://telfordtowbars.co.uk/shop/safe-and-legal-towing

There Are Three Different Types of Towbars Available in the UK:

As Towbar specialists in Telford, we do the fitting for all three.

How to choose your towbar?

1. Detached

  • Suitable for vehicles with reversing sensors
  • In most instances, the system is completely invisible once the neck is removed
  • Compatible with AL-KO and other friction style stabilisers
  • Allows free access to the rear of the vehicle
  • Lockable with a set of two keys provided
  • Storage bag provided for safekeeping once next is removed

2. Flange

  • Popular in the UK
  • It can be used with accessories such as bumper guard and tow-steps
  • Tow ball height can be adjusted on some commercial vehicles
  • Capable of using accessories like some models of cycle carriers whilst towing

3. Swan Neck

  • Compatible for use with AL-KO stabiliser without the requirements of a replacement ball
  • Less likely to affect reversing sensors
  • Not compatible with common accessories such as bumper protectors or tow-steps
  • It cannot be used for a cycle carrier whilst towing at the same time
  • More aesthetically pleasing than a flange style towbar

Don’t let us forget about towbar weight and capacity.

Calculating a Vehicle’s Towing Capacity

Details of the towing capacity for your vehicle that are found in the owner’s handbook, the manufacturer’s website and on other websites should only be taken as a guide.

The actual, exact and only towing capacity figure that should be used for your vehicle is the one that is stamped on the Vehicle Identification Number Plate, VIN Plate.

The VIN Plate:

The VIN plate will display either 3 or 4 sets of weights, it is these weights that VOSA or the other vehicle authorities use to determine whether your vehicle is towing or being driven within the law.

  • The top figure ‘A’ is the gross vehicle weight, the Maximum Allowable Mass (MAM) of the vehicle including occupants, fuel and payload.
  • The second figure ‘B’ is the gross train weight, this is the combined maximum allowable mass of the vehicle and trailer.
  • The third and fourth figures ‘C’ and ‘D’ are maximum axle loads front and rear respectively.

The manufacturer’s recommended maximum towing capacity for your vehicle is the gross vehicle weight subtracted from gross train weight. (4200kg – 2505kg = 1695Kg)

This calculation is based on a fully laden vehicle.


Certain performance, hybrid and city-car models or similar variants of standard models are not homologated to tow, this means that the vehicle manufacturer has deemed that the model is unsuitable for use as a tow vehicle. With this type of vehicle, the towing capacity will equate to zero or a gross train weight will not be displayed.

Vehicle Categories

The main non – LGV (unified) licence categories are:

Category A: Motorcycles (with or without a sidecar), including tricycles and mopeds.

Category B: Motor vehicles with:

  • A maximum authorised mass (MAM) not over 3,500kg
  • A maximum of 8 seats (not including the driver’s seat)

Trailers being towed by vehicles in this category must either:

  • Be not more than 750kg MAM – making a maximum authorised Train Weight of 4,250kg
  • Have a MAM which does not: – exceed the unladen weight of the towing vehicle
  • Have a MAM which does not: – Have a training weight exceeding 3,500kg

Drivers of vehicles in this category wishing to tow trailers that do not comply with either of the above conditions must have a B + E entitlement.

Booking is simple you can call us on  +44 (0)1952 608750

You can follow the booking process on our website: https://telfordtowbars.co.uk/shop/

Or book a Call Back: https://telfordtowbars.co.uk/shop/contact/request-callback

Remember, there is always a cuppa waiting!

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