Can a car be towed without insurance


Pro Tuner
Staff member
2002 Clio 172
Does anyone know if a car can be towed without being insured?

Will the insurance on the car pulling it also cover the liability of the car being towed?
This is subject to change as the RTA is updated and amended.

Section 185 Road Traffic Act 1988 defines:
motor car, as motor vehicle - mechanically propelled vehicle.

Section 143 Road Traffic Act 1988 requires
Users of motor vehicles to be insured or secured against third-party risks.
In the case of Milstead v Sexton [1964] it was held that a motor vehicle whilst being towed requires an mot your vehicle and must be covered by Insurance.

Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994
Section 29 makes it an offence to use/keep a mechanically [propelled vehicle on a road.
But: under Schedule 2 (22) a motor vehicle proceedings to and return from a pre-arranged MOT is exempt from excise duty.

The car will also need an MOT & road tax unless it is going to a prebooked MOT test. Putting the car on a trailer negates these issues.
This is a weak argument but you might be able to argue that the vehicle is a trailer as it is over 750kgs and has no independent braking system. But I think you'll find you need a braking system when you go over this weight and I'm not sure if a guy sitting in the car pressing the brake pedal counts. Your licences will also need to reflect permission to tow a heavy trailer (B&E I think).

Interestingly - The terms Vehicle and Motor Vehicle have different legal definitions.

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