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I contacted the dvsa who told me l could not tow legally but sent me a list of companies that can issue a new vin plate with weights.

l used Gareth Marsh at SVTech.

gareth@svtech.co.uk

Cost me about £160 for the new VIN

Also my broker Adrian Flux refused to insure the Alphard without this.

Hope this is useful.

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It is interesting that you say that Adrian Flux wouldn't insure you. I've just taken out insurance with them, declared I have a tow bar fitted, and nothing was further was mentioned about it. It may be down to whomever the underwriter is. 

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The policy is completely silent on the matter of towing, which is in my favour as the law on whether it is legal to tow with an Alphard ( or any or motor car without a gross train weight specified) is also grey. Guidance on the .gov website does not say you "shall not" tow with a vehicle without a gross train weight on the VIN plate, it says you "should not". Shall is an absolute requirement and should is a choice.

 

I can find nothing in the actual construction and use regulations that explicitly say a PLG  vehicle must have a stated gross train weight on a plate, but I would be happy to be shown otherwise. If a driver decided to be an idiot and tow some ridiculous weight they could fall foul of other laws regarding driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition, but that would be for a court to decide ultimately.

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Interesting.

 

Without wishing to be contentious, my interpretation of the modal verbs shall and should is the opposite of yours Richard.

 

Imho, shall is a future intention, should is in the now timeframe.

 

Less controversially, I have read, on this Forum, that it is OK to tow with and Alphard, but have also read that it is not !

Clearly, you have being trying to understand UK Law in this regard, if that is possible !

Getting a Yes/No answer from any Government Department is never easy, if indeed a ever a possibility.

 

Towing involves a trailer of some sort, i.e. one wheel or more on the ground.

 

Accordingly, I believe, using a tow bar to support a bicycle rack or a platform frame is, ihmo, entirely legal.

 

I await other members opinions on this topic with interest.

 

ps. I don't have a tow bar, so no towing or bike racks for me.

 

Finally, thank you Richard for trying to clarify towing with an Alphard.

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You are probably right as regards shall, but it definitely doesn't say must.

 

I remember some years ago there being lots of discussions on car forums as to whether a car being towed on a car dolly trailer was classed as part of the trailer, and therefore not needing to meet the legal requirements required for a car on the road, or if indeed it was still classed as a car moving on the highway.  The official advice from the whatever the relevant government agency was at that time was something along the lines of we don't know because the law as it stood would need clarifying in court. This was probably because the law hadn't been written to be specific in that scenario, like lots of our laws, and only ends up becoming specific and definitive due to case law. This towing issue may be a similar one because the law is grey and untested, and government advise can only be just that. 

 

I can't say that I actually plan to make any great use of the fitted tow bar and will likely use it as you suggest, which is just as a mounting point to carry extra gear, and I agree that it therefore wouldn't be classed as towing anything. 

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For those that do intend to (or already do) tow there is always the route that Albert (Nick Fisher) took.

 

160 pounds is hardly beer money, but is a one time cost.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/29/2024 at 3:12 PM, Nick Fisher said:

I contacted the dvsa who told me l could not tow legally but sent me a list of companies that can issue a new vin plate with weights.

l used Gareth Marsh at SVTech.

gareth@svtech.co.uk

Cost me about £160 for the new VIN

Also my broker Adrian Flux refused to insure the Alphard without this.

Hope this is useful.

Thank you, I shall contact DVLA for list in my area. Can I ask what’s your max tow limit?

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You need the dvsa not dvla. There are 6 companies listed. The one l found that would do it was SV Tech. They have a contact in Toyota. Just need copies of your documents.

My towing limit is 1250 kg

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Yes apologies dvsa 👍 typo error (or maybe brain error too). Thanks for info re-tow limit. Can I ask what Alphard you have? Thank you 

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Contacted SV Tech who advised they are unable to assist with these vehicles as finding it more difficult to get information from manufacturers, with regard to vin plates. Any other suggestions? My vehicle is 2006 petrol 2.4L, what’s my likely towing limit… anyone have any idea? Thanks

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So I’ve contacted SR Tech who are not offering service to update VIN plate as they struggle to get information from manufacturers… 

so approached DVSA who’s reply was similar. I think they are saying that without the VIN update then I can’t tow.. ?

 

 DVSA reply

‘If a vehicle does not have a VIN plate showing a train weight in the UK it is not permitted to tow. If it does tow the combination weight of the vehicle and load and trailer and load can’t exceed the stated gross weight of the vehicle.  If you want to tow with a combination weight above the gross weight you will need to acquire a new VIN plate from the manufacturer showing the train weight but if this is an imported vehicle I very much doubt that will be possible.’

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That statement makes no sense. It says you can't tow without a stated train weight, but then says you can tow but the combined weight of the trailer and load can't exceed the stated gross weight of the vehicle. They need to make up their mind 🙄

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I asked DVSA to clarify… this is response 

The only legal place to get a VIN plate is the vehicle manufacturer. DVSA recommend that you do not tow if there is no Train weight displayed.

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So they have changed their advice from "not permitted to tow" to "recommend that you do not tow". They clearly haven't a clue what the answer is, which is hardly a surprise because the law isn't clear and they aren't in a position to create a clear definition without some case law. 

 

They are not right about the VIN plate as well, as SR Tech issue new plates all the time to show the changed weights that they have done the calculations for. Frankly, I'd trust SV tech over the DVSA. It is just a shame SV Tech aren't able to help. 

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