Opinion Former Article

National Caravan Council calls for more clarity on Trailer Registration Act

The NCC (National Caravan Council) is disappointed to see the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill gain Royal Assent.

As the trade association for the UK leisure vehicle industry, the NCC believes the Act has left Parliament with a distinct lack of clarity on trailer registration and safety, with the industry and consumers confused by the implications for domestic leisure trailers such as caravans, boat trailers and horse boxes.

The government has introduced the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Act as part of its Brexit preparations, however, the unintended consequences to domestic trailer registrations and related safety remain a big concern for the NCC and the caravan industry.

NCC Deputy Director General, Alicia Dunne, said: “The implications of this Act on registrations within the caravan industry remain unclear. The Bill was allowed to pass through Parliament in some haste, and as a result the Government has only offered vague assurances on its direct intentions for all ‘relevant trailer’ registrations. There is still the potential that any new registration scheme could unintentionally include caravans.

“The Secretary of State for Transport has committed to review which trailers will need mandatory registration. The NCC would welcome swift clarity from the Government on this point.

“The NCC does welcome the commissioned review into trailer safety, and supports practical, proportionate and effective measures aimed at improving safety but this must be supported by clear evidence. The majority of caravan accidents occur due to ‘use’ factors rather than pure roadworthiness factors or mechanical failure.  Any roadworthiness type test would not prevent user behaviour-related accidents.

“Government must work to exclude domestic leisure trailers (O2) from any proposals to introduce a mandatory trailer registration scheme and broaden their review when examining what type of testing it may recommend in its report, due within 12 months of Royal Assent.

“Having worked on this issue on behalf of NCC members since July 2017, we will continue our engagement with the Department for Transport and push for greater clarity on trailer registration and safety.”

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