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Towbar faq


What is EC 94/20?

The full and correct title is "Directive 94/20/EC of the European Parliament and of the council of 30th May 1994, relating to the mechanical coupling devices of motor vehicles and their trailers and their attachment to those vehicles". It is a piece of European legislation governing the design, testing and manufacturing of towbars. The aim of the legislation is to provide a level playing field throughout the EC, allowing the free trade of towbars and accessories throughout Europe.

How can I tell an approved bar from a non-approved bar?

All approved towbars must have a visible data plate, label or stamping showing and E number relating to the country in which its approval was granted. The label/ plate/ stamp must show the Company Name, E Designation, D-Value, S-Value and Maximum Towing Capacity. If the towbar does not have an approval label/ stamp/ plate then it is not approved.

Must I fit a manufacturers towbar to my new vehicle?

As long as the towbar is type approved it does not matter which manufacturer supplies your towbar. All approved towbars are considered equal in European Legislation.

I rarely use my towbar - do I still need a type-approved bar?

If your vehicle should have a type approved towbar (S Reg or later - see rules above), then even if you are not using the towbar for towing purposes it still must be an approved towbar.

Why does EC94/20 mean peace of mind for me?

In order for a towbar design to be granted approval status, it must meet rigorous design and testing criteria. The towbar must attach to the vehicle at the specified mounting points nominated by the manufacturer. Once the design has been accepted by the VCA (Vehicle Certification Agency), it must pass a push/ pull test. The push/pull test simulates the stopping and starting of a vehicle towing a caravan or trailer. The towbar must be tested for 2,000,000 cycles. At the end of the test, the towbar must show no signs at all of deformation or cracking. The test is very thorough and very harsh ensuring that all approved towbars are safe (when used correctly).

Are there limits as to how much I can tow?

Each vehicle has a different weight that it can tow. In the vehicle handbook, it states, in the specification section, exactly how much your vehicle can tow. As long as these limits are not exceeded, you will not invalidate the warranty on the towbar itself.

Can all cars tow?

Some vehicles are not deemed fit for towing, these vehicles tend to be small or sports cars. After design, some vehicles are deemed unsuitable for towing by the manufacturer. These vehicles have no specified towing capacity or mounting points. Check with the manufacturer if you are unsure.

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