Last modified: March 02 2013

The Law

Type Approval EC/94/20

  • Implementation date - 1st August 1998.
  • Applies to all passenger carrying vehicles from 'S' registration.
  • All towbars must carry a Type Approval label or plate, with a Type Approval number.
  • Type Approved Towbars have been subjected to and passed a 2 million cycle push pull fatigue test. 
  • Witter Type Approved towbars are certified by the UK Vehicle Certification Agency.
  • Watch out for misleading labels. Ensure that the unique Type Approval number is clearly marked on the label.
  • Type Approved towbars must fit to all of the vehicle manufacturers designated mounting points.
  • Fitting a Type Approved towbar will not invalidate the vehicle manufacturer's warranty.
  • Fitment of a non  Type Approved towbar for a vehicle registered 'S' and onwards could result in prosecution.
  • If a non Type Approved towbar is fitted, the driver's insurance may be invalidated in the event of an accident.

Computer representation of a Type Approval Label

Move over the Type Approval Label for more details.

Towbar Part NumberVehicle DescriptionTowbar ClassTest load at which the 2 million cycle fatigue test was carried outMaximum NoseweightUnique approval number issued by the testing authorityQuality CodeCountry where the towbar was approved e11 = UKManufacturers Name The Translation
  • Any light passenger vehicle registered in the UK on or after August 1st 1998 ('S' Registration) will require a type approved towbar and towball (when fitted).

  • Light Commercial Vehicles and Car Derived Vans are not covered by Type Approval. (LCVs continue to be exempt and are unlikely to be covered for the next 5 years or so).

  • This legislation will not be retrospective, therefore any vehicle registered before August 1st 1998 will never require a type approved towbar (e.g. 'R' registered vehicles will never require type approved towbars).

  • Any vehicle requiring an approved towbar also requires an appropriately approved towball. Towball 'D' and 'S' values must match or exceed the towbar 'D' and 'S' values.

    Type Approved towbars and towballs can be identified by the presence of a Type Approval label which must be visible even when the product is fitted to the vehicle. This label will have as a very minimum, the product code, a 'D' value, an 'S' value and a European approval number in the form e11 00-01234. These labels must not be removed or defaced as this will invalidate the towbar manufacturer's warranty and would result in the towbar or towball not being identified as Type Approved.

    For further information about Type Approval please contact our sales team.