If you and your husband did your licences 17 year ago, you should be legal to tow a caravan without having to re-take the tests!
All licences issued prior to the year 2000 (when the change-over to the credit card system happened) were issued with a numerical coding, and 08 licences were automatically converted to EB licences.
Just double check on your licence what Code you are registered as – if it says EB, you can tow a caravan up to 3500kg.
But your concern is valid – for those who got their driver’s licence after 2000, the process of getting an EB is a problem. Why on earth does one need to redo a learner’s licence test? It’s absolutely ridiculous.
And yes, this does impact the industry (although caravan sales are steady year-on-year). At least you are allowed to tow up to 750kg with a normal B licence, and there are some trailers and tent trailers (and even caravans!) in this weight margin.
The solution? The legislation has to change, and that’s not an easy task!