If you’re looking for the best cars for towing caravans, you’ll need to look at the weight of your caravan or trailer versus the maximum weight the car can tow. This will depend upon the make and model of the car, but to give you an idea of where to start, here’s how much weight some of UK’s most popular cars of different sizes could tow:
- Ford Fiesta – up to 900kg
- Nissan Qashqai – up to 1,200kg
- Volvo XC90 – up to 2,700kg
- BMW X5 – up to 3,500kg.
If you are considering a towing car, diesel engines have plenty of torque and newer models are efficient on fuel. While smaller cars may be more convenient once you arrive at your destination, heavier, larger vehicles, ideally with four-wheel drive are the smart and safe solution – particularly if you need to tow your caravan out of a muddy field!
It’s also worth mentioning that hybrid cars tend to have lower towing capacities than their petrol or diesel equivalents, however there are exceptions to that rule including the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, which can tow up to 1650kg!
Best used cars for towing a caravan
According to HeyCar, these are the most popular mid-range cars for towing this year:
- Kia Sportage – Kia’s best-seller in the UK comes with a choice of options from a 2.0 litre CRDI to 4-wheel drive to tow up to around 1,450kg. A 4-year-old Sportage will set you back around £15,000.
- Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer – a huge estate with a 560-litre boot, opt for the 170PS 2.0-litre diesel for up to 1,600kg towing-power. Pick up a used Insignia for around £20,000.
- BMW 5 Series Touring – This 5 Series is also great for when you don’t need to tow. When you do, it benefits from self-levelling suspension which is useful for attaching a heavy caravan and can tow up to 2,000kg. You’ll need to budget around £30,000.
- Honda CR-V – officially rated to tow up to 2,000kg, this crossover SUV includes high comfort levels as well, perfect for that long drive. An older model of the 1.6 litre i-DTEC diesel will set you back around £20,000.
- Skoda Kodiaq – regarded as one of the best family cars on the market, it’s also great for towing a caravan up to 2,000kgs. Opt for the 2.0 TDI, and if you can find one, the 4-wheel drive option may be worth having too. Expect to pay around £25,000 for a 5-year-old model.
- Volvo XC60 – if driver enjoyment is key for your trips away, consider the XC60 for comfort and luxury. Capable of lugging 2,400kgs, look for one with the optional towing pack. You’ll need to budget around £20,000 for a 5-year model.
- Audi A6 Allroad – Around £20,000 will buy you a 3.0 litre V6 TDI diesel. The A6 is another ‘non-SUV’ tow car, with plenty of boot space (565 litres!) and you can add a roof box. The Allroad comes with an impressive towing capacity of 2,500kgs.
- VW Tiguan – a step above the Qashqai and Sportage, a 2.0 litre diesel Tiguan crossover SUV can tow up to 2,500kgs, with its 4-wheel drive capable of dragging any caravan off wet grass. Expect to budget in the region of £25,000.
- Hyundai Santa Fe – a 2.2-litre diesel capable of towing up to 2,500kg which would cover a twin axle caravan full of luggage! Opt for a five-year old model to keep the costs down.
- Land Rover Discovery 4 – if you’re looking for a heavy duty 4 x 4, this 3.0 litre turbodiesel engine and towing tech can tow up to 3,500kg. For the budget conscious, choose one between 2009 and 2017 to keep the budget closer to £30,000.
How much can my car tow?
All cars have an official weight that they can safely tow. Look for your car’s manual – you’ll need to find your vehicle’s ‘gross train weight’. In some vehicles this may also be noted on the driver’s door or under the bonnet.
In short, the caravan or trailer needs to weigh (including cargo) less than 85% of your car’s kerb weight. Your vehicle’s weights will be in their respective logbooks. If you aren’t sure, don’t guess – this guide by the RAC can help.
When packing, ensure the weight is evenly spread and avoid overloading one side to keep the caravan more stable when in motion. If what you’re trying to tow is heavier than your car, it won’t be safe.
One thing worth considering if you are a newbie, is a caravan towing course. Clubs like the Caravan and Motorhome Club run them at several UK locations. Opt for a beginner’s course to learn how to hitch and tow safely, the laws you need to know about, load, curved reversing and more, or take a manoeuvring course if you need a refresher or confidence builder!
If you’re getting ready to head off on your first caravan trip, read this.
Whether you want to find out whether your car insurance includes tow cover, or you want to find out about insuring your caravan under a standalone policy, our caravan insurance experts are always on hand to help you make sure that you have the right cover in place and to answer any questions you may have. Contact the team directly on 01527 879777.
The team also runs a community Facebook page for caravanners to connect and chat – you may even pick up a few extra hints and tips. Join the Facebook group ‘Caravanners Chat UK‘ and be part of our lively community.