What is the best car for towing a caravan?
The Tow Car Awards were formed in 2007 by experts from What Car?,
Practical Caravan and the Camping and Caravanning Club to judge cars based on their ability to tow a caravan or
They put each entrant through their paces including slalom tests, emergency manoeuvres, acceleration and braking runs
to see how they perform in a variety of real world towing situations.
Also taken into consideration is fuel economy, practicality and safety ratings - all of which are important
considerations for tow cars, and the cars featured in our list have all of these attributes.
Clearly towing capacity is an important factor when considering what car to hitch up your caravan to, but there are
other things to think about too.
As well as towing your caravan, it also needs to be suitable for everyday aspects of family life. You might need to
consider the car's off-road ability too.
Caravan towing laws
There are two main things to consider in terms of legal towing requirements: how much weight your licence allows you
to tow, and the legal towing limit of your vehicle. Other factors include towing mirrors, caravan brakes, and number
Towing terminology meanings
There are some key phrases and acronyms you should learn when looking to tow a caravan.
Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) - this is the limit of how much the vehicle can weigh when it's
loaded. Also known as the Gross Vehicle Mass.
Gross Train Weight (GTW) - This is the total weight of the car plus caravan plus load. Also known as
the Gross Combination Weight.
What you can tow
According to gov.uk, if your driving licence was issued after 1
January 1997, you can drive a car up to 3,500kg MAM towing a caravan of up to 750kg MAM (4,250kg combined). You can
also tow a caravan over 750kg MAM as long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than
If your driving licence was issued before 1 January 1997, you can usually drive a vehicle and caravan combination of
up to 8,250kg MAM, but you should check your driving licence
information to be sure.
What your vehicle can tow
All vehicles have a maximum towing capacity, which can be found in the brochure or vehicle manual.
Vehicles also have a maximum combined weight, sometimes known as a Gross Train Weight or Gross Combination Weight -
legally this is known as the Maximum Authorised Mass, which is the combined weight of the car and trailer or
It's recommended by The Tow Car Awards panel that your caravan
weighs less than 85% of the vehicle's kerbweight, especially if you are new to towing. It is perfectly legal to tow
between 85-100% of the car's kerbweight, but this is only recommended for experienced drivers. The kerbweight figure
can also be found in the vehicle manual.
You must equip towing mirrors if your caravan is wider than the rear of your car. Failing to use suitable towing
mirrors can result in 3 penalty points and a fine of up to £1,000.
If your caravan weights over 750kg when loaded, it must have a working brake system to comply with the law.
Best caravan towing cars
There are lots of different cars that can tow a caravan. but in general SUVs, saloons, estates and even pick-up
trucks are the ones that are favoured by the masses. This is largely because of their high-speed stability, strong,
powerful engines and sizeable kerbweight. Take a look at some of the most impressive tow cars below.
When it comes to tow cars, big saloons, estate cars and SUVs are the vehicle types of choice, although pick-up trucks are also an excellent option for those wanting to hitch up a caravan and head to a country or seaside campsite
Ideally you'll want something that adheres to the 85% rule - whereby a caravan weighs no more than 85% of the kerbweight of the tow car - particularly if you're new to towing.
At Evans Halshaw, we stock all of the above vehicles amongst our massive inventory of used cars, and our sales people are happy to answer any further questions about towing and towing weights that you might have.