When it comes to agricultural trailers, the chances are you’ll have a suitably agricultural vehicle for towing it.
When it comes to domestic trailers or caravans however, the chances are that your vehicle is also the family car and is required to fulfil plenty of other duties besides towing the trailer.
So, when you’re in the market for a new car, how do you go about choosing?
Whatever you decide, it not only needs to be up to the tow job, it needs to keep you comfortable as well – without being prohibitively costly to run.
Bearing in mind that although your towing limit is likely to be 2,000kg, it’s generally recommended that unless you’re a very experienced or a towing expert, it’s probably sensible not to tow 85% more than your car’s towing weight. So, by checking the size of your trailer and its likely maximum towing weight, you might find that you don’t need as big a car as you thought.
Obviously, you need to find a car with the right number of seats. If you use a trailer then you’re probably considering either a 5- or 7-seater. If it’s 7, you’ve already narrowed down your choices.
Don’t assume, either, that you must have a heavy 4×4 or an SUV style car. Think about whether you actually need 4-wheel drive or just want one, as it will be more expensive to buy and probably less economical.
So long as it’s got the power, a saloon, hatch, or estate might be more suitable for your needs and will be perfectly capable of towing your trailer or caravan. Similarly, not every SUV style car will be capable of towing.
If you do need 4-wheel drive, think about the vehicle dimensions. Some brands offer compact SUVs which are stylish, sophisticated, luxurious, and distinctly upmarket, although budget will be a factor the more upmarket you go. They may even be available with integral towbars.
If you need an automatic, check which cars on your shortlist comply – if it’s not essential then you should have a wider choice but remember that depending on the model, it may only be available with one or the other.
In terms of value, consider the length of warranty and average service costs to be sure that maintenance and upkeep won’t be prohibitive. Also, find out which ‘extras’ come as standard. A feature that’s important to you could be standard on some models but an optional extra on another.
Ultimately, so long as you’ve got the towing limit right for your needs, there are plenty of vehicles that can do the job. So set (and stick to) your budget, decide on your non-negotiables, and enjoy hunting for your ideal tow car.