Practical information about towing cars
Choosing the right car to tow your caravan is key so that your towing experience is fun, but also safe and legal. To sum it up, your tow car will need to be heavier than the fully-laden caravan. And have enough power to maintain steady progress on gradients of up to 12.5%. We’ll elaborate on that later, so keep reading.
Do I need a special license to tow a caravan?
Depending on when you passed your driving test and got your driving license you may be able to tow some form of caravan.
You’ll need to look at the MAM, which stands for ‘Maximum Authorised Mass’ and describes the weight of the vehicle once it’s loaded. It can also be called GTW or ‘Gross Train Weight’.
- Passed your test before 1 January 1997 – You can drive a car and trailer with a combined weight of up to 8,250kg
- Passed your test from 1 January 1997 onwards – You can tow a vehicle of up to 3,500 kilos MAM and a trailer of up to 750 kilos. Or tow a trailer of more than 750 kilos if the combined MAM of the trailer and vehicle doesn’t exceed 3,500 kilos MAM. If you want to drive a car and tow a caravan heavier than 3,500kg, then you’ll need to take an additional B+E towing test.
The Caravan Club has a really helpful tool that helps you match your car and caravan. If you’re thinking about buying a new tow car it will come in handy.
What is a good towing vehicle?
A good tow car is the one that allows you to travel comfortably and safely while towing your caravan wherever you want. The exact make and model will depend on how big and heavy your caravan is, but also on your needs and wants.
Traditionally, estate cars, 4x4s and SUVs are popular with caravan owners because of their torque and power. To give you some examples, the Land Rover Discovery, Volkswagen Tiguan and Ford Mondeo are a safe bet.
Below, we’ll explain all the things you should look into if you’re buying a tow car. One at a time and with everything you need to know.