Make pulling your trailer a breeze with our pick of the best vehicles for towing.
Taking your horses out and about, whether for a competition or a blast on the beach, is great fun. For many, the transport of choice is a trailer, being an easy to maintain and store, low-cost alternative to a lorry. And some are pretty fancy too, with smart storage and living facilities.
To keep your beloved best friend safe — and you on the right side of the law — having the right towing vehicle is vital.
A heavy vehicle with four-wheel drive will take charge of whatever you’re towing, rather than it taking charge of you, keeping everyone comfortable and safe.
Yard one minute, shopping the next
A tow vehicle doesn’t just tow, it also has to be usable day to day. Look for one that can do the job of towing, but is also comfortable, efficient and safe as daily transport — and is something you’ll enjoy owning.
The right SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) is ideal. They tend to be high-riding cars, many with four-wheel drive, and lots of luggage space and seats for your support crew and kit.
Don’t forget to make sure your choice has a tow bar fitted. If it hasn’t, check that it can take one.
Know your weights
This is the biggy when it comes to choosing a tow vehicle. What can the car safely tow?
You will need to check the towing limit — the weight the vehicle is legally allowed to tow — as it is a criminal offence to tow more than your car is allowed.
Your driver manual will help with this as will the compliance certificate label on the driver’s door.
Remember, it’s the weight of the trailer fully loaded that you need to consider. Allowing a generous margin is sensible, so something that can tow more than 2,000kg is a good starting point.
It’s all in the grunt
It’s not just about the weight, though. A good towing car needs to have enough power (aka torque) to deal with whatever load it’s pulling.
The last thing you want is to grind to a halt halfway up a hill. Diesel engines with low-down pulling power are by far the best option.
A smooth ride
Not all horses stand perfectly still in the trailer when on the move, so a car with good stability is important here.
Weightier vehicles cope better with the task of pulling a trailer with a live animal inside, and some have clever additions, such as camera systems for hooking up, or air suspension to save you lifting the hitch up.
Here are the top six cars from the team at Parkers — all great vehicles to tow with
RRP from £24,995; Secondhand from £11,225
Towing limit 2,500kg
An SUV that is on the smaller side, with a seriously muscular engine option. As you’d expect with a Volkswagen, the quality is spot on and it has a practical and beautifully finished interior. Available with Trailer Assist, which makes short work of reversing with a trailer attached.
RRP from £39,430; Secondhand from £19,205
Towing limit 2,400kg
A heavy and stable SUV with diesel engines and four-wheel drive available. Practical and comfortable, combined with a gorgeous interior, make this a brilliant daily driver and safe workhorse, too.
Of course, being a Volvo, it has a vast array of safety equipment for reassurance.
Land Rover Discovery
RRP from £46,465; Secondhand from £23,290
Towing capacity 3,500kg
A popular choice within the horse-owning community, this workhorse is for those needing maximum capacity from their tow car.
With seven seats, plenty of luggage space and supreme comfort, this is a vehicle that can do it all, on or off road. It’s undoubtedly a head turner too, if that kind of thing matters to you.
RRP from £28,280; Secondhand from £17,400
Towing limit 3,500kg
A car with the kerb weight to deal with even the largest trailer, this is SsangYong’s most luxurious vehicle to date.
It is loaded with equipment, has a nicely-designed interior and there are seven seats at your disposal. The boot is huge when in five-seat mode. A wallet-friendly, comfortable tow car.
RRP from £44,400; Secondhand from £27,225
Towing limit 3,500kg
An award-winning tow car, the Touareg can pull a very generous weight with any of its engines and it has the power to do so effortlessly.
It has quality, performance, technology and the capability to tow safely. Trailer Assist is available too, taking the sting out of reversing.
RRP from £82,140; Secondhand from £20,995
Towing limit 3,500kg
This premium car offers ample pulling power with a huge towing limit and near unbeatable off-road ability — great if you get stuck in the mud.
The more powerful engines pull so well you’ll hardly notice you’re towing at all. Not cheap, but the pinnacle of luxury.
Thanks to Parkers for its help with this feature. For more reviews and advice on all things cars, vans and pickups, visit parkers.co.uk.
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