Toyota Hybrid towing questions

As part of Toyota’s desire to engineer greater driving appeal into its cars, selected new-generation Toyota Hybrid models now have the capacity to tow trailers and caravans. This might lead owners to wonder whether their car is included and, if so, how much it is able to tow.

The regulations surrounding towing can be quite complicated to understand. So while this post is not designed to explain all the rules on this subject, we hope it clears some confusion by supplying straightforward answers to important, frequently asked questions.

Within this post we have also supplied relevant links to official government pages, related associations, and Toyota resources.

Prius towing 12

1) Which Toyota Hybrid models can tow?

The latest generation Toyota Prius, Toyota C-HR Hybrid and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

The Prius and C-HR Hybrid have a recommended towing capacity of 725kg for a braked or unbraked trailer. Read more about this in our special feature on towing with a Prius.

Both front- and four-wheel drive RAV4 Hybrid models have a legal towing capacity of 750kg for unbraked trailers. With regards to braked trailers (where the trailer has its own braking system), the front-wheel drive RAV4 Hybrid has a recommended towing capacity of 800kg and the four-wheel drive RAV4 Hybrid has a recommended towing capacity of 1,650kg.

For more information on how legal towing capacities are calculated, please see question four.

2) Can I tow with a Toyota Auris Hybrid?

No, the Auris Hybrid has not been homologated to tow in the United Kingdom.

Some European-specification Auris Hybrid models have been specially configured to tow light loads but these models are not available in the UK. Their cooling systems are different and the components cannot be retro-fitted to UK-spec cars.

Prius towing 02

3) What am I allowed to tow?

It depends on when you passed your driving test, the weight of your car and what you are towing.

You can get the latest rules and restrictions on the government services and information website.

4) What is my car legally allowed to tow?

The figure authorities use to enforce the maximum towing capacity of a vehicle can be found on the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) plate.

Not all vehicles have been homologated to tow, but those that have will display either three or four sets of figures on the VIN plate. Reading from top to bottom, these will be the gross vehicle weight (the maximum mass of the vehicle including occupants, fuel and load), the gross vehicle train weight (the combined maximum mass of the vehicle and trailer) and the maximum loads across the front and rear axles respectively.

In order to create a recommended maximum towing capacity, vehicle manufacturers usually deduct the gross vehicle weight from the gross vehicle train weight.

For more advice on your specific Toyota model, please follow this link to the My Toyota site where you download a copy of the owner’s manual for your car.

See more: Towing the line with the new Toyota Prius
Further information: National Trailer & Towing Association
Further information: AA guidance on towing

 

Comments (79)

  1. I am looking at ordering a new Auris Touring Sport Hydbrid … what are the options available to carr four bikes for a family of four using the car?

    1. Hi David,

      Thanks for getting in touch. In order for you to carry 4 bikes you will need the following:

      -Towing hitch
      -Rear bicycle holder (maximum 2 bikes)
      -Cross bars
      -Roof bicycle holder x 2 (maximum 1 bike each)

      Rear bicycle holder:
      The weight of the rear bicycle holder is 14.2kg.
      The maximum total load capacity of 2 bikes is 36kg. The weight of 1 bike is maximum 20 kg.

      Roof bicycle holder:
      Maximum weight of bicyle: 15 kg.
      Holder can clamp bicycle frames of maximum 80mm and minimum 20 mm (Circular or oval).

      We would also refer you to page 40 of our online brochure which explains in more detail the tow bars that are applicable. For more info on the vehicle, please use the following link:

      https://www.toyota.co.uk/new-cars/auris-touring-sports/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=ppc&utm_campaign=OEM-UK-EN-B-Model-AurisTS-xx-GOO-EXACT&utm_content=Search-auris-TS&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=OEM-UK-EN-B-Model-AurisTS-xx-GOO-PHRASE&utm_term=auris+touring&gclid=Cj0KCQjwsMDeBRDMARIsAKrOP7EQNmgToG1Y2P4SUtho-PC1EBcZMeAEGb07wPpGVN6YHrhBh7a3BnIaAkOvEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds.

      We hope this helps.

  2. Hello. I have just put a deposit on a Prius plug-in hybrid and can’t wait to get driving it. However, I *really* want to be able to tow a very small, light trailer (just for a couple of weeks a year to go on holidays). Can someone please tell me if the *plug-in hybrid* Prius can take a towbar?

  3. I have a 16 plate Prius Plus. It isn’t clear whether I can tow with I or Not.

    Can you please let me know?

    Thank you

    Graeme

    1. Hi Graeme,
      Thanks for getting in touch.
      We can confirm that a 16 plate Prius can tow 725 kg.
      Hope this helps.

      1. Thank you.

        I can’t find anywhere to fit a tow bar for a Prius Plus.

        Do you think the local dealership will?

        Thanks

        Graeme

          1. Hi I’m looking at getting this for my new car can you tow with this please had how much I have grandad right on my license

            Toyota Auris Touring Sports Sport 1.8 Hybrid Icon Leather TSS CVT

          2. Hi Richard,
            Thanks for getting in touch, please could you explain what you are referring to so we can look into this further for you.
            Thanks.

  4. Hi,

    I’m going to be buying a new RAV4 2WD Hybrid shortly; I want to add a tow bar but solely for carrying a bike rack. Would I have to go for a standard tow bar or is there a cheaper option, and could I have it fitted at some time in the future or would it need to be fitted when I purchase the car?

    1. Hi Chris,
      Thanks for getting in touch.
      You would need to purchase a tow bar to use a rear bike rack, however, we do have roof bicycle holders which would be a cheaper option.
      We hope this helps.
      Thanks.

  5. Hi. I have the 2017 chr hybrid (top spec) i bought it because i was told by Toyota in Stirling tbat i can tow a braked 6 berth caravan. But when i went to buy my new caravan i was refused due to my car not being capable!!!! Its a 1650kg. Now im stuck with a car that is shocking and cant pull out of bed. Nice work training your staff. Now what caravan can i tow??????

  6. I understand that there are 3rd party suppliers of tow-bars that fit the Auris Touring Sports Hybrid. I also understand that you should not tow anything with this hybrid but I only want it to fit a bike carrier. Would having a 3rd party tow-bar fitted affect my Toyota warranty?

    1. Hi Jeroen,
      Thanks for getting in touch. By fitting a non-genuine tow bar, any failure that can be directly attributed to the use or installment of the accessory will not be covered by your Toyota warranty. Hope this helps.

  7. Hi
    I have just bought a 2014 RAV4, it has a Toyota swan neck tow bar fitted,is it possible to convert this to a detachable ball? The car is very tight in the garage and every inch counts

      1. This blog is specifically saying you can tow with the prius hybrid, is it not? Are you saying you cannot tow with it?

        1. Hi Tony,
          Thanks for get getting in touch. You can tow with the latest generation Toyota Prius, Toyota C-HR Hybrid and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, however we don’t advise towing with any of the earlier models. Hope this helps.

  8. Hello, I am looking at buying either a 2015 or 2016 Auris Touring Sports Hybrid and am a little confused about towing. I currently live and will be buying in Germany, can I tow with either? I mean tow a trailer, caravan etc?
    Regards,
    Matthew

    1. Hi Matthew,
      Thank you for your comment. We do not advise that any of the Auris’s with the hybrid engine to tow anything, the standard engines have a towing capacity but the hybrids don’t. Hope this helps.

      1. Hi, thanks for getting back to me, Just to be clear, does Toyota “advise” that the hybrid Auris does not tow anything or is Toyota saying that the hybrid Auris is not able to / can not / must not tow anything?

        If it is not able to / must not tow anything, why not?

        It seems a big negative to not be able to tow anything at all.

        If it is advising only from Toyota is it for anywhere in the world or just the UK, would it be any different in Germany for example?

        1. Hi Matthew,
          We don’t advise towing anything on this car, this is as we don’t test any of the 3rd generation hybrids for towing, so we have no supporting data to what they could or couldn’t tow, this will be the same for across all of Europe. Hope this helps.

  9. I’m buying an Auris Touring Sports hybrid and want to put a tow bar on the back so I can put a bike rack on it. I will not be towing. Is there a towbar suitable?

    1. Hi Steve,
      Thanks for your query. We suggest purchasing a bike holder bracket with a non-towing tow ball (PW962-02005) and then the bike holder to fix on the bracket (PZ41B-00500-00). These part numbers are for models November 2016 onwards, so if your vehicle is purchased second hand, the part may not fit. Alternatively you could purchase a roof rack. Hope this helps.

    2. Have an 66 plate auris hybrid,. I need to fit a towhitch 4 bike rack to take the kids mountain biking,. Never will tow, do I have to sell it to get a 1.2t that is type approved, what would happen if I fitted a towhitch?

          1. Hi Martyn,
            We’d advise talking to your dealer about adding more bikes to your vehicle. They would be able to advise on a four bike bike rack.

          1. Hi Martyn,
            We’re glad you’ve managed to sort out the problem. Is there anything else we can help you with?

  10. 1. Can you please clarify if the Toyota RAV 4 Hybrid can tow a trailer for camping or caravan?
    2. What is the capacity it can tow please for either a camping trailer and for CARAVAN?

    1. Hi Petra,
      Both front- and four-wheel drive RAV4 Hybrid models have a legal towing capacity of 750kg for unbraked trailers. With regards to braked trailers (where the trailer has its own braking system), the front-wheel drive RAV4 Hybrid has a recommended towing capacity of 800kg and the four-wheel drive RAV4 Hybrid has a recommended towing capacity of 1,650kg.
      These weights are the same for caravans. It does not not matter what you are towing, the weight still applies.

  11. I bought Toyota Estima Japanese import it’s a 2008 and just today have been informed it is illegal to tow with it…it being 2.4 petrol electric…..should be able to tow most things…….

    Regards
    Unhappy

    1. Hi Malcolm,
      We’re very sorry to hear this. Cars that we sell in the UK are homologated to tow, for example Prius, RAV4 Hybrid and C-HR Hybrid can all tow. Unfortunately, as this is the law we’re unable to advise anything else.

  12. What is the future for diesel pickup trucks. We know it’s curtains for passenger cars… But for those like me who needs the best balance of family car efficiency and good towing capacity. Do you buy a new euro6 adblue hilux/cruiser now or hold out til technology catches up with high torque and towing requirements?? How long will it take companies like toyota to build what the environment (and politicians) are demanding? Right now it feels like the go getters are being penalised because the industry isn’t pulling it’s socks up!

  13. Have a UK 66 plate Auris Hybrid Touring and very happy with the car. I know it is not homologated to tow but would like to fit a tow bar solely to be able to fit a cycle carrier that holds 4 cycles. Is this possible?

      1. I am considering buying an Auris Hybrid Touring and understand the advice about towing. Like others, I want a towbar to fit a bike carrier. I understand that Toyota wants to sell its own but I already own two racks, one for 2 and one for 4 bikes. Are you suggesting I must change to Toyota racks or can I continue to use my bike carriers? What would be the total weight allowed on the ball of the bar?
        Thanks

        1. Hi Jeroen,
          Thanks for getting in touch. We can not comment on third party bike carriers as they have not been safety tested by us. We’d advise going on the Toyota website, download the brochure and check the third party part against our specification. It should be on page 52 of the Auris touring brochure. Hope this helps.

          1. Thank you for your quick reply. Unfortunately it does not answer my question. I am not asking for advice on the suitability or safety of my bike carriers but I am looking for your guidance on towbars. Can I fit a suitable towbar on a Hybrid Auris Tourer and if so, what is the maximum weight on the ball? Is a suitable towbar the same as the one for the regular, non-hybrid Tourer?

          2. Hi Jeroen,
            Sorry about that. For hybrid we only offer a Bike carrier support bracket with a non-towing ball mount (PW962-02005). For non hybrids we have a fixed towing hitch (PZ408-E5560-00), detachable towing hitch (PW960-02000) which is 450KG towing capacity however, we’d advise you to check his bike carriers weight capacity just in case.
            Many thanks.

        2. Hi Joeren.i looked into this and eventually found the answer is 50kg. Aim a dealer for a pdf of the hybrid bike carrier support bracket fitting instructions.

          1. Thank you Duncan. Your reply is the clearest yet. Unfortunately I have decided to purchase a different car now as the the lack of clear, unequivocal information on towbars left me unsure on this issue. A towbar (again NOT for towing but to carry a bike rack that is non-Toyota) is important to me and unfortunately the Toyota dealer, who is regularly referred to for advice, does not have the information either. They just say that any guarantee on the car is invalidated by fitting a towbar. Something I understand from your document to be untrue and that I could indeed have had a towbar fitted and be able to carry bikes + rack up to a total weight of 50kg. If only I had known that when having to make the final decision on which car to buy….

          2. Toyota – could let us know why the limit is 50 kg when it’s more like 90 kg for most tow hitches?

          3. Hi Duncan,
            Thanks for getting in touch. Please could you provide us with more information with regards to the model, year and what kind of towing hitch you are referring to. Many thanks.

          4. Hi there, I wanted to know why the bike holder bracket with a non-towing tow ball (PW962-02005) for a 2014 Auris Touring Sport hybrid is limited to 50 kg maximum nose weight. I was sent the fitting instructions by one of your dealers and it mentions this weight limit (p.27).

          5. Hi Duncan,
            Thanks for getting in touch. Please could you let us know what fitting instructions you are referring to. Many thanks.

          6. Hi, The fitting instructions I refer to are titled “Auris Touring Sports Hybrid – Bike Carrier Support Bracket – Installation instructions” Model year: 2013/06, 2015/05, Vehicle code: ZWE186*-D*X*BW (Without towing pack), Part number: PW962-02005.

    1. I hope so too as I am picking mine up. I know they have a clip-in 2 bike system, I have a need also for a 4 bike rack for the family.

  14. Looking at the new Rav 4 hybrid, the press write ups are not that encouraging. And there seems to be a lot of questions on the ability to tow caravans and trailers without issue. Honda is now looking like the better option to be honest. Pity really I do like the rav

      1. Hi. Yes have test driven the RAV4 hybrid. Very nice to drive. Impressed but couldn’t come to any agreement with the local dealer regarding price, even though on CarWow they were offering a discount. Disappointed with their attitude. Have now purchased the Honda CRV. Top spec diesel auto much much cheaper than RAV price. Enjoyed having the RAV but obviously dealer not bothered with old customers. The ‘we can sell all we get’ attitude disappointing. Thanks for your follow up. Peter

        1. Hi Peter,
          We’re sorry to hear that you didn’t end up purchasing a RAV4. Did you mention the dealer to our customer relations team? You’re welcome, we like to hear what went wrong or what went well.

          1. No, not contacted customer relations team. Dealership always been good, but new sales manager means new approach to selling cars. Not my ‘cup of tea’.

          2. Hi Peter,
            We would recommend talking to our customer relations team about this! They will be able to help.

          3. Hi again. Do you have the number for the customer relations team? I’ll give them a ring so others don’t get caught out.

      2. No I am at the early stages of looking/buying. Not teally come to a descion yet. The fealership where fine. The sales persons was very good not pushy at all. We have bought from them brfore. Its probably better if I try a test drive first.

  15. Hello, this Toyota official blog is very assertive about Prius 4 being able to tow braked or unbraked trailer below 725kg. But other sites in France or Belgium specific 725 (unbaked trailer only). I am considering to tow a 500kg braked trailer with Prius 4. Is that OK from reliability point of view and legal point of view ? Thank you !

    1. Hi Benjamin,
      We would suggest contacting your local dealer. They will be able to give you the best advise regarding this query, are you based in the UK? Many thanks.

  16. Toyota quitting the diesel engine line for passenger cars is really bad! In future there is no option from Toyota on passenger car that can tow more than just empty trailer. Customers that need towing capability will leave Toyota even they don’t want to. Where to find a car that can tow a boat, mobile home, horse trailer etc. At the moment there is some models on Toyota that can tow like Avensis ( diesel ) and Land Cruiser ( diesel ). But in future if diesel line for passenger cars ends there is only Land Cruiser and hilux that can tow.

    1. Hi William,
      Thanks for your feedback and post. We will pass all this information to our team. Many thanks!

      1. Hi
        Agree with William.
        In the market for a new tow car for our caravan. At present got the 2010 Rav4 2.2D XTR AWD. Excellent at towing and economical as well but at 6yrs old looking to change. What a shock only got the choice of petrol or hybrid in AWD – no diesel it’s now only FWD. Not got a deep enough pocket to fuel the petrol and the hybrid has a very low noseweight. Really disappointed as been impressed with Toyota over these last 6 years. Honda now do the CRV with a 1.6D and 9 speed auto with emissions of 139. Noseweight of 100kg and economical. Looks like we will be changing manufacturer. Come on Toyota get your act together. You’ll lose many customers.

        1. Hi Peter,
          We’re sorry to hear you think this. We pass on all of the feedback we receive on the blog and we’ll certainly pass this on. Many thanks!

        2. Hi, we also have a Rav4 AWD 2010 and are looking to upgrade to a new Rav4, we were also dismayed and disappointed that Rav4 are no longer suitable to tow a 4 berth modern caravan with.
          We have been the owners of 2 Rav4 tow cars and very happy with our choices too.
          Now looking elsewhere, but wish we were not as we love the Rav4, just not the uncertainty of towing using an hybrid and with such low capacities.
          Bad move Toyota

          1. Hi John,
            The 2016 RAV4 is available in three engine specifications. The 2 litre diesel FWD has a braked towing capacity of 1,600kg (unbraked 750kg), the 2 litre petrol AWD has a braked towing capacity of 1,500kg (unbraked 750kg) and the hybrid engine has a braked towing capacity of 1,650kg (unbraked 750kg). Hope this helps!

  17. What a pity that sport cars such as the GT86 aren’t homologated for towing. Many thousands of people in UK alone need to tow sailing dinghies – it’s not all about heavy loads/caravans.

    1. Hi Tony,
      Thank you for your post. We will feed your comments back to our product team for future product reviews. Many thanks.

        1. Hi Bob,

          Thanks for contacting us.

          In regards to your query, the Yaris hybrid doesn’t have a towing capacity.

          Hope this helps!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.