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 hybrid towing is possible with their car 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.
1) Which Toyota Hybrid models can tow?
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.
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.