With foreign holidays likely off the table for most of us this summer, plenty of people will be looking to enjoy the warmer weather across the UK this year.
And a great way of doing this can be buying a caravan. With campsites open on 4 July, now’s the time to think about getting one, if you haven’t already.
But if you’re thinking about buying a caravan, you’ll need to make sure you have a car that’s safe and legal to tow it.
Here’s 5 great options for caravans of all sizes and budgets.
Skoda Superb Estate
The Skoda Superb is a terrific estate car, and the fact its 660-litre boot is one of the largest available. Choose a third-generation car, which arrived in 2015, and you’ll get a classy-looking model with a high-quality interior and plenty of tech.
This model won the Tow Car Awards back in 2016, earning respect for its grip and strong performance. If you’re using it to tow, extra torque offered with diesel engines makes this the fuel of choice, and the 2.0-litre TDI is the one to go for with the Superb. The 148bhp version can tow a maximum of 2,000kg with a braked trailer, which should be plenty for a normal caravan, but a more powerful 187bhp engine is able to tow up to 2,200kg.
A 2015 model with the 2.0-litre diesel engine is available for just £8,000, offering great value for money.
Large diesel hatchbacks usually make good tow cars, and the Vauxhall Insignia is no exception. Even 11 years after first going on sale, it looks the part, while its 530-litre boot should be able to handle most of the clobber for a family weekend away.
You’ll want to look for a 2.0-litre diesel, with these being able to tow a braked caravan up to 1,600kg – ideal for all but the largest of caravans. This Vauxhall was popular when new, so there’s plenty to choose from, with examples starting from as little as £2,000 – making it a very affordable tow car option. Make sure any Insignia has been well-maintained and has a full service history, as they’re known to get a bit neglected as they get older.
Given you’re unlikely to be towing all that often, it’s worth considering a car that could be useful to live with every day. And if you’d rather avoid driving a large SUV around all the time, it’s worth looking at a smaller hatchback, such as the Volkswagen Golf.
This premium hatch is known for being refined, comfortable and classy, but with the right engine, it’s also an accomplished towing vehicle for a relatively small car. A seventh-generation Golf (on sale between 2012 and 2020) is the best version to go for, and search for one with the 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine, as this can tow the same 1,600kg as the Insignia.
Golfs tend to hold their value well, so you’ll struggle to find this generation of Golf with this engine for less than £6,500.
Land Rover Discovery
When it comes to towing, bigger can often mean best. That’s certainly true with the Land Rover Discovery, which is one of the most capable cars around. Given it can tow a maximum of 3,500kg, this Land Rover will be unphased by most caravans.
A new fifth-generation Discovery will set you back £50,000, but don’t worry – the third- and fourth-generations can tow the same, and start from just £4,000 and £8,500 respectively. As is to be expected from a Land Rover, this SUV is also remarkably capable off-road, while it’s able to seat 7 in comfort, too.
The Discovery isn’t known to be especially reliable, though, so it’s worth setting aside some money for inevitable bills, and looking out for particularly well-maintained examples.
Volvo XC90 T8
If you’re looking for a hybrid or electric car for towing a caravan, your choices are quite slim – many manufacturers don’t rate their electrified models for towing. But one that is rather capable is the Volvo XC90 T8. As a plug-in hybrid version of Volvo’s flagship XC90, it looks fantastic, has a high-quality interior and is one of few hybrids that come with 7 seats.
Best used cars for towing a caravan | AA Cars