What’s the maximum weight you can tow with your car?

Don’t presume that because your car looks like it can tow a big caravan or trailer that it can. Before you hitch anything to your car you need to check you’re not exceeding its maximum tow weight. This is a safety and legal requirement that is better not ignored.

A quick note for those looking to buy a new tow car. Check that the car can tow before buying.

We get a few calls every month from people requesting a fitting quote for vehicles that have no towing weight. Unfortunately, if the car has zero towing capacity then it can’t tow. The manufacturer has not homologated (officially approved) that the vehicle can tow anything. Towing with a vehicle that is not approved to tow would invalidate your insurance and would be an offence within the Road Traffic Act.

To check your car’s maximum tow weight do the following…

Find the vehicle’s VIN Plate (usually on the driver’s door pillar, the passenger door pillar, or the engine bay.)

There will be four lines of numbers. The top will be the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) the one underneath it will be the Gross Train Weight (GTW)

Subtract the Top number (GVW) from the one under it GTW and you will have the maximum towing weight for that vehicle.

In the image below the Gross Vehicle Weight is 2190 and the Gross Trailer Weight is 3990.

3990 – 2190 = 1800 So the maximum tow weight is 1800kg.

The image below is from a vehicle with a zero tow weight. No need to get the calculator out… If the GTW line is blank or states 0 then the vehicle has a zero towing capacity.

HOWEVER… If you need a tow bar for a cycle carrier then you do not need to adhere to the maxim tow weight rule.

If you only intend to use your car to carry bikes then it might be possible to have a tow fitted for that specific purpose. I say ‘might’ because if the vehicle doesn’t have a tow weight the tow bar manufacturers might not make a tow bar for it.

If you’re unsure about your vehicle’s towing capacity or if you can have a tow bar for a bike rack then contact your local tow bar fitter.

Keep on Towing

Team Ultimate