CALL US 0113 880 0748

OUTSIDE THE UK +44113 880 0748

Car Hire With Tow Bar

Motorists often struggle to arrange a hire car with tow bar due to the restrictions that many rental companies have in place. The main issue tends to be insurance as many companies are cautious about who they will cover to tow a trailer or Caravan.

Working with several specialist suppliers, we get out of the ordinary requests every day and a question we are frequently asked, especially during the summer months, is whether we offer hire cars with a tow bar fitted.

We can help you to hire a car with a tow bar for any driver aged 25 or over who has been driving for more than 2 years and, most importantly, we are able to provide insurance for these vehicles. In order to rent these vehicles you will need to meet the UK’s legal requirements for towing a trailer or caravan.

A hire car towing a boat

Contact Us About Hiring A Car With A Tow Bar

Types of Tow Bar

Tow bars can be either fixed or detachable although both offer the same towing capacity. All the vehicles with tow bars from our suppliers come with the fixed variety. There are two different types of tow bar; flange and swan neck and it is important to understand the difference between the two to ensure that you hire a car with the correct variant.

Flange Tow Bars

A hire car with a flange tow bar fitted

The flange tow bar has a towball bolted onto a bar on the back of the car and is the most common type of tow bar in the UK. Flange tow bars are generally considered to be more versatile and better suited for purposes such as carrying bikes whilst towing for example.

Flanges are generally considered more expensive to buy and less attractive than swan neck tow bars but for a short term hire car this is less of a concern.

Swan Neck Tow Bars

Hire car with Swan Neck Tow Bar Fitted

A swan neck tow bar is different in that it is attached directly to the underside of the vehicle and is less obtrusive than the flange it is the more popular of the two types in the EU. One of the reasons the swan neck tow bar is popular is that due to it being narrower than the flange, it is less likely to set off parking sensors.

A downside to this type of tow bar is that you are not able to attach a cycle carrier and tow at the same time which may be a problem if you are hiring a car for something like a caravanning holiday where you also plan to go cycling in which case the flange is a better option.

All the hire cars with tow bars that we arrange come with either 7 or 13 pin electrics as required by law to ensure that the safety features or your caravan, trailer or cycle carrier function correctly.

Towing Capacity

If you are planning on hiring a car to tow either a trailer or caravan it’s essential to know the towing capacity of the vehicle you are renting as this is both a safety and legal requirement. The two important things that you need to know when working out towing capacity are the kerb weight of the car you are planning to hire and the maximum mass of the load you will be towing.

Kerb Weight

The kerb weight of a vehicle is simply the total weight when fully fuelled and properly maintained with oil, coolants and all of the standard equipment that the vehicle requires. Kerb weight excludes any additional weight such as passengers, non-standard luggage etc.

Typically, you can find the kerb weight of a car by checking in the owner manual, checking for a plate in the door sills or sometimes on the V5 document for the car however when considering hiring a car you would not have access to this information and this is an area where we can help you make the right choice of car. There are also various online services which let you search by manufacturer and model to find the kerb weight of a car you are interested in hiring.

Maximum Mass

Once you know the kerb weight of the towing car, you need to know the maximum mass of the load you will be towing. Caravans typically display this information somewhere close to the door, but you can also check with the manufacturer to be sure that you have the correct information.

Once you know the figures above, you can divide the Mass of the caravan by the kerb weight of the car and multiply by 100 to get an idea of towing capacity as a percentage. The RAC recommend that for an amateur this should be around 85% and only those experienced in towing heavy loads should hire vehicles above this ratio. You can find more guidance on towing capacity from the RAC here

If all of this sounds a bit confusing don’t worry. Any of our team will be more than happy to answer any questions you have.

Available Vehicles with Tow Bars

Our suppliers offer a range of different types of vehicles with tow bars fitted including 4x4s, SUVs and pickups below are some of the available vehicles with example towing capacities.

MakeModelMax Towing Capacity (Unbraked)Max Towing Capacity (Braked)
Land RoverRange Rover750kg3500kg

*Please note the towing capacities shown above are examples only and depend on the specific model of vehicle. You should check with us when booking to confirm that the car has the appropriate towing capacity for your load

Frequently Asked Questions About Car Hire With a Tow bar

Below are some of the questions that we are most commonly asked by our customers about Car Hire With a Towbar. If you can’t find the answer to your question below then contact our reservations team who will be happy to help.

How do I arrange to rent a car for towing?

If you are hiring a car and it needs to have a tow bar fitted then it is best to contact us so that we can help you with your enquiry. You can call our reservations team on 44 (0)113 880 0748.

If you are booking a vehicle during the summer months it is best to give plenty of notice as this is the peak of the camping season and when demand for vehicles with tow bars is at its highest and we often have limited availability.

What are the legal requirements for towing a trailer?

If you are hiring any vehicle with a tow bar then not only do you need to meet our criteria for age and driving experience, you also need to satisfy certain legal requirements:

If you started driving prior to January 1st 1997 and hold a full Category B License then you are eligible to drive a vehicle with a Gross weight of up to 3.5 tonnes. The weight of the trailer that you are towing must be no more than 750 kilograms in total. This means the total combined weight must be no more than 4,250 kilos in total.

You can find more information on the official laws for towing a trailer or caravan on the Directgov website. You can also find some great tips on safe driving when towing.

Customer Comments

Submit your review

Create your own review

Indigo Car Hire
Average rating:  
 8 reviews
 by S K
car hire with tow bar

Excellent service highly recommended and I will use Indigo again

 by Rowland Wills
Didn't think we could hire a car with a tow bar

When our car broke down I didn't think I could get a hire car with towbar but you came through and found us one so we where able to take out caravan and still get our vacation. The truck was well prepared and ready as soon as the paperwork was completed. Return on a Saturday was a breeze took 5 minutes and we where done. Will use again

 by Keith Symon
First class service and prices

Matt and Jake are first class at indigo, I have used them twice now and the service and pricing is exceptional. Straightforward and easy to deal with and no hidden costs or surprises 10/10 would recommend and will use again for all my car hire needs

 by Trevor Morgan
Five stars for everything

Having used Indigo for every car I've hired in the past 5 years or so I was delighted once again with the efficiency and friendliness of the staff and, like before, no nasty surprises when picking up the car at Edinburgh Airport.
I cannot fault them and look forward to using their services in the future.
A big thank you to the whole team.

Page 1 of 2: