Toyota Hybrid towing: your questions answered

As part of Toyota’s desire to engineer greater driving appeal into its cars, most current generation Toyota Hybrid models have the capacity to tow trailers and caravans. This might lead owners to wonder how about hybrid towing and how much their car 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) Hybrid towing – Which Toyota Hybrid models can tow?

The latest generation Yaris, Corolla, C-HR, RAV4 and Prius.

Moving upwards in towing ability, the latest Yaris has a towing capacity of 450kg. The Prius and C-HR share a recommended towing capacity of 725kg for both a braked or unbraked trailer. You can read more about this in our special feature on towing with a Prius. Meanwhile, all Corolla models – Hatchback, Touring Sports and Saloon – have an unbraked capacity of 450kg and a braked towing capacity of 750kg.

All RAV4 models have a legal towing capacity of 750kg for unbraked trailers. But with regard to braked trailers (where the trailer has its own braking system), the front-wheel drive RAV4 has a recommended towing capacity of 800kg and the all-wheel drive RAV4 has a 1,650kg capacity. Straddling the two is the new RAV4 Plug-in, which has a braked trailer maximum set at a 1,500kg.

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

2) Hybrid towing – Can I tow with a Toyota Camry?

The current generation Camry has not been homologated to tow in the United Kingdom.

Some hybrid Camry models in other markets 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) Hybrid towing – 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. This goes for all cars, not just those capable of hybrid towing.

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 and hybrid towing, 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

233 comments

  1. HI, I’ve just upgraded from a 2016 RAV4 to the 2021 RAV4 Excel, I had tow bar fitted to both.
    The 2021 bar was fitted last week. I went to use my motorcycle trailer on yesterday and when I plug the electric and did the usual test to make sure all light work I found the following issue.

    when indication right or left the rear sensors go off. same if I use the hazards. I thought that maybe there was a short on the trailer so I tried my small camping trailer and it did the something.

    any ideas? the towbar was fitted by a 3rd party company but arrange and paid for my Toyota

    1. Hi Duncan,
      Thanks for your comment.
      We would advise taking your RAV4 back to the company which fitted the towbar if you believe there is an issue.
      Thanks.

      1. Hi Duncan,
        Thanks for your reply.
        It is difficult from your description for us to tell which sensors are going off and if this should be occurring.
        We would recommend reading the online Owner’s Manual for the towing advice, and possibly switching off the Parking sensors if it is these going off. It may be that these are picking up the trailer on the back of your vehicle.
        We are unable to confirm whether or not the trailer has been wired correctly, and the Centre that fitted the towbar will be best placed to do this.
        Thanks.

  2. I am about to purchase a 2018 Toyota Auris Hybrid ( 1.8 Hybrid Icon TSS 5dr CVT) and have a boat trailer that I occasionally use for very short journeys, ( up to 10 miles) the loaded trailer weight with the boat would be around 500kG.
    The Toyota dealer has said that the car should cope with this. Can you please confirm that this is ok and that the warranty would not be affected if a tow bar is fitted.

    Thank you
    Spencer Gardner

    1. Hi Spencer,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Unfortunately, the Auris Hybrid is not homologated to tow any load.
      Therefore, a Toyota Centre would be unable to fit a tow bar.
      Thanks.

  3. Can the 2.5 liter toyota rav hybrid tow a 750 kg. Boat outboard and unbraked trailer 750 kg would be total weight of all items

    1. Hi Jan,

      Thanks for your interest in the new RAV4 Hybrid.

      The AWD model has a braked towing capacity of 1650kg and an unbraked towing capacity of 750kg.

      Thanks

  4. Hello, I have a 2018 hybrid Yaris. I’ve an e-bike I’d like to be able to transport. Is it possible to get a fixing so that tow bar/hitch bike carriers can fit this car? Thanks.

    1. Hi there,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Our accessories team have confirmed that the 2018 Yaris Hybrid is compatible with a 13-pin Bike Holder.
      Please contact your nearest Toyota centre for more information on fitting.
      They can be found here – https://fal.cn/3hdh6
      Thanks.

  5. Just bought a new yaris design hybrid need a tow bar unable to get one fitted from any towbar retail supplies do toyota supply one? if so when and where will it be available?

    1. Hi Ronald,
      Thanks for your comment and congratulations on your new Yaris Hybrid!
      Please provide us with your vehicle registration so we can look into this for you.
      Thanks.

      1. Hi Ronald,
        Your nearest Toyota Centre should be able to supply a Horizontal Detachable Towing Hitch (Part Number – PW960-0D002).
        However, you would need to confirm with your Centre that they have the part available..
        Thanks.

      2. Please let me know about the towbar s soon as possible as without it the car is unsuitable for my needs. Kind regards Ron.

      3. Hi Ronald,
        We’ve forwarded your query to our accessories team and we’ll get back to you as soon as we hear anything.
        Thanks.

  6. Just purchased the AWD RAV4 hybrid and going to be towing a caravan does the vehicle require an extra oil cooler for the auto transmission?

    1. Hi Pete,
      Thanks for your comment and congratulations on your new RAV4!
      Please provide us with your vehicle registration so we can look into this for you.
      Thanks.

      1. Hi Peter,
        You will not need an additional oil cooler for normal towing.
        Please ensure you follow the guidelines in the Owner’s Manual about how much weight you can tow and that the overall gross train weight is okay.
        Thanks.

    1. Hi Alan,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Can you confirm whether you mean the tow ball cap or full tow bar?
      Thanks.

  7. Why is the towing capacity only 800 for the rav wheel drive with a 2 1/2 litre engine is it something to do with the hybrid battery

    1. Hi Michael,
      Thanks for your comment.
      The extra torque made available by the all wheel drive system means that the towing capacity is increased.
      Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have anymore questions.
      Thanks.

      1. We have a 2017 Auris Hybrid and want to fit a towbar so we can use a bike rack, We won’t be towing at all. Is that allowed?

        Many thanks.

      2. Hi Tom,

        As special bracket can be fitted to carry a bike rack.

        Please contact your nearest Toyota centre to get this done.

        Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *