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.

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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.

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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

199 comments

  1. Hi I have a 2004 Pius and a bike I would like to be able to use a tow-hitch mounted cycle carrier is it possible to fit a tow hitch to my car?

    1. Hi Jenifer,

      Thanks for getting in touch. If you could please provide a VIN number, we will be able to assist you further.

  2. Hi Angus,

    If you could please provide a VIN number, we will be able to assist you further.

    Thanks.

  3. I’ve sent my VIN number in an email response to your notification email as I didn’t want to share the VIN on a public forum – if there is a better email address please let me know?

  4. Hi Angus,

    Unfortunately this won’t work. If you reply to this message with your VIN number, the comment will not be published to the blog.

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Angus,

      Thank you for your patience. The Toyota genuine towing hitch is not designed for a bike rack carrier.

      Thanks.

  5. Hi. I’ve ordered a new Prius Plus and am considering the hitch to carry bikes. I don’t want to tow. I want to know whether I will be able to use my existing bike carrier. Please send me a pdf of the manual for th hitch so I can see what the only kit looks like. Is the hitch removable? Does it have a ball top like a regular tow bar? Thanks

    1. Hi Simeon,

      Congratulations on your new car.

      Toyota does not recommend towing a trailer nor do we recommend the installation of a tow hitch or the use of a tow hitch carrier for a wheelchair, scooter, bicycle rack etc. Your vehicle is not designed for trailer towing or for the use of tow hitch mounted carriers.

      Saying that, we do offer a roof mounted bike carrier. Please contact your Toyota dealer for information on this, and to order one for your vehicle. Thanks.

      1. Page 32 of the Prius + brochure I received from you has a photo of a rear mounted 2 bike carrier. That clearly suggests that the car can cope with a carrier and 2 bikes. If you don’t offer a hitch at all why is there a picture in the brochure?

  6. Hi there,

    Thanks for getting in touch. It’s great to hear that your wife is interested in the Yaris. Yes, it is possible to do this.

    Thanks.

  7. looking to purchase a new Yaris hybrid this weekend, can it be fitted with a towbar for a small trailer and can the towbar be used with my thule 2 bike rack when not towing a trailer

    1. Hi Chris,

      Thanks for getting in touch, it’s great to hear you’re looking at buying a Yaris. If you could please let us know a model year and grade or VIN number we will be able to assist you further.

      Thanks.

      1. Hi Chris,

        Thanks for your patience. Unfortunately, the Yaris Hybrid does not have towing capacity for a small trailer meaning no towbar can be fitted. However, there is a bike carrier support bracket available which has a total rear vertical load of 50kg max, with the bike carrier included.

        For more technical fitting considerations, we recommend visiting your local centre in order to make the best decision.

        Hope this helps.

  8. I am looking to purchase a Rav 4 AWD and I want to tow 4 bikes. Do I order the fixed towbar with 7 pin electrics? Will this work with most bike racks?

    1. Hi Ruth,

      Thanks for getting in touch. With the towbar it is your preference over whether you would prefer fixed or detachable. However for bike carriers, we would normally recommend the 7-pin electrics as this provides basic lighting function, such as the brake lights for the carriers.

      In addition, the towbar should work with most towbar-mounted bike racks, however as you want to carry 4 bikes we would recommend checking with your nearest Toyota Centre to make sure that the combined weight does not exceed the vertical load of the towbar.

      Hope this helps.

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