Towing 'can add huge fuel costs'

Towing 'can add huge fuel costs'

Families budgeting for their summer holidays are being urged to account for the extra fuel costs of towing a caravan.

What Car? True MPG tests showed towing cuts the average fuel economy of a car by 41%.

"A caravan holiday is often perceived as a low-cost holiday option for families, but our tests reveal that unfortunately fuel economy inevitably suffers when a car has to pull a 1.5 tonne, home from home, white box behind it," said Chas Hallett of What Car?

Four cars of varying size and engine type were tested both while towing a caravan and without. Caravans used in the tests were 85% of the car's kerb weight, which is the recommended maximum for safe towing.

The fuel economy of the largest car was affected least by towing, but a small diesel car was also recommended. The Dacia Duster's performance of 27.8 mpg beat the Discovery's by almost 10mpg, saving £63.16 over 500 miles.

The petrol Mazda 6 was worst affected by towing, its fuel economy dropping by 52%, even though it proved the most economical car without a caravan attached.

Families taking their caravans away should check they have extra fuel to get them to their destination and ensure their breakdown policy covers both vehicles.

Copyright Press Association 2013