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TOPIC: Car Matching Anomalies

Car Matching Anomalies 8 months 2 days ago #461910

  • WayneS
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Hello All, I need to now place an order for a company car. Whilst hopefully my trusty old VW T4 Caravelle will soldier on for a very long time to come, it seems sensible to order a company car with a towbar that I could also use if needed.
So, I've checked details on TowCar for a few motors and seen several seemingly good matches - under 85%: great, however then checked the same vehicles on Towsafe via a link from C&C club and the matches do not come out well: at best 'Experienced towers only' (which I am not.) -An anomaly.
For clarification, Cars I've been looking at are BMW X1 and X2 (2 wheel drive) and VW Passat Esates to pull a Bailey Senator Oklahoma - so not a huge van.
I'll want to be safe with a potential combination and obviously legal!
Thanks for your thoughts, Wayne
Last Edit: 8 months 2 days ago by WayneS.
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Car Matching Anomalies 8 months 2 days ago #461912

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WayneS wrote:
Hello All, I need to now place an order for a company car. Whilst hopefully my trusty old VW T4 Caravelle will soldier on for a very long time to come, it seems sensible to order a company car with a towbar that I could also use if needed.
So, I've checked details on TowCar for a few motors and seen several seemingly good matches - under 85%: great, however then checked the same vehicles on Towsafe via a link from C&C club and the matches do not come out well: at best 'Experienced towers only' (which I am not.) -An anomaly.
For clarification, Cars I've been looking at are BMW X1 and X2 (2 wheel drive) and VW Passat Esates to pull a Bailey Senator Oklahoma - so not a huge van.
I'll want to be safe with a potential combination and obviously legal!
Thanks for your thoughts, Wayne

Try “towcar.info” which I have found the best of the bunch and which gives you the flexibility to vary car payload, van payload, and even noseweight. But you need to be quite careful in selecting car details as there can be quite a variation between models in one particular makers range of cars. Ie X1s or Passats.
Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDi SE CR 170ps DSG 4x4 carrying two Springers, Sprite Musketeer TD 2013.
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Car Matching Anomalies 8 months 2 days ago #461929

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Thank you for taking the time to reply Clive:most useful and your knowledge is much appreciated.
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Car Matching Anomalies 8 months 2 days ago #461940

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By all means use the tow matching services but you must ensure the service has exactly the same vehicle specifications as the ones you are considering.

apart from the obvious things like, weights and and engine type etc, other factors such as body style, and even trim levels can affect the real vehicles capabilities. So its no good simply relying on similar model specifications. Even if they list your exact model, check the specification as most of the data bases they use do contains errors.

Ultimately it is the drivers responsibility to ensure the outfit is a safe match, and that liability cannot be deferred to a third party.

May I also remind you there was a significant change to the specification of the standard driving licence entitlements for licence issued after Jan 1997. You must have entitlement BE or B+E to drive a caravan outfit with a combined MAM exceeding 3500kg.
Unless I use quotes, All advice and opinions given are my own and are given in good faith. Never act on anything you read on a forum unless you can validate and verify its source and content.
Last Edit: 8 months 1 day ago by ProfJohnL. Reason: removed draft text
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Car Matching Anomalies 8 months 1 day ago #461950

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Possibly the best bet is to go on the manufacturers web site and look up weight. The answer you want is just 75% of that although I would not even guarantee that is right as individual models do vary.
Ray
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Car Matching Anomalies 8 months 1 day ago #461953

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Of what the OP has suggested having now had three of them I would heartily recommend the Passat Estate. Lovely car to drive, very stable when towing, and (at around 32mpg if you're not too heavy footed) good on towing economy (50mpg+ around town is a breeze.) BMW don't seem to think that their customers might want to tow a caravan as they have now dropped the fridge wiring option from their factory fitted bars as "there is no call for it." If you have the choice also consider the Skoda Superb Estate which is much the same as the Passat but more roomy.
Whatever decision you arrive at you should go for a test drive in all of your options before making a decision. I'm 6ft 1in and once drove a BMW 318 and found it seriously lacking in leg room. Some manufacturers will provide you with a car for 24/48 hours f.o.c. to give it a good test. If you are going to do a lot of mileage and/or keep the Co. car for the usual 4 years it is probably on balance a good investment to hire your chosen car(s) for a long weekend to give it a good try-out.
Finally and VERY IMPORTANT you MUST specify that you require a towbar with charging and fridge wiring or it will not be fitted. The installer (often the supplying dealer on Co cars) should also reprogram the ECU so that it knows you might tow and to active the towing sensing when the trailer is detected. [For the record on a Passat the ABS and traction control symbols above the dash display normally go out together but if a trailer is detected one light stays on about two seconds longer than the other.]
Last Edit: 8 months 1 day ago by Woodentop.
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Car Matching Anomalies 8 months 1 day ago #461956

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Woodentop wrote:
Of what the OP has suggested having now had three of them I would heartily recommend the Passat Estate. Lovely car to drive, very stable when towing, and (at around 32mpg if you're not too heavy footed) good on towing economy (50mpg+ around town is a breeze.) BMW don't seem to think that their customers might want to tow a caravan as they have now dropped the fridge wiring option from their factory fitted bars as "there is no call for it." If you have the choice also consider the Skoda Superb Estate which is much the same as the Passat but more roomy.
Whatever decision you arrive at you should go for a test drive in all of your options before making a decision. I'm 6ft 1in and once drove a BMW 318 and found it seriously lacking in leg room. Some manufacturers will provide you with a car for 24/48 hours f.o.c. to give it a good test. If you are going to do a lot of mileage and/or keep the Co. car for the usual 4 years it is probably on balance a good investment to hire your chosen car(s) for a long weekend to give it a good try-out.
Finally and VERY IMPORTANT you MUST specify that you require a towbar with charging and fridge wiring or it will not be fitted. The installer (often the supplying dealer on Co cars) should also reprogram the ECU so that it knows you might tow and to active the towing sensing when the trailer is detected. [For the record on a Passat the ABS and traction control symbols above the dash display normally go out together but if a trailer is detected one light stays on about two seconds longer than the other.]

I would agree that Passat or Superb make fine estate tow cars. I have the Superb 4x4 170ps with DSG auto gearbox and it just does whatever I throw at it, and its front and rear legroom combined with luggage capacity exceeds an E-class estate. Easy to understand why taxis like them :evil:
Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDi SE CR 170ps DSG 4x4 carrying two Springers, Sprite Musketeer TD 2013.
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Car Matching Anomalies 8 months 1 day ago #461963

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I agree with Woodentop that the Passat is brilliant. We're also on our third and get similar mpg figures.

My experience of the C&CC matching site is it's very simplistic and conservative. For example it will show an 84% match as 'good' and an 86% one as 'experienced towers only'. In real life you almost certainly wouldn't even feel the difference.

Wayne, if you could confirm the weight of your caravan we could probably give you some more helpful advice.
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Car Matching Anomalies 8 months 1 day ago #461972

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Hello again all, first and foremost, thanks to each of you for your helpful responses.
Appreciate usefulness of a bit more detail, so a bit of background (please excuse the irrelevant if boring bits.) I passed my test in 1993. My own current car is a 2001 VW T4 Crarvelle 2.5tdi- its getting on for 170K miles but keeps on going and if I can keep it forever I will, its our weekend vehicle, ok to get muddy and good for the dog etc:
My first tow was picking up the caravan from Dorset and towing behind the T4 back to Cornwall a few short months back which went fine. (Sadly due to time and circumstance we haven't as planned been able to make use of the caravan yet but this to change very soon! :)
I started with my current firm a year ago and was given a pool car, the lease is nearly up so I can order. I was going to go for a small car as the most company car tax efficient option I could get but I do 30K + miles a year and like a bit of comfort, so if I'm going for something a bit bigger & feel I may as well go for one capable and equipped to pull the caravan if I choose to at some point: lease will be 3 years (although fully hope the T4 will stay as my weekend & tow car.)

Only makes on car list are VW,, BMW, Audi and Volvo. (V60 is nice but higher on company car tax and no Audi's in estate form). VW Passatt estate will I'm sure be what I order: quite sold on it now. Fancy DSG auto either 2.0 tdi 150 or there is a new petrol engine: 1.5 evo TSI which has 150 bhp. Diesel I'm now confident is a good match but I need to research the more tax efficient petrol model to check for suitability.

''Wayne, if you could confirm the weight of your caravan we could probably give you some more helpful advice''
Unladen Weight: 1222kg, User Payload: 269kg, MTPLM: 1491kg
I've had a second hand mover fitted approx 40kg and will load carefully / carry heavy things in the car.

Thanks if you've read the above extra info & sorry if its been tedious! Any further thoughts most gratefully received.
Very best wishes to all, Wayne
Last Edit: 8 months 1 day ago by WayneS.
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Car Matching Anomalies 8 months 1 day ago #461975

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OK further to above, can only find 'TARE Weight' online not sure of impact:
1.5 EVO TSI Petrol = 1376kg
2,0 TDI = 1466kg
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