On the road for under $10K: Choosing a tow vehicle

By: Phil Lord, Photography by: Phil Lord

Phil Lord's seemingly impossible quest begins at the car yard...

On the road for under $10K: Choosing a tow vehicle
On the road for under $10K: Choosing a tow vehicle
Missed the first instalment? Read Phil Lord's mission here

I'VE BEEN LOOKING for a tow vehicle for three weeks so far, and have seen a few very ordinary vehicles.

It's all too easy to lose heart and buy any old thing. But like any used vehicle purchase at this price point, you have to be prepared to wait for a good vehicle to come up.

Trust me, spending the time is worth it, and for every disappointment, you are gathering skills to recognise the right vehicle when it comes along.

The best tow tug for $4K is among this lot: Toyota LandCruiser 60 Series, Range Rover Classic, Mitsubishi Pajero and Holden Jackaroo, plus a few known higher tow-capacity long-wheelbase two-wheel drive cars, like the Holden Statesman/Caprice and Ford Fairlane/LTD.


The 4WDs have around 2500-3500kg tow capacity; the cars either 2100kg or 2300kg.

I prefer a 4WD because they generally have a greater towing capacity for a large van (which I expect will weigh 2000kg laden), plus a 4WD also can be used for offroading as a bonus.

The rear-wheel drive sedans have lower towing capacities, but are generally cheaper to maintain than a 4WD (both tyres and maintenance will cost less). Rear-wheel drives are also no more thirsty – in some cases, much less so, especially when not towing.

Other than the registration and insurance fees, the tow tug will be a second vehicle, so fuel costs will be incidental.

Next time, I’ll tell you what I’ve learned about used-car shopping to help you find the pick of the litter...

On to Part 2: Tow vehicle purchased...

Written exclusively for Caravan World Online