12apr towing rules hero
Research report
31 March 2012

Towing rules

Make sure you’re up to date with towing rules.

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Paul S.
04 Oct 2018
Towing with an unrated vehcile

As we move across to Electric vehicles, I have noticed that many of them are unrated for towing. For example both the Nissan Leaf, and the new Hyundai Nivo SUV EV are both unrated.

There is one obvious reason for this, and that being range and the impact that towing has.

Another reason is the drive train, which has components in it that can be damaged by towing.

There are also the breaks which are already under stress from carrying extra weight from the battery, almost 300kg of extra weight in a Nissan Leaf compared to a similar size petrol vehicle.

This brings me to the question of insurance. If a car has not been rated for towing, does this void the insurance in the case of an accident and claim?

Although my question is more specific to electric vehicles, there is also the question of unrated petrol/deisel vehicles.

Consumer staff
04 Oct 2018
Re: Towing with an unrated vehcile

Hi Paul,

You are correct about the reasons most EVs aren’t rated for towing. We expect that as the technology develops, range increases and we see larger EVs, more will have the ability to tow – for example, the Tesla Model X is rated to tow.

Regarding insurance, the simple answer is no, you shouldn’t tow with a vehicle unrated for towing. It is very likely to void insurance. Not being rated means the manufacturer hasn’t submitted the vehicle for tests when towing, so there’s no knowledge of whether towing with that vehicle would cause trouble or not. Hope this helps.

Kind regards,
Frank – Consumer NZ staff.