With an estimated 12.5 million dogs in the UK, it is no wonder that they are at the forefront of people's minds when they look to buy a new car. Whether you’ve got a chihuahua or a St. Bernard, there are features of a car that are going to make your life easier, like a low boot lip, hands-free tailgate, and especially boot size.
As a nation of dog lovers, this has always been the case, but the coronavirus lockdown caused a surge of ‘pandemic puppies’ where an astonishing 3.2 million dogs were purchased. Now that the lockdown is over and we can explore again, it’s important to know which car is best for you to take your furry best friend along on your travels and experience the world.
Dick Lovett analysed 30 of the highest-rated cars for pet owners to identify the top cars that are the best for transporting you and your best friend for beautiful nature walks and countryside strolls.
There were different factors that we wanted to analyse in our list of cars. The metrics that felt the most important to make a dog owner's life that little bit easier was the size of the boot, cabin noise, whether the car had a hands-free tailgate, the height of the boot lip to the ground, and miles per gallon. It could be argued that some of these features are a little more important than others, which is exactly what was determined.
For example, boot size is definitely the most important metric to be considered. While smaller breeds may not need huge amounts of space, their owners still need to transport around wellies, coats, towels, water bowls and a whole manner of accessories. Cabin noise and miles per gallon were next in the ranking of importance; loud cars can cause dogs anxiety making for an uncomfortable car journey, and of course, miles per gallon is a great way to get the most for your money when taking your dog on a road trip.
With these rankings and metrics in mind, the car that takes the top spot is the Land Rover Discovery Sport. Now, this off-road SUV may not be a surprise to most as it is designed for lots of storage space and mixed terrain. The boot size of this model is slightly smaller than the Range Rover at 840-litres and is slightly noisier at 55 decibels when driving at 30mph, but this car beats the Range Rover when looking at the loading lip and miles per gallon. The Discovery Sport has a loading lip 136mm lower at 644mm compared to 780mm and the Discovery Sport gets approximately 39.95 mpg, slightly higher than 34 mpg for the Range Rover.
Second in the ranking was also a member of the Land Rover family, with the Land Rover Range Rover. With an impressive 909-litre boot capacity, hands-free tailgate, and only 52.3 decibels cabin noise at 30mph, this is a great car for dog owners. It is important to note that for any Land Rover car the boot space is measured from boot floor to roofline rather than luggage cover. These features are a fantastic way of providing ease of use for pet owners and plenty of space to store all the things they need.
The BMW 5 Series Touring and Land Rover Defender also appear further down in the list, the BMW 5 Series Touring appears in a really good position due to its low loading lip, a very good benefit of being an estate car. This feature ensures your pet can easily jump in and out of the boot with ease. The Land Rover Defender takes a good position in the list as a leader in the boot size at over 1000-litres capacity, almost double compared to some of the other cars mentioned in the list.
Also appearing further down in our ranking is the Porsche Cayenne Turbo. This luxury SUV is a ‘sports car with a sense of adventure’ and a great car to own if you have a dog, even a very large one. With a boot size of around 745-litres, there is plenty of space for your four-legged friend and all the extra things that you need to travel around with, and with a hands-free tailgate and low loading lip, this will make it much easier to get a muddy pup into the boot.
Of all the cars available on the market, it can be a challenging task to find the right one for you, but if you’re a dog owner then it doesn’t need to be so difficult. This index is the perfect way to find out which car is going to be best suited to your life and your hobbies, from travelling long distances to wanting a nice quiet peaceful drive through the country. As well as needing the perfect vehicle to transport your dog on long countryside walks, there are lots of accessories that can assist you such as pet loading ramps available for Jaguar and Land Rover or even a custom bed so your pooch can relax and enjoy the journey. You can find out more about which brand and model is best suited for you at Dick Lovett or visit a nearby dealership.