Driving with a trailer

When driving with a trailer there are a number of important points to remember regarding e.g. the towbar, the trailer and how the load is positioned in the trailer.

Payload depends on the car's kerb weight. The total of the weight of the passengers and all accessories, e.g. towbar, reduces the car's payload by a corresponding weight. For more detailed information, see Weights.

If the towbar is mounted by Volvo, then the car is delivered with the necessary equipment for driving with a trailer.

  • The car's towbar must be of an approved type.
  • If the towbar is retrofitted, check with your Volvo dealer that the car is fully equipped for driving with a trailer.
  • Distribute the load on the trailer so that the weight on the towbar complies with the specified maximum towball load.
  • Increase the tyre pressure to the recommended pressure for a full load. For information on the tyre pressure, see Tyres - approved tyre pressures.
  • The engine is loaded more heavily than usual when driving with a trailer.
  • Do not tow a heavy trailer when the car is brand new. Wait until it has been driven at least 1000 km.
  • The brakes are loaded much more than usual on long and steep downhill slopes. Downshift to a lower gear and adjust your speed.
  • For safety reasons, the maximum permitted speed for the car when coupled with a trailer should not be exceeded. Follow the regulations in force for the permitted speeds and weights.
  • Maintain a low speed when driving with a trailer up long, steep ascents.
  • Avoid driving with a trailer on inclines of more than 12%.

Trailer cable

An adapter is required if the car's towbar has a 13 pin connector and the trailer has a 7 pin connector. Use an adapter cable approved by Volvo. Make sure the cable does not drag on the ground.

Direction indicators and brake lights on the trailer

If any of the trailer's lamps for direction indicators are broken, the symbol for direction indicators in the combined instrument panel flashes faster than normal and the information display shows the text Trailer indicator malfunction.

If any of the trailer's lamps for the brake light are broken then the Trailer brake light malfunction text is shown.

Level control*

The rear shock absorbers maintain a constant height irrespective of the car's load (up to the maximum permissible weight). When the car is stationary the rear of the car lowers slightly, which is normal.

Trailer weights

For information on Volvo's permitted trailer weights, see Towing capacity and towball load.


The stated maximum permitted trailer weights are those permitted by Volvo. National vehicle regulations can further limit trailer weights and speeds. Towbars can be certified for higher towing weights than the car can actually tow.


Follow the stated recommendations for trailer weights. Otherwise, the car and trailer may be difficult to control in the event of sudden movement and braking.
  1. * Option/accessory.