While as a dog owner you might conceivably manage with a car that is not ideally suited to carrying your canine companion, at New Car Advice we firmly believe that life becomes much easier when youâ€™ve got the right tool for the job.
It is for precisely such conundrums that New Car Advice was created. Although run by a team of motoring journalists, New Car Advice is not another reviews website, but rather a one-to-one advice service to help you find the right car for your needs. You ask a question, our experts answer it – it really is that simple.
In the case of finding the best car for transporting your dog, we would encourage you to not only look at the size of the boot, but also its height from the ground. Then thereâ€™s ventilation, where an opening sunroof or electric rear windows (preferably tinted) can help to keep your dog cool, as well as preventing the build up of doggy odours in the car.
In terms of the driving experience, youâ€™ll want something with a smooth ride to prevent your dog from becoming travel sick, but not so soft that the body leans heavily in corners or sways from side to side on a bumpy road, which can be equally as uncomfortable.
Look for darker interior colours and optional boot liners to protect your investment, and make sure you can install a dog guard to divide the boot space from the passenger compartment.
Last but not least, with an estimated 1 in 4 households having at least one dog (according to data from the Pet Food Manufacturersâ€™ Association) itâ€™s no surprise that car makers have cottoned on to this by offering a range of useful accessories, so be sure to ask what these are.
With all that in mind, below are five cars that the team at New Car Advice often recommend to dog owners.
TOP 5 CARS FOR DOG OWNERS
Nissan originally created a dog-friendly version of its X-Trail SUV complete with boot guard and removable ramp as a publicity stunt. However, such was the reaction that its Paw Pack is now an official optional extra. At Â£599 it includes the aforementioned guard and ramp, plus a dog bed, a non-spill water bowl, a boot liner and a storage device to hold treats, leads and litter bags.
Skoda Superb Estate
With its enormous boot, low loading lip and a very comfortable ride, the Superb Estate ticks a lot of boxes as a canine-carrier. However, itâ€™s Skodaâ€™s range of accessories that really make it stand out. Thereâ€™s a double-sided floor covering that is non-slip on one side, a rubber mat that sits on top of the rear bumper to protect it as the dog climbs in and out, and even a â€˜Dog Safety Beltâ€™ in the form of a harness that clips on to the seat belt if you want your dog to travel in the back.
Dacia Logan MCV
If youâ€™ve got the kind of dog that is forever jumping in rivers and rolling in dust it can pay to have a car that youâ€™re not too precious about. If you havenâ€™t heard of Dacia before, it is a Romanian brand owned by Renault that offers cars that are back to basics, very functional and incredibly cheap. The Logan MCV, for example, starts from only Â£7,295 and features a boot that will accomodate all but the largest of dogs, while Daciaâ€™s Pet Pack bundles together a dog guard, a boot liner and a foldable water bowl.
Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain
At the other end of the scale from the Dacia you might want a large, posh estate car than can cope with rutted, muddy farm tracks or fields. The Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain is ideal, combining the enormous load area of the E-Class Estate with a raised ride height, four-wheel drive and additional panels to protect the underside of the car from damage. Official accessories include a non-slip boot liner and a sturdy dog guard.
Citroen C4 Picasso
We are often approached by parents who need enough space for three child seats, as well as a boot that will accomodate a dog cage. There are a few seven-seat options that fit the bill, but if you donâ€™t need that extra row of chairs why not save some money and opt for the Citroen C4 Picasso instead? True, it doesnâ€™t have the SUV-like styling preferred by many buyers these days, but for practicality (including a big boot and three individual rear seats) and a smooth ride the Citroen is hard to beat.
ABOUT NEW CAR ADVICE
Choosing the right car can be confusing at the best of times, which is precisely why we created New Car Advice. Set up by motoring journalists Chris Knapman and Rebecca Jackson, the idea is to provide car buyers with a new and personalised way of accessing information and recommendations about particular makes and models of car. In doing so this free service can help to identify what model (or models) fit in with your particular requirement or life stage.
To that end both Chris and Rebecca have spent years reviewing cars for some of the UKâ€™s largest motoring publications, and have not only driven the vast majority of new cars on sale, but can convey the pros and cons of each in a jargon-free manner, with information thatâ€™s tailored to you.
So, if youâ€™re considering buying a new car but donâ€™t know where to start, or you simply want to know if youâ€™re being offered a good deal before signing on the dotted line, just get in touch.
For more information and to ask us a question visit the New Car Advice website.