When you’re looking for a new car it’s not just what you want to drive that’s important but also what works for the rest of your family, including any pets you have and their needs as passengers. Our team has a lot of dog and cat lovers so know what makes a pet friendly car, so they’ve picked five of the best currently available for you to lease.

We’ve mainly focused on cars that are suitable for dogs as they’re the most common pet in the UK but these will be suitable for cats or smaller pets in their carriers as well.

The Top Pet Friendly Cars for 2023

1. Land Rover Discovery Sport

land rover discovery sport for pet cars

One of our favourite pet friendly cars is the Discovery, and we’ve chosen to focus on the Discovery Sport model as this is ideal for any drivers that want a compact and capable SUV.

It’s a great choice for larger families as there’s seven seats so you’ll be able to fit everyone in one vehicle. If all seats are in use it does reduce the boot down to 157 litres, which isn’t very much space but this quickly swells to 745 litres with the rear two seats down and 1,451 litres will the rear two rows down.

The boot space (including the folded down rear row) has a flat load area, and the boxy design makes it ideal for pet carriers. Land Rover also provides a range of accessories specifically designed for your four-legged friend including floor liners, luggage partitions, ramps and even a portable shower.

There’s a range of off-road features in the current Sport models including all-wheel drive, wading sensors and a towing capacity up to 2,500kg for drivers who want to try their hand at green laning.

2. Mini Clubman

mini clubman for best pet cars

A great choice for pet owners who don’t want a big car is the Mini Clubman. As the only manufacturer to have been approved by the Dogs Trust charity, Mini has the official paw of approval.

The Clubman is one of Mini’s larger models, with more room for your dog or other four-legged passengers in the cargo area or the rear passenger seats. Another advantage of the Clubman is its vertically-split rear doors, that make it easy for your pet to get in and out of the car.

There’s plenty of high-tech features that give it everything a modern driver could ask for including sat nav, with real time traffic, smartphone pairing and a range of driver assistance systems, whilst still maintaining the dynamic handling and responsive steering that Mini is known for.

3. Skoda Superb Estate

skoda superv estate for best pet cars

For drivers that want a larger car that isn’t an SUV then an estate could be the right model. We think estates make the ideal car for those with smaller or older dogs as the distance between the ground and the boot is lower and more manageable.

Skoda is a brand known for its simple and clever features that are designed to make your life easier, like the umbrella in the driver’s door or a dog seatbelt that can fit on all of their models. This dog seatbelt will secure your pet in place if they prefer to travel on a seat, as it’s important for their safety and to reduce the chance of them distracting you. Skoda knows one size doesn’t fit all so there are different seatbelt sizes for different breeds.

If your pet would rather have a little more room then the Superb estate has a spacious 660 litre boot, which is plenty of room for them to fit, even with five passengers in the car. The wide and low boot lip makes it easy for dogs to jump in and out, and there’s a reversable boot liner that means you can have one dedicated dog side and a cleaner side for non-furry cargo.

The Superb has a range of great engines for you to choose from, all of which offer excellent fuel economy and power so there’s sure to be one that works for you.

4. Toyota Corolla Touring Sport

toyota corolla touring sport for best pet cars

The Toyota Corolla Touring Sport is another estate model that we love, and we know your pet will too.

It’s got a low boot lip and roomy 581 litre cargo space which makes it ideal for older or less mobile pets to get in and out.

As a brand Toyota is recognised for its reliability and the Corolla is no exception to this with quality materials, high-tech infotainment systems and latest in Toyota’s self-charging hybrid engine technology.  There’s a lot that comes as standard as well, such as front and rear parking sensors with automatic braking, a rear-view camera and smartphone mirroring for a fully connected infotainment system.

The ride is comfortable, whether you choose the 1.8 or 2 litre engine, with suspension that smooths out the potholes you’ll undoubtedly have to drive over but still firm enough that you’re not bouncing around.

5. Volvo V60 

volvo v60 for best pet cars

Our final pick for pet friendly vehicles is the Volvo V60.

Volvo is a brand known internationally for its high safety and comfort levels and we know that when you’re travelling with your pet their safety is a top priority.

The V60 is an mid-sized estate but still has plenty of room for you and your pets. There’s a roomy 529 litre cargo area, with a completely flat floor that they can easily lay down on. If they’re in a carrier then the boxy and flat cargo area also means that their carrier will be safe and secure. And Volvo have added a 12v socket to the boot so you can easily tidy up after any muddy trips.

You can also upgrade to the hands free tailgate which will let you open and close the boot by waving your foot under the rear of the car, which is particularly helpful if you’ve got a cat carrier in hand.

Volvo are currently offering four engine options for you to choose from, all are petrol hybrids but two are self-charging and two are plug-ins (PHEVs). All come with an automatic gearbox, which is standard with hybrid models, and have four-wheel-drive for a smoother ride for every passenger.

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