Fuss-Free Wild Camping: We Discover The Best Car for Sleeping Beneath The Stars

With the summer weather now upon us, and holiday season well underway, Brits up and down the country are either organising their holiday, or they’re already on their way. However, some of the more spontaneous among us haven’t got anything planned, and are on the lookout for the next off-the-cuff adventure!

So to help people make their next move we decided to create a list of the best cars for a spur-of-the-moment wild camping road trip this summer. Our hope is that the list will encourage travellers to hop in their car with just a pillow and a sleeping bag, safe in the knowledge that their roadtrip doesn’t need to be cut short by the last minute hunt for accommodation. The right vehicle can turn any starry layby into the perfect hotel room, and picturesque beaches into your ideal campsite.

To create the list, we scored 15 of the most popular estates, SUVs, and MPVs on the following criteria: boot/bed space when the rear seats folded down, average fuel consumption, and the total payload (weight) each car is able to carry.

The Citroën Berlingo MPV topped the list, followed by the Land Rover Discovery, and Skoda Superb Estate, across our three chosen ‘sleeping on the road’ suitabilities.

We identified sleeping space, fuel economy, and total carry load as three vital factors for people to consider when selecting a ‘wild camping’ vehicle, to ensure a comfortable, efficient and cost-effective trip. We then used our findings to give each car a unique ‘ChooseMyCar Tour Score’ out of 45.

The top 15 cars to take wild camping, and our designated ChooseMyCar Tour Score, are:

    1. Citroën Berlingo – 44
    2. Land Rover Discovery – 30
    3. Skoda Superb Estate – 29
    4. Mercedes GLE – 28
    5. BMW 5 Series Estate – 27
    6. Skoda Kodiaq – 26
    7. Peugeot 5008 – 26
    8. Skoda Karoq – 23
    9. Dacia Duster – 20
    10. Mercedes E Class Estate – 19
    11. Volkswagen Passat – 19
    12. Peugeot 3008 – 19
    13. BMW X7 – 18
    14. Volvo 940 – 17
    15. Kia Sorento – 16

Having the perfect car is one thing, but what about the destination? Scotland is the only country in the United Kingdom that allows wild camping, and is famous for its epic North Coast 500 & South Coast 300 driving routes – fantastic options for a wild getaway.

Across the top 3 vehicles, we’ve also calculated how much it would cost to complete Scotland’s three most iconic road trips, which, if all completed, would equal a ‘one-way’ 1,050 mile trip (not for the faint hearted!).

In a Citroën Berlingo, it would cost; £85.92 to complete the North Coast 500, £51.55 to complete the South West Coastal 300, and £42.96 to travel the North East 250 – £180.43 in total fuel costs.

In the third best car, the Skoda Superb Estate, it would cost; £107.40, £64.29, and £53.58 to finish these road trips, respectively.

In the Land Rover Discovery however, which has an average MPG of 21, it would cost; £204.57, £122.74, and £102.29 to drive these iconic routes, equaling £429.60, more than double the cost of taking a Berlingo, and substantially higher than taking the Skoda Superb Estate.

The Citroen Berlingo MPV topped the list for boot/bed space, boasting 3,000 litres of room when the rear seats are folded down, as well as coming in second place for fuel efficiency and maximum payload, with an average MPG of 50 and a total payload ranking of 896 kilograms.

Despite finishing second from last for fuel economy, the Land Rover Discovery was the second best car overall. It boasted an impressive total boot space of 2,406 litres, and came in third for payload, with a total carry weight of 808 kilograms.

Skoda is the most successful brand across these three metrics, with three of their models in the top ten.

For any hopeful holidaymakers fancying a spontaneous trip away in their car, we’ve created this interactive map. It showcases the best routes across Scotland, the best spots to stop off at for a short stay and importantly, where you can expect to find some local facilities.

Nicholas Zapolski, Founder of ChooseMyCar, said,

“At ChooseMyCar our mission has always been to help drivers across the UK find the perfect car for them, whatever their needs or situation. That’s why we decided to make a list of the best cars for a spontaneous, cost-effective getaway – we wanted to show people that, regardless of the weather, or if you’ve got accommodation booked, you can always use your trusty car as a makeshift home.

“We looked at the biggest types of cars to ensure people would have enough leg room to be comfortable. I’ve got to say I was surprised to see the Berlingo at the top, as I’d assumed the long wheelbase of an estate would lend itself to camping the most – but when you look into the breakdown of data it’s clear to see why it finished atop our list.”

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