Safest Way to Tow a Car With Another Car

by Pheori WileyUpdated July 17, 2023
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When towing a car with another the tow vehicle should be larger. The tow vehicle will now be stopping for two and the weight of a larger car will keep both from skidding and it will also have stronger brakes. You also need extra power to keep moving at a reasonable speed in traffic.

Chains and Tow Straps

Using a chain or tow straps is not only scary but also dangerous. The towed vehicle would be in neutral with no braking mechanism in place. Never put someone in the towed vehicle as it is illegal. Laws governing how to tow a vehicle by chain state that It should be for a very short distance, it should not be on the highway and that if the towed vehicle is more than three meters behind the towing vehicle it must have some kind of indicator on the chain or straps, such as a brightly colored flag, to show the towing situation. Stopping should be done with extreme caution as the towed vehicle will not be able to brake. If towing by this method you should never exceed 20 mph.

Tow Bar

A rented or owned tow bar is generally an "A" shaped device. This is solidly mounted to the towed car. The front of the tow bar attaches to a tow ball (hitch) installed on the towing automobile. A tow bar requires safety chains between both vehicles just in case there is any type of failure. This method requires one driver is used for longer distances at almost highway speeds. All of the rules of the tow vehicle being larger and heavier still apply, but braking can be a bit tricky. If the brakes are applied in a turn, the rear car will tend to push the rear end of the towing car to the outside of the turn; this could cause a jackknife or spin out if performed too quickly.

Tow Dolly

A tow dolly will keep the front tires of the towed car off of the ground. A tow dolly is simply a small trailer. Using one of these still follows all of the rules of towing, i.e., using the larger vehicle to tow the smaller. This method will also require a tow ball (hitch) on the towing vehicle. This is the safest method as it will allow more freedom for the rear car while taking away some of the pushing when stopping. It is still aways best to slow before any type of turn. These tow dollies are lightweight and easily rented.

Trailer/Car Carrier

A car hauling trailer is the best and safest option. This is a device where the car is literally driven onto a flat bed for hauling. However, you will need a truck for the towing vehicle to compensate for the weight of the trailer.

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