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13 Ways to Tow Cars

Towing a car might seem like a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and equipment, it can be done safely and efficiently. Whether you need to tow a broken-down vehicle or transport a car to a new location, understanding the various towing methods is crucial. In this article, we will explore 13 different ways to tow cars, each suitable for specific scenarios and vehicles. So, let’s dive in and learn about the different techniques for towing cars.

1. Flatbed Tow Trucks

One of the safest and most common methods of towing is using a flatbed tow truck. This type of tow truck has a flat platform that can be hydraulically inclined to load the car onto it. The vehicle being towed is entirely lifted off the ground, preventing any wear and tear on the tires and ensuring a smooth and secure ride.

2. Two-Wheel Tow Dollies

When towing a front-wheel-drive car, a two-wheel tow dolly is an excellent option. This device lifts the car’s front wheels off the ground while the rear wheels remain in contact with the road. It provides an effective solution for short-distance vehicle towing and is relatively easy to use.

3. Tow Straps and Tow Ropes

Tow straps and tow ropes are simple and affordable options for towing a car, especially in emergency situations. However, they require a second vehicle to act as the tow vehicle. It’s crucial to follow proper towing guidelines and ensure both drivers communicate effectively to prevent accidents.

4. Tow Bars

Tow bars are ideal for towing a car behind an RV or motorhome. They connect the RV’s rear bumper to the front of the towed vehicle, allowing all four wheels to remain on the ground. It provides a stable and secure towing solution for long-distance travel.

5. Wheel Lift Tow Trucks

Wheel lift tow trucks, also known as hook and chain tow trucks, are commonly used by roadside assistance services. They use a metal yoke to lift the front or rear wheels of the vehicle off the ground and then tow it with two wheels rolling on the road. However, this method is not recommended for modern cars with advanced electronics and front-wheel-drive vehicles.

6. Integrated Tow Trucks

Integrated tow trucks are heavy-duty vehicles designed to tow large and commercial vehicles. They come with a towing mechanism built directly into the truck’s structure. These powerful trucks can handle substantial loads and are commonly used for recovering big rigs and buses.

7. Wheel Lift Adapters

Wheel lift adapters are used in conjunction with flatbed tow trucks. They allow the flatbed to double as a wheel lift tow truck when needed. This versatility makes them a valuable tool for towing a wide range of vehicles.

8. Towing Trailers

Towing trailers are an excellent choice for transporting multiple cars or heavy vehicles. These trailers come in various sizes and weight capacities, making them suitable for different towing needs.

9. Use of Tow Dolly with a Pickup Truck

If you have a pickup truck, using a tow dolly is a viable option for towing smaller cars. The tow dolly is attached to the pickup truck’s hitch, and the front wheels of the towed vehicle are placed on the dolly while the rear wheels remain on the ground.

10. Motorcycle Tow Trailers

For motorcycle owners, motorcycle tow trailers offer a safe and secure way to transport bikes to different locations. These trailers are designed with proper restraints to keep the motorcycle stable during transportation.

11. Heavy-Duty Wreckers

Heavy-duty wreckers are massive tow trucks equipped with powerful winches and other specialized equipment. They are used to tow large commercial vehicles, recover heavy equipment, and handle challenging recovery situations.

12. Off-Road Recovery Straps

When a car gets stuck in a challenging off-road terrain, recovery straps can come to the rescue. These heavy-duty straps are designed to be attached to both vehicles, allowing the towing vehicle to pull the stuck car out of the difficult situation.

13. Towing with a Forklift

In unique circumstances, where other towing methods are not available, a forklift can be used to tow a small car short distances. The forklift’s prongs are positioned under the car’s front or rear end, and the vehicle is gently lifted off the ground.


Towing a car requires careful consideration of the specific situation, the type of vehicle, and the distance to be covered. Each towing method discussed in this guide has its advantages and limitations. Always prioritize safety, and if you’re unsure about towing a car yourself, consider seeking professional towing services like With the right approach and equipment, you can handle car towing effectively and transport vehicles with ease.


  1. Is towing a car on a dolly legal? Towing laws and regulations vary by state and country, so it’s essential to check local laws before using a tow dolly. In many places, using a tow dolly is legal, but specific requirements may apply.
  2. Can I tow an all-wheel-drive car with a tow dolly? Towing an all-wheel-drive car with a tow dolly is generally not recommended, as it can cause damage to the drivetrain. Flatbed tow trucks are a safer option for all-wheel-drive vehicles.
  3. What should I do if my car breaks down on the road? If your car breaks down on the road, move it to a safe location if possible, turn on hazard lights, and use warning triangles or cones to alert other drivers. Call for roadside assistance or a towing service.
  4. Can towing damage my car? When done correctly and with the right equipment, towing should not cause damage to your car. However, improper towing methods or using the wrong equipment can lead to damage.
  5. Are there weight limits for towing trailers? Yes, all trailers have weight capacity limits specified by the manufacturer. It’s crucial to adhere to these limits to ensure safe towing and prevent damage to your vehicle and the trailer.

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