Is it Illegal to Tow a Car with Another Car?

Is it illegal to tow a car with another car? Before you tow a car using another vehicle to a new location, you want to be sure you’re not going against state laws.

Though it may be legal to tow a car with another car in your state, it’s imperative to follow the safety guidelines. If you are traveling interstate, it is equally important to find out about the laws of the state before towing. Besides, whether ignorance or not, it is not an excuse when a cop issues you a ticket. Nevertheless, you may ask a judge to reduce it.

It is preferable to tow your car with a tow truck. However, a tow truck may not be at your disposal, forcing you to use a small car that can tow. You may sign up on AAA, but if you can’t, towing with another car is OK.

Is it Illegal to Tow a Car with Another Car?

In most states, it is not illegal to tow a car with another car, provided you use state-recommended equipment and follow recommended measures. Before you tow a car with another car, you would have to meet basic requirements.

First, the vehicle must have a capable tow rating that can tow the car in question. Secondly, both cars must have tow hitches. You would also consider whether the vehicle you are towing is 2WD or 4WD manual or automatic transmission.

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Moreover, assuming your car is a two-wheel drive, you want to know whether it is a rear or front-wheel drive. You may refer to the car owner’s manual for appropriate information.

After confirming that the towing car meets requirements or is capable of towing the car to be towed, assess the equipment. Make sure the equipment meets the safety guidelines recommended in your state. Otherwise, you’d have the police pull you over along the way. Typically, you would require either the tow strap, towing bar, or chain. Meanwhile, you may refer to our guide regarding how to tow a car with a chain.

Determine the distance and route to follow. The towing route also determines whether, for instance, towing with a rope is legal. In most states, towing with a rope or unapproved methods, which may include rusty chains, is illegal. If you tow a car with another car using a rope, you do not; you do not want to drive on highways.

Make sure to get a chain or rope with a closed or open hook and hook it on both ends of the vehicles. You need someone to control the towed car. Radio might also be included for communication.

What if you own a tow truck: can you legally tow someone’s car a short distance?

Unless the owner of the car permits it, you cannot tow or move someone else’s car with your car. The repo man, for instance, despite having the right to repossess a vehicle, requires paperwork and permission from the local authorities.

Of course, you also need permission from the owner to move the car if it obstructs the car you want to tow. The legal way to tow the car with another car is to inform your local authorities. They are in the position to move the vehicle, and you avoid false claims and prosecution.

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Is it legal to occupy a car towed by another car?

Most states prohibit occupying a car that is being towed by another car except for operational safety. In this regard, if you equip a car with a fixed tow bar or dolly, it must not be occupied unless someone is needed to control it. When towing a car with a tow bar fixed in one point or a chain, the car must be steered. In most states, only a driver can occupy the towed vehicle.

The reason you must not occupy a towed car that does not require someone to steer is to eliminate mistaken interference with the controls. While the towing car is in motion, meandering with the car controls might result in a crash, leading to injury.

Can you legally tow another car on your property with your car?

You can’t tow a car on your property without the owner’s consent. Instead, you may inform a tow company to tow it away if it is on your property. Of course, the owner will pay to recover the vehicle. The towing service is known as private property impound, and a towing company will tow the car legally. However, there must be visible signs informing people not to park before the owner is charged a fee.

A tow company will report the towed car to the local police department so that they inform the owner when they get in touch. The vehicle owner will be charged daily for storage.

However, if the car is on public property, but obstructs you, contact your local authorities instead of towing it with your car. If the police can’t contact the owner to remove the car, they will tow it for impound.

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Do not tow the car regardless of your car’s towing capability and equipment; the owner can file a lawsuit against you, citing false reasons.

Before you contact the tow company or police, make attempts to find the vehicle owner. If the owner refuses to remove the car, inform the relevant authorities. And if you can’t find the owner after a while and the car is on your private property, notify a tow company. Informing the police is a decent option when the car is on private property.

Final Thoughts

Although it is legal to tow a car with another car, knowing the state laws saves you from annoying tickets. You must also follow the recommended guidelines to tow a car safely, especially with a small car using a chain or rope.

Ultimately, make sure not to use substandard towing equipment and do not tow with a rope on a freeway. When towing a car using another car, make sure the distance is not long. If you are towing for a longer distance, hire a tow truck.

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