How To Ensure Your Car Is Towed Correctly

A car breaking down once in your life is almost as certain as death and taxes. But there's no need to panic. Auto towing is fairly simple, whether you're being taken to a garage or being towed home. If you're not able to call a 24-hour towing service to help, here's how to make sure you're doing it properly and, more importantly, safely.

Basic Safety

There are a few basic safety rules that should be followed when driving or being towed.

  1. Don't use your mobile phone. Full attention must be given to the road. Even more caution needs to be given when towing as you need larger gaps to pull into.    

  2. Adhere to the rules of the road. By towing, you are still subject to all rules of the road.

  3. Check that the vehicle is not damaged and doesn't have flat tires.     

Before Towing    

  1. Check that the equipment you are using is safe. If using a tow rope, make sure there are no frays.     

  2. Make sure that the vehicle being towed has the ignition switch to on to disengage any steering locks.

Being Towed

  1. If you have one, put a sign in the back of the car to let others know you are being towed.

  2. Make sure the parking brake is off.

  3. Make sure the hazard lights are on.

  4. If it is dark, turn on the lights as normal to ensure the vehicle is seen.     

  5. Indicate as normal to let other road users know where you are going.

  6. Use brakes gently when appropriate.


Ultimately, towing is the same as driving normally -- just a lot more cautiously. Allow plenty of time and plenty of warning before any maneuver. Other drivers will need to be cautious and provide space for two vehicles to make turns, for instance. Although it's a daunting task, professional tow truck drivers will have experience navigating most roads, even while towing a car behind their own; that's a good reason why hiring a professional is wise. 

  1. Pull away slowly. This will limit how much the vehicle being towed is jerked.     

  2. Indicate in plenty of time so that the vehicle on tow can mimic and let drivers behind them know when you're going.

  3. Try and avoid unexpected maneuvers or speed changes as the vehicle being towed will find it hard to steer without the engine running.

  4. Try to maintain some tension in the tow rope at all times.