What Are the Safest Ways to Tow a Car with Another Car?

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There are many ways to tow a car behind another car.  

Experts would agree that it is much easier to tow a vehicle with a tow truck than with another car. However, not all people have access to the type of heavy equipment that Perth towing companies provide. You could be in a remote location where it is hard to get Perth’s affordable towing help. Sometimes you just need to improvise, and therefore you might ask: Can I tow a car with my car? 

Warning - When towing a vehicle, you must follow all Western Australian Laws and any laws in other states you travel to. This includes using the correct towing lights and mirrors. 

First, find out if your car can tow another vehicle. It is important to determine the tow rating of your vehicle. This will tell you how many pounds your vehicle can carry, whether it has a tow hook installed, if your vehicle has 2-wheel (2WD) or 4-wheel drive (4WD), as well as whether the vehicle being hauled has an automatic or manual transmission. If your vehicle has 2WD, is it front-wheel driven (FWD) or rear-wheel driven (RWD)? For any doubts, consult your car manual. 

Before we get into the details of Perth’s 24-hour towing service for your car, here are some guidelines: 

  • First, the tow vehicle must be heavier and larger than the car being towed. This is because it needs more engine power and braking power to stop and motivate two cars. 
  • Also, ensure that no one is in the car being towed. It is illegal for passengers to ride in a towed vehicle. This is dangerous and very unsafe. Pets should be able to ride in the tow vehicle. 
  • Third, make sure the ignition is turned on in the vehicle while in town so that the steering wheel does not lock. Last, but not least, turn on the ignition in the vehicle being towed so that it is visible to motorists behind you at night. 

Tow Straps and Chains 

There are a few different towing methods to choose from. You will need a tow hook to attach to your tow vehicle, regardless of which method you use. Attached to the chassis is the tow hitch. While many trucks and SUVs have tow hooks built-in, most passenger cars don’t. However, installing tow hitches is easy. Although you can install them yourself, we recommend hiring a professional to do it for the best results. 

Tow straps or a chain can be dangerous and scary. The towed vehicle will be in neutral, with no braking system in place. It is illegal to place someone in a towed automobile. Towing a vehicle by chain requires that it be towed only for a short distance. It must not be on the highway. The towing vehicle must also be less than three meters from the vehicle. It is important to stop quickly as the towed car will not be capable of braking. You should not exceed 20 mph when towing with this method. 

Towing with an “A” Frame 

A vehicle with an “A” frame can only be towable behind a motorhome or small SUV. 

This type of towing requires that the towed vehicle have all four wheels on the road and be connected to the tow vehicle’s bar via a triangular-shaped metal drawbar. 

Safety chains are required for towing a bar. Be careful when turning and braking simultaneously, as towbars can push. This is when the rear vehicle’s momentum pulls the back end to the outside of the turn. 

This type of towing is appealing, but there are strict technical requirements that must be met. 

This method is not possible for all vehicles. Due to their design, some vehicles can cause severe damage to the driveline. It is important to consult the manufacturer to ensure that the vehicle is suitable for your application.


Towing with a Dolly 

A tow dolly is a device that keeps the front tyres of the tow car off the ground. A tow dolly is a small trailer. The rules of towing apply to these tow dollies. For example, the larger vehicle should be used to tow the smaller one. This will require a tow ball or hook on the towing vehicle. This is the most secure method, as it gives the rear car more freedom and reduces the need to stop. It is always best to slow down before making any kind of turn. These tow-dollies are lightweight and can be rented easily. 

Towing with a Trailer 

Car hauling trailers, whether enclosed or open, are the safest and most efficient way to tow a car. They allow all four wheels to be towed on the trailer. You can simply drive your car up to the trailer and attach it using straps or chains. 

This method requires you to use a truck to tow your vehicle. The combined weight of the trailer and the towed vehicle will be more than the towing capacity of almost any passenger car. 

Towing Cars with 2WD vs. 4WD 

It is important to find out if your vehicle has 4WD or 2WD. If your vehicle has 2WD, it is important to determine if the power comes from the rear or front wheels. 

A tow dolly is recommended for FWD vehicles. This will reduce wear on the driveline components. If your vehicle is equipped with RWD, you’ll need to disconnect the driveshaft manually or via a switch. Depending on which transmission you have, the next step is to either put the vehicle in neutral or release the parking brake for manual transmissions. 

If you have any questions, refer to the car’s manual or contact us, Perth’s 24-hour towing company, for help. 

Tips for Towing Another Car 

Towing a car behind another vehicle is like driving a semi-truck. Keep these tips in mind when towing another vehicle with your car: 

  • You should drive slower than usual. Towing a vehicle with more weight means that you must brake faster. You should leave plenty of space between your car, and the vehicle ahead. 
  • Use your brakes gently. Do not panic stop or suddenly brake when towing a car. The physical laws of motion will apply because the vehicle being towed may be less heavy than the car you drive. Make sure your brakes work properly and that your pads and rotors are in top condition. 
  • Be aware of your surroundings when towing another vehicle. Make sure your mirrors are properly mounted, secured, clean, not cracked, and adjusted to the driver. For trailers and longer vehicles, we recommend using tow mirrors. Use your turn signal. You should let other drivers know your intentions so that they don’t cause you any problems. 
  • Be careful when turning sharply. A tow bar or a frame towbar may be used to connect the two vehicles. Sharp turns could result in the rear end of the tow vehicle hitting the front of the car being towed, causing damage to both. 
  • Be cautious when changing lanes. Once you have activated your turn signal, and checked your mirrors, move slowly to change lanes when safe. Blind spots can be created by combining vehicles. As it is written on many semi-trailers: “If my mirror doesn’t show you, you don’t see me.” 

What Can Happen To Your Towed Vehicle If You Do It Wrong? 

Also, make sure you read the owner’s manual before using your car to tow another vehicle. A vehicle being towed improperly could cause damage to its driveline and may void your warranty. You should not attempt to replace the driveline parts. It is very costly. 

You should also check the tow rating of the tow vehicle and the payload rating. Keep in mind that, though it may be safe for your car to be towed along with it, the car you’re towing might not be built for such tasks. 

Therefore, if you require 24-hour towing in Perth, it is best to call a Perth towing company like us at Specialized Tilt Tray and Towing for reliable, careful, and affordable towing in Perth.  

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