Random vehicle breakdowns can happen to anyone, even the most experienced professional drivers. Since it’s such an unforeseeable occurrence, many people don’t know how to react once their car inevitably breaks down. More often than not, they will resort to calling their friends or family to come and tow the broken vehicle with their own car. 

If you’re not sure whether towing a car with another car is a good idea, take a moment to check out some of the points we’ve made in this article. In case you’re looking for the short answer – it’s typically not a good idea to do this, and here is why.

Things You Should Know Before Towing a Car 

Here are some useful pieces of information you should know before you contemplate towing a car. 

  • The Importance of Vehicle Ratings 

Every vehicle has a particular rating, which is closely related to towing capacity. As you can assume, towing capacity is the maximum amount of weight your vehicle can tow. You can usually find these ratings on the door jamb of your car or truck. However, if you don’t own a vehicle that is obviously foreseen to withstand and deal with a lot of force, chances are you cannot tow another vehicle. 

  • Predicaments With Towbars

If you want to tow a vehicle, your car has to have a towbar installed. While that sounds pretty simple and straightforward, there is much more to it than meets the eye. Just like the vehicle itself, towbars also have ratings that have to be accounted for before any towing takes place. 

Now, sometimes a variety of vehicle models can use a tow bar of the same rating, but many models require towbars of specific ratings in order to ensure safe operation. Either way, if you don’t know the specifics of your towbar and vehicle rating, it’s best to just call a team of professionals and let them deal with towing a car safely. 

Hand holding yellow car towing strap with car, car towing

  • Local Law and Regulations

Is it illegal to tow a car with another car? Well, the answer to this question depends on where you live and, more importantly – where you are when your car breaks down. As far as the United States laws go, every state has different rules and restrictions tied to towing laws. For instance, most states require a towing vehicle to have and use safety chains and taillights. A number of states might also require you to use some sort of signaling, for example – a yellow rotating light. 

As you can tell, just outright hooking up another vehicle to your own and towing it is not a smart and viable option. You risk paying a hefty fine as well as probably some temporary license sanctions. 

  • Separate Braking Systems and their Importance 

By using elementary laws of physics, we can easily conclude that towing vehicles have extra momentum when hauling other vehicles. This puts significant pressure on the braking system, which is why most towing vehicles must have separate braking systems. So, rather than thinking to yourself “How do you tow a car” – you should be thinking about the mandatory equipment needed for the job. In most cases, your personal vehicle will not fulfill all the requirements. 

If you’re still wondering, “Can I tow my own car” the answer is – you technically can, but you probably shouldn’t. If you need towing services, we at Phoenix Towing Service will be more than happy to lend you a hand and ensure safe transport. 

If you’d like to read more about vehicles, towing, and some useful tips that will help you on the road, don’t hesitate to read our other articles! In case we’ve missed something, let us know by leaving a comment.