Car Towing Rules: 4 Things You Need to Know About

Car towing is an essential service that comes in handy during emergencies and unforeseen circumstances, such as mechanical breakdowns, accidents, or parking violations. While it may appear straightforward, there are several rules and regulations that govern car towing to ensure safety and prevent damage to vehicles. That said, as a car owner or driver, it’s crucial to understand these rules and regulations to avoid legal troubles and unnecessary expenses.

1. Know the Towing Laws in Your State or Locality

Towing laws vary from state to state and sometimes even between localities within a state. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the specific regulations in your area. Some common rules across different states include the following:

  • Towing companies must be licensed and follow specific guidelines for towing rates and fees.
  • Tow trucks must be equipped with proper lighting and safety equipment, such as working tail lights, brake lights, and safety chains.
  • Vehicles must not be towed in a manner that causes damage to the car or creates a hazard on the road.

To find information on towing laws in your state, you can visit your state’s Department of Transportation website or consult with a local attorney.

2. Understand the Different Types of Towing

There are various methods of towing, with each having its own set of rules and regulations. The most common types of towing include:

  • Flatbed towing: This method involves placing the entire vehicle on a flatbed trailer. It is considered the safest way to tow a car, especially for long distances or luxury vehicles.
  • Two-wheel dolly: This method involves securing the front wheels of the vehicle on a dolly while the rear wheels remain on the ground. It is suitable for short distances but may not be appropriate for all vehicles, such as those with rear-wheel drive or low ground clearance.
  • Four-wheel dolly: This method involves placing all four wheels of the vehicle on a dolly. It is suitable for vehicles with all-wheel drive or those that cannot be towed using a two-wheel dolly.

Ensure that the towing company you are working with is using the appropriate towing method for your vehicle and adhering to the rules governing that specific method.

3. Know Your Rights When It Comes to Towing

Understanding your rights as a car owner or driver is crucial to avoid being taken advantage of by unscrupulous towing companies. Some key rights include:

  • The right to choose a towing company: In most cases, you have the right to select the towing company that will tow your vehicle unless it is being towed due to a parking violation or by law enforcement.
  • The right to a receipt: A towing company must provide you with a receipt stating the charges for the towing service and any storage fees.
  • The right to dispute charges: If you believe the towing company has overcharged you or charged you for unnecessary services, you have the right to dispute the charges.

4. Be Prepared for Towing Emergencies

Being prepared for a towing emergency can save you time, money, and stress. Some steps to take include:

  • Research and save the contact information of reputed towing companies in your area.
  • Keep a copy of your vehicle’s insurance and registration documents in your car to provide to the towing company if needed.
  • Familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s owner manual for information on appropriate towing methods and any specific precautions you should take.


Understanding the rules and regulations surrounding car towing is an essential aspect of being a responsible car owner or driver. By familiarizing yourself with the towing laws in your state, knowing the different types of towing methods, understanding your rights, and being prepared for towing emergencies, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free towing experience while avoiding legal troubles and unnecessary expenses. That said, if you’re in need of towing services, always be sure to work with the professionals!

Tow Atlanta, which has been consistently recognized for its top performance ratings, provides the highest quality services to guarantee customer satisfaction and happiness. If you are in need of a 24-hour towing service in Atlanta, contact us today!

Tow Atlanta was voted Atlanta’s Best Towing Service for 2017, 2018, and again for 2019. We’re ranked by the American Insurance Association in the top 1% of all towing companies operating in the United States,

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GA - 30326
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