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How Far Can You Tow a Car?

how far can you tow a car

Towing a car can be a convenient solution in various situations, whether it’s transporting a vehicle to a repair shop or hauling it for a long-distance tow.

However, understanding the limits and considerations of long distance towing is crucial to prevent damage and ensure safety on the road.

The distance can have a significant impact on the overall cost and logistics of towing an automobile. Transporting a car over a considerable distance, usually across state borders, is known as long distance towing, or car towing from state to state.

Long Haul Heroes – Efficient Towing Services

Towing capacity varies significantly among vehicles. It depends on factors like the vehicle’s make, model, engine type, transmission, and whether it’s a front-wheel, rear-wheel, or all-wheel drive.

Referring to the owner’s manual or consulting the manufacturer’s specifications is essential to know the safe towing capacity.

When in doubt or dealing with long-distance tows, seeking professional assistance from towing services or mechanics is advisable. They can guide the safest towing methods and ensure that both vehicles remain undamaged during the process. 

Depending on the situation and long-distance towing, different distances can be regarded as “long.” In general, a distance is deemed long if it exceeds 50 miles or crosses state boundaries.

However, any journey more than 25 miles may be regarded as lengthy by many cross-country towing businesses. It’s usually best to find out what constitutes a long distance by calling automobile towing firms.

Towing Methodology That Meet Safety

Different towing methods affect how far a vehicle can be towed. 

  • Flatbed towing, where the entire vehicle is lifted onto a flatbed trailer, tends to be the safest for long distances as it avoids wear and tear on the towed vehicle. 
  • On the other hand, using a tow dolly or tow bar, which involves towing with two wheels on the ground, has its limitations due to potential transmission damage.

Legal Regulations and Considerations

Each state or region often has specific laws and regulations governing towing capacities and methods. It’s crucial to research and adhere to these guidelines to avoid legal issues.

Additionally, considering road conditions, weather, and the vehicle’s condition before embarking on a long-distance tow is vital for safety.

Factors Affecting Towing Distance

Several factors impact how far a car can be towed safely:

  • Engine type
  • Transmission
  • Weight distribution
  • The condition of the vehicle being towed 

These all compositely play vital roles in long-distance towing. For instance, automatic transmissions might sustain damage if towed for extended distances without proper lubrication.

Long Distance Towing with Safety

Long-distance towing can be challenging, but with the correct safety measures, it can be completed safely. The kind of vehicle and the method of towing determine how far you can tow: 

Automated Transmission

The maximum distance to be towed should be 15 miles (25 km). It is not recommended to exceed 25 mph (40 km/h) when towing.

Long-Distance Towing

This entails driving a car more than 100 miles. Usually, specialized equipment is needed, such as a trailer or a flatbed vehicle.

Transport without Tow Bar

Although a rope or chain can be utilized, there shouldn’t be more than 4.5 meters between the cars. A vehicle’s transmission can be harmed by towing, even over short distances. Damage can be avoided by routine maintenance and avoiding frequent mistakes.

Also Read: What is the Difference Between Flatbed Towing & Regular Towing?


Towing a car over long distances involves understanding the vehicle’s capabilities, complying with legal regulations, and considering various factors affecting the towing process.

By being mindful of these aspects and seeking professional advice when needed, you can safely and efficiently tow a vehicle for the required distance, ensuring both the towed and towing vehicles remain in optimal condition.

Get in touch with A1 Towing and Collision right now to find out more about our long distance towing services and how we can help you move your automobile quickly and safely.