Towing a damaged car: the procedures to follow

Is it possible to tow a damaged car? If unfortunately we find ourselves with the car broken down and we do not intend to call the tow truck, we can think of towing it (obviously with the help of a friend driving another car) using makeshift means such as a rope, a chain, double rope or bungee cords.

However, in addition to not being simple to implement, this operation is not always lawful either. Indeed, there are more times in which it is prohibited by the Highway Code than those in which it is allowed. This is why, perhaps, it is worth remembering what the law on towing damaged vehicles provides.

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Towing a damaged car: the procedures to follow

Towing a damaged vehicle is governed by art. 165 of the Highway Code, which establishes the following: «Outside the cases provided for by art. 63, the towing, due to an impending emergency situation, of a vehicle by another must take place through a solid connection between the vehicles themselves, to be carried out by hooking up with rope, chain, cable, rigid bar or another similar tool, provided that they are suitably marked in such a way as to be sighted and clearly perceptible by other road users.

During towing operations, the towed vehicle must keep the flashing light device activated as per art. 151, letter f), or, in the absence of such notification, keep the panel as per art. 164, paragraph 6, or the mobile signal referred to in art. 162. The towing vehicle, if equipped with one, must keep activated the special yellow light device prescribed by the regulations for roadside assistance vehicles.

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However, the Code refers to art. 63, according to which: « No vehicle can tow or be towed by more than one vehicle, unless this is necessary for the performance of exceptional transport pursuant to art. 10 and without prejudice to the provisions of art. 105. A motor vehicle can tow a vehicle that is not a trailer if it is no longer able to circulate due to failure or lack of essential parts, or in the cases provided for by art. 159.

The solidity of the hitch, the towing methods, the conduct and the driving precautions must meet the safety requirements of traffic. Except as indicated in paragraph 2, the Ministry of Transport may authorize, for special needs, the towing with motor vehicles of vehicles not considered trailers. The regulation establishes the criteria for determining the maximum towable mass, as well as the methods and procedures for coupling. Anyone who violates the provisions of this article is subject to the administrative sanction of the payment of a sum from 85 to 338 euros “.

In summary, car towing is generally not allowed, but if the vehicle breaks down, yes. However, the connection must be solid and not “improvised” (this is not a simple operation), as well as adequately signaled to other road users. Finally, we remind you that the towing of broken vehicles is allowed on all roads, with the exception of motorways and extra-urban roads.