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Is it illegal to tow a car with a rope?

Oct 6

If your vehicle is not moving, it's best to tow it to a safe place or to have it repaired by a mechanic. You have two options depending on your situation: hire a professional to do the job or do it yourself. It is not recommended to tow a car by yourself, but it may be the only option for you in certain situations. You can also look out for any affordable towing company in certain situations.


There are several ways to get it done right. Although a rope or chain might be a sensible option in an emergency, it should not be your first choice. To tow your car, you should not use a chain or rope.

Some states make it illegal to tow with a rope or a chain


A rope or chain towing your car can pose a danger to you and others. This is why some states have laws that prohibit you from towing on freeways. According to AAA, you can still tow your car with a rope or a chain in certain states. This includes Arizona, Delaware Florida, Louisiana Mississippi, and New Mexico.


Check the laws to find out if your state has any requirements regarding the length and strength or whether a sign or cloth needs to be attached. Some states require an additional safety cable or safety chain to be used as a backup. Your state may have requirements about maximum towing limits or taillights. These are likely not regulations that most people know about when they decide to tow their car after a breakdown.


Ropes can be broken

The ropes are generally not strong enough to pull a vehicle. The rope may break if you attempt to tow a car that weighs thousands of pounds. This will result in you being disconnected from your car and leaving it behind while you drive off.


Chains can also break

Although chains are stronger than ropes they can also break. A chain is not flexible enough to handle the many tensions and pulling directions required for towing, so using them is still unsafe.


Vehicles can be damaged by ropes and chains


If you own a newer vehicle, there isn’t an ideal spot for a rope or chain that can be used to tow your car. The vehicle's front is not built to withstand the force of being towed. Attaching the wrong spot to your vehicle can result in damage.

It is unsafe to tow with a rope or a chain.

Towing a car using a rope or chain is dangerous. The car could become a danger if the rope or chain is broken.


Towing with a rope or a chain requires that you drive carefully. If the driver brakes too quickly, the car being towable, which does not have active brakes will most likely be towed.