How to Prepare Your Car to be Towed

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How to Prepare Your Car to be Towed (Photo: @Mehaniq via Twenty20)
Having your car towed can feel like a serious endeavor. While it may not be something you’re looking forward to, having your car towed isn’t actually a big deal. The process of having your car towed doesn’t need to be daunting at all. That said, there are a few things that you need to do before having your vehicle towed. These things change depending on whether you’re towing the car yourself, or having a towing service move your vehicle for you, but they’re very important either way.

How to prepare your car to be towed by a towing service

If you’re having your car towed, chances are you’re having it done by a towing service. It’s far more common to have your vehicle towed by another company, because it’s simply much easier.
Step 1: Remove your personal items. Before arranging a towing service, remove all of the valuable items from your vehicle. Towing services usually don’t have protection for any personal items in your vehicle, so you want to limit how much value is stored in your car. The last thing you want when having your car towed is to lose thousands of dollars’ worth of personal items with no protection.
Step 2: Find a reputable service. While it’s tempting to simply call up the cheapest service, there may be a reason why they’re so cheap.
Do some research online, or contact your car insurance provider and ask them for a recommendation. Your vehicle is a valuable commodity, so you don’t want to take any chances.
Step 3: Take photos. While you wait for the towing service to arrive, take pictures of your vehicle. Most towing companies are great about keeping your car in good shape.
However, occasionally a company may damage your vehicle when towing it, and you want proof that the damage wasn’t there before the towing.

How to prepare to tow your car yourself

If you’re towing your vehicle a long distance, such as when you move, you may end up towing it yourself.
Step 1: Get the right equipment. The most important thing to do when towing your own vehicle is to invest in quality equipment. There are lots of different options for towing a vehicle, from trailers, to tow dollies, to tow bars.
Find equipment that won’t damage your vehicle, and will keep your car safe. The best way to do this is to do some research online, or pick the brain of a customer service representative at a store that sells towing equipment.
Step 2: Wire the brake lights. Rig a lighting system onto your vehicle, so that when you brake, brake lights are shown on the car being towed. You can do this by wiring the brake lights on the towed vehicle, or by purchasing towing lights.
Step 3: Remove valuables. Just as when someone else is towing your vehicle, you’ll want to remove the valuable from your car. It’s always easier to steal from a car that’s being towed, so this is a critical part of having your car towed.
Step 4: Don’t engage the parking brake. Finally, make sure to leave the parking brake disengaged, so that the wheels can spin when your vehicle is being towed. If the parking brake is engaged, your car will drag, which can cause serious damage.
Whether you’re having a professional towing system tow your car, or doing it yourself, preparing your car to be towed is no big deal at all. Follow these basic tricks and tips, and you’ll be more than set to have your car towed.