Is it possible to tow a car without the keys?


Towing a car while you don’t have the keys is a complicated and possibly dangerous operation, which is why most people would think that you can’t correctly tow a car unless you can get inside and set it to neutral and disengage the handbrake as needed.

Tow trucks and vehicle rescue services, on the other hand, can and do tow vehicles without keys on a regular basis, and they have the required training, tools, and procedures to do so without causing harm to the car. You may be able to tow a vehicle even if you don’t have the keys if you have access to the proper set of dollies. Towing a car without keys is often accomplished by raising the vehicle’s driving wheels off the road.

Depending on the scenario and the towing equipment at your disposal, you may be able to tow an automobile even if you do not have the keys to it.

However, whether you may legally tow a car while in park is an entirely separate topic that we will discuss later in this article. For the time being, let’s assume you have the complete legal authority to tow an automobile. Suppose you are towing your own vehicle or the vehicle of someone who has requested your aid.

The majority of people believe that you can’t tow a car unless you have the keys. This is a job for a professional most of the time, although it is feasible to do it yourself. The secret is to tow the car while the driving wheels are elevated above the ground. To achieve this, you’ll need to understand automobile mechanics and how they’re created. Most importantly, you must exercise caution.


Step 1

Determine if the vehicle has front or rear-wheel drive. If you’re unsure, see your owner’s handbook.


Step 2

Set up a self-loading dolly. Place the dollies behind the back wheels if the vehicle is rear-wheel drive or beneath the front wheels if the car is front-wheel drive.


Step 3

Fasten a tow strap. Attached to the bumper or axle is not permitted. A tow strap hook can be attached to a hole in the frame near each tire.


Step 4

Take it gently. To minimize damage to both cars, the driver of the vehicle pulling the disabled vehicle should start and stop with caution.

If you cannot utilize a self-loading dolly, you can deactivate the drive wheels by removing the connection and shifting the vehicle into neutral. The linkage is placed beneath the hood of front-wheel-drive cars. It is placed near the back wheels, under the chassis, on rear-wheel-drive cars.


Is there anything I need to tow a car that doesn’t have keys?

The equipment and tools required to tow an automobile without keys vary depending on the scenario. A car in park with the handbrake engaged may often be hauled if you have a set of self-loading tow dollies or a flatbed trailer.

You’ll also need some towing equipment, which may range from as simple as a pair of tow hooks and tow straps to a complete tow package that includes a trailer hitch, flatbed trailer, and improved tow vehicle.


Self-Loading Dollies: 

A self-loading dolly is a heavy-duty frame that holds one wheel in place and raises it off the ground. The dolly may be equipped with four or more tiny wheels. High-speed self-loading dollies often have larger wheels with tires and can handle a wider variety of road conditions than self-loading dollies with small wheels.

The latter is typically more suited for moving automobiles within work bays or garage workshops, so if you intend to pull vehicles on the road, you should select self-loading dollies with bigger wheels and robust brackets.

Self-loading dollies are also available in a variety of wheel diameters. Larger trucks with larger tires may necessitate a separate set of dollies. To tow a car without keys, you’ll also need at least two self-loading dollies.

If you can lift the automobile’s drive wheels up and off the road using the dollies, two self-loading dollies may be enough to pull away a car without keys. In this scenario, all you’ll need is a couple of dollies, a set of tow hooks, and a tow strap or tow rope to haul two wheels up.

However, there may be instances when you need to pull the automobile with all four wheels up. Towing a car with all four wheels off the ground is a typical combination of two self-loading dollies and a tow dolly. Two of the car’s wheels are put onto the tow dolly, while the remaining two wheels are hauled off the road by two self-loading dollies. A trailer hitch is then used to attach the tow dolly to the towing vehicle.


Using A Flatbed Trailer:

If you have a flatbed trailer, you may be able to pull a car without keys. Flatbed trailers are also better for towing bigger vehicles that may exceed the weight capacity of self-loading dollies and tow dollies. If you opt to pull a car with a flatbed trailer, make sure it is correctly fastened before driving around.

A set of tie-down attachments is required to secure an automobile to a flatbed trailer. Reinforced nylon straps are a common alternative for securing vehicles to flatbed trailers. Some of them may have steel hooks at the end that can be hooked into the car’s frame, in which case they are known as V-straps.

They can also be used in conjunction with basket straps, which are used to fasten the towed vehicle’s wheels to the trailer bed eyelets. A steel ratcheting mechanism is frequently utilized to progressively tighten the tie-down nylon straps to achieve a tight, secure fit.