Can I tow a car without insurance?

Before you tow a car without insurance, check your state laws to learn what levels of towed car insurance is required, if any. Liability coverage will extend to a towed vehicle with most standard auto insurance policies, but you may be required to carry more coverage in your state. Read our guide to learn more about towing a car without insurance and get free towed car auto insurance quotes with our comparison tool below.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Brad Larsen

UPDATED: Apr 15, 2022

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Things to know...

  • Before towing a car, it is important to learn about your state’s laws and to ensure that you have the proper insurance for this activity
  • The method used to tow your vehicle may affect your insurance needs
  • Adjusting your coverage now can ensure legal compliance and prevent unnecessary expenses if you are involved in an accident

There are many reasons why you may need to tow a vehicle, but you understandably want to ensure that you meet all insurance requirements for this activity.

  • You may need to tow an old and inoperable vehicle off of your property to sell for scrap metal.
  • You may need to haul your vehicle to a repair service center for necessary work.

These are only a few of the common reasons why you may need to tow a vehicle, and there are instances when the vehicle should be insured.

Compare car insurance quotes right here to find the company that has the coverage you need at the best price.

What the Law Says


Before you start shopping around and comparing insurance rates for a vehicle that you cannot drive or that you do not plan to drive, you need to determine if this is a necessary expense.

You may understand that all motorists are required by law to obtain the necessary insurance, and these laws vary by state. However, is this coverage necessary if you are towing a vehicle?

The laws regarding towed vehicles also vary by state. In some states, all towed vehicles must be properly insured.

In other states, any vehicle that has at least two wheels on a public road need to be insured in the same manner as other vehicles.

Even if insurance is not needed for your specific scenario, it is important to understand what can go wrong when towing the vehicle. There are many issues that could result in financial loss, and this includes:

  • Damage to the vehicle from flying rocks and other debris
  • A car accident involving an uninsured motorist
  • Broken towing cables that result in damage to the car

Determining Who Needs to Buy the Coverage

Understandably, you want to ensure that the towed vehicle is covered by an auto insurance policy. However, you may be wondering if the coverage on the vehicle that is pulling the other car will cover both vehicles.

This coverage depends on the wording of the insurance policy. Many car insurance policies do provide coverage for towed vehicles, but there are usually weight limits and other details that may affect the benefits available.

Nobody wants to be in a position where they are dealing with vehicle repairs or liability expenses and they do not have insurance available to pay for these expenses.

Likewise, you do not want to face potential legal trouble for towing a vehicle without the proper insurance in place. Learning more about your current insurance coverage as well as your state’s rules regarding coverage can help you to avoid unnecessary expenses and penalties.

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How to Save Money When Updating Your Coverage

If you have decided that you need to update your existing coverage or shop for new rates on a currently uninsured vehicle, you may be wondering what you can do to save money on your coverage.

There are a few money-saving tips that you can follow to avoid paying more than necessary when shopping around, and these include:

  • Choose lower coverage limits
  • Ask for a higher deductible
  • Make use of insurance discounts
  • Inquire about a short-term or temporary policy

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Exploring Different Ways to Tow a Vehicle


If you are hiring a third party towing service to haul your vehicle to a different location, keep in mind that how you tow the vehicle can impact your insurance needs.

For example, if you live in a state that requires insurance on any vehicle that has two wheels moving on a public road, you may be able to skirt the insurance required by loading your vehicle on the back of a flatbed truck.

When Insurance May Pay for Towing Services

There may also be instances when your existing car insurance policy may pay for towing fees. For example, after a car accident or a breakdown, you may use optional towing service on your existing policy to pay for this expense.

If you are shopping for new insurance rates for your vehicle, inquire about the cost to add this option to your policy.

Understanding Safety Tips When Towing a Vehicle


Towing a vehicle can be dangerous and stressful, and there are some excellent steps that you can take to reduce the risk of an accident while towing another car or a trailer.

  • Research the towing capabilities of the car that will be doing the towing, and know the weight of the vehicle being towed. Weight can play a critical role in safety.
  • If you are towing a car on a trailer behind your car, ensure that the weight is properly distributed across the trailer. The majority of the weight should be placed at the front of the trailer or closer to your own vehicle when possible.
  • Adjust your mirrors so that you can clearly see the towed vehicle and space behind and around it.
  • Ensure that brake lights are visible behind the towed vehicle.
  • Before you set off down the road, verify that all tires on both vehicles are properly inflated and in good overall condition.

Always Carry Proof of Auto Insurance With You

Because accidents and mishaps can happen and because you need to comply with local laws, you need to carry proof of insurance with you at all times. The time to update your insurance coverage as needed is before you tow a vehicle.

Your insurance company should be able to help you learn more about the requirements that you need to comply with, and it may send you updated insurance cards to carry with you.

Towing another vehicle or a trailer typically requires forethought and planning. Even if the towed vehicle will not be driven on the road, it may still need to be insured in different ways.

Now is the right time to learn more about the insurance requirements for towed vehicles in your state and to make any updates to your coverage that may be needed or required.

This research will ensure legal compliance and prevent unnecessary financial loss if a damaging event occurs.

Compare car insurance quotes and find the best rate for the coverage you need. Enter your zip code below to get started.

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