Towing the car privately – you have to pay attention

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If the car breaks down, it is an unfavorable situation for any driver. In addition, however, you have to decide whether or not you can tow the car yourself.

Both laws apply not only to the person who is towed, but also to the person who tows the vehicle.

Consequences for practice

A car may only be towed privately if it is an emergency.
Examples of emergencies include:

  • The car is inoperative and broken down.
  • There was an engine failure.

Requirements that make private towing possible:

  • The car is brought to the scrap yard for recycling.
  • The next route to the workshop or to a parking space is taken.
  • It is a four-wheeled motor vehicle and not a two-wheeled vehicle.
  • The car is still technically capable of being towed. Hazard warning lights, brakes and steering must still function properly.
  • When towing, the route does not lead from the highway to the highway, but, if at all, from the highway to the highway.

10 steps you need to follow when towing

  1. Position the towing vehicle as close as possible to the vehicle to be towed.
  2. First attach the towing device (rope or rod) to the breakdown vehicle, then to the towing vehicle.
  3. Agree on exactly which route you will take beforehand. This will prevent rear-end collisions or unforeseen reactions by the driver in the breakdown vehicle.
  4. Before driving off, release the handbrake on the broken down vehicle and switch to neutral. For automatic vehicles, go to the “N” position. If available, start breakdown mode.
  5. Turn the ignition key until the operating lamps, such as the oil lamp , come on. In this way, the power steering remains functional and the steering wheel lock cannot engage.
  6. Then switch on the hazard warning lights on both the breakdown vehicle and the towing vehicle. It is also advisable to place a warning – triangle in the rear window of the breakdown vehicle. This is how you warn drivers behind you.
  7. Never drive faster than 50 km / h. 20 km / h is ideal. The slower you drive, the lower the risk of a rear-end collision with the breakdown vehicle.
  8. The drivers of the towing vehicle show in good time in which direction they are going by hand signals. If there is no passenger, point your finger to the right before turning right.
  9. Brake in the towing vehicle carefully.
  10. Avoid additional distraction from radio or music and watch the movement of the breakdown vehicle in the rearview mirror.

    When does the breakdown service have to come?

    If a car stops with an empty tank, it is inevitable that a breakdown service will be called. In this case, members of automobile clubs have an advantage. You can have your vehicle towed to the nearest workshop by the breakdown service of the respective club free of charge.

    It is also possible that the club’s breakdown service will deliver you fuel in a canister with which you can drive your vehicle again. Please note that this service usually incurs additional costs, regardless of whether you are a club member or not.

    If you are dependent on a breakdown service without an automobile club , you can usually dig a little deeper into your pocket. Several hundred euros can quickly become due for towing off the motorway.