Can You Tow An Automatic Car UK? Find Out!

Can you tow an automatic car UK

Yes, it is very possible to tow an automatic car UK, albeit with strict adherence to certain basic conditions for doing it properly and safely too. Firstly, you should make sure to raise its drive wheels off the ground or get its drive shaft disconnected from the end of the gearbox.

Specifically, the gearbox must not operate altogether whenever the vehicle is being flat towed. However, provided you have the correct equipment, you can safely tow any vehicle anywhere with the use of a tow truck.

Again, if you care to check the enclosed user manual, it is likely for it to recommend that you should not endeavor to tow any vehicle with an automatic transmission system. This is basically because automatic transmissions require the engine to circulate lubricating oil through the transmission system.

Also, with automatic 4-wheel drive cars, it is possible to flat-tow them as long as you use either a tow trailer or a tow dolly. Specifically, if all the wheels are not operating, tow trailers can be very helpful in this case. But with a tow dolly, you will essentially lift either the two front or rear wheels off the ground.

Most conventional automatic vehicles tend to have both speed and distance restrictions which would preclude flat towing of these types of vehicles.

On the contrary, most modern automated manual transmission cars can generally be flat towed safely, although, you may have to check the user manual to be sure about this possibility, just in case.

How do I tow an automatic car UK?

To tow an automatic car UK,  you may have to first, shift it into neutral. Afterward, you can use a tow dolly for Front Wheel Drive( FWD) and Rear-Wheel Drive( RWD) models. Next, you should also use a tow bar and a hitch for Rear Wheel Drive vehicles.

Should you fail to do this, severe transmission damage may certainly occur. It is also possible to damage the transmission system even when the car is flat towed in Neutral.

Essentially, therefore, you should flat-tow the vehicle without necessarily getting the internal workings of the transmission involved. The following steps will help in flat towing an automatic car UK.

Step 1

You should start by identifying the kind of car you are dealing with, or that you wish to tow. In essence, make sure that the car is a rear-wheel drive, front-wheel, or even all-wheel drive with automatic transmission.

This is primarily because each type of vehicle requires a different approach before towing safely. The user manual will be of tremendous help here.

Step 2

You should always tow a rear-wheel-drive vehicle using a tow bar and a hitch. You can also drop the driveshaft by simply removing its universal joint at the differential or even the rear end.

To do this properly, just remove the two bolts that keep two of the four arms of the universal joint in position. Thereafter, lower this end of the drive shaft carefully to the ground and get both the bolts and yoke back in place, in order not to misplace them.

Next, tug the drive shaft lightly, which should enable the front portion with the front universal joint to pull away from the transmission. Do not allow it to slam to the ground, for obvious reasons. Always store the drive shaft in the vehicle for any subsequent uses.

Step 3

Now, you should place the tow bar in front of the vehicle after making sure that all the safety devices are attached and functioning properly.

Then, make sure to raise the tongue of the tow bar before lowering it onto the ball on the hitch, which is attached to the tow vehicle. Thereafter, tighten the tow bar securely to the ball before attaching any safety chains from the tow bar to the tow vehicle.

Step 4

For front-wheel drive and Rear-wheel drive cars, you can use a tow dolly. You should make sure that you attach the car dolly to the tow vehicle much like is done with a tow bar. This will enable it to sit securely on the hitch, which will get it tightened to the ball.

Next, make sure to fasten every safety device properly. In addition, you should also connect the light plug to a socket on the tow vehicle to activate the brake lights and the turn signals too.

Should there be no socket for this procedure,  purchase a kit from a parts store nearby, which will provide power to the trailer lights?

Step 5

Now, you should drive the car onto the surface of the tow dolly so that only its front wheels will rest on the dolly, while the rear tires should be free to roll on the car. With the aid of strong chains, secure the car to the dolly

However, you must make sure to remove the driveshaft from all-wheel drive cars. It should be done just like in the case of rear-wheel-drive vehicles too. The car is now basically ready to be towed.

Step 6

In this step, you should use a lighting kit from a parts store to wire tail and brake lights onto the vehicle which is being towed.

All lights must be fully functional before you embark on towing. Alternatively, you can also use a tow trailer instead of a dolly for towing any kind of vehicle without the risk of damaging its transmission system.

Finally, after towing for about half a mile, you should stop and check all the hookups, just in case. If you are towing for long distances, ensure that you check them up after every stop.

Is it safe to tow an automatic car UK?

Yes, it is safe to tow an automatic car UK, as long as you adhere strictly to the recommendations of going about the procedure properly.

Consequently, you can use a tow dolly for front-wheel drive or even rear-wheel-drive cars.

Should you be towing an all-wheel-drive model, the best way of doing it is by the use of the flatbed of a tow trailer, which will essentially lift all the wheels off the ground and prevent any damage to its transmission system throughout the tow period.

What do I use to tow an automatic car UK?

What you use to tow an automatic car UK will depend on the type of car. For instance, if you are towing a front-wheel drive or a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, you may require the services of a tow dolly.

On the other hand, if you are towing an all-wheel-drive model, you may need the services of the flatbed of a tow truck or trailer, which will lift all its wheels off the ground to protect the transmission system.

You are also likely to require tow hitches and bars that will fasten and maintain both vehicles properly during the rigors of towing especially on corrugated and uneven roads.

Therefore, to tow an automatic car UK, you may need any of the following or their combination; a tow dolly, tow trailer or a tow hitch, and a tow bar depending on the type of vehicle you are towing.

Which automatic UK cars are towable?

Although not all automatic cars in the UK are flat towable, a good number of them are. Some of these towable automatic cars in the UK are Jeep Wrangler JL, Ford F-150, Jeep Wrangler JK, Chevrolet Equinox, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Chevrolet Colorado, as well as  Honda CR-V, among many others too numerous to mention,  for reasons of space and time.

When can I tow an automatic car UK?

You should flat tow an automatic car UK when you wish to avoid damage to its transmission system. To do this properly, you should consider whether it is safe to leave the drive wheels on the ground or not.

Furthermore, you should not tow any vehicle at speeds exceeding 40 km/hour and for not more than a distance of about 25 kilometers too. Commonly, automatic cars, just like any other cars, are flat towed whenever they break down on the road to get them to the nearest workshop or any safe place.


(1). Is it okay to tow an automatic car in neutral?

It is not okay to tow an automatic vehicle while it is neutral. Doing so will most likely cause severe damage to its transmission system. Therefore, it is best if you utilize the flatbed of a tow truck or even a tow dolly, depending on the type of vehicle you wish to tow.

(2). How far can you tow with an automatic transmission?

Generally, you are not recommended to tow an automatic car at speeds exceeding about 40 km/ hour and across any distance more than 25 kilometers.

Conclusion – Can You Tow An Automatic Car UK?

It is possible to tow an automatic car UK very safely, but you must make sure to adhere strictly to all the conditions of doing it properly, according to the user manual. This means that, first, you must ascertain the kind of vehicle you want to tow, whether it is an FWD, RWD, or even an AWD.

This is because each model of vehicle has its proper and safe means of towing it, and the user manual is a good reference material in this case before you undertake to do any towing.

Can You Tow An Automatic Car UK? Find Out!
Can You Tow An Automatic Car UK? Find Out!

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      Shopping cart