How to Move a Non Running Car: Essential Tips for Swift Transportation

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To move a non-running car, you can either tow it using a flatbed or dolly, or hire a professional towing service for assistance. Introducing a concisely written, SEO friendly and easy-to-understand answer: Moving a non-running car requires either utilizing a flatbed or dolly to tow it, or seeking professional assistance from a towing service.

Whether you choose to tow it yourself or hire experts, it’s essential to ensure the safe transportation of your non-running vehicle.

Assessing The Situation

In order to successfully move a non-running car, it is crucial to start by assessing the situation. By evaluating the condition of the car and understanding the reasons why it is not running, you can plan your transportation strategy effectively. Additionally, considering any potential hazards and the logistics of the move will ensure a smooth and safe process. Here are the key factors to consider when assessing the situation:

Determine the reason why the car is not running

Determining the reason behind the car’s non-running status is essential before attempting to move it. This will help you understand whether it can be fixed on-site or if it requires professional intervention. Some common reasons for non-running cars include:

  • Dead battery
  • Failed starter motor
  • Fuel delivery issues
  • Electrical problems
  • Engine failure

Identifying the exact reason enables you to take appropriate action and decide the best course of action for moving the car.

Evaluate the condition of the car and any potential hazards

Evaluating the condition of the non-running car is crucial to determine the safety risks involved in the transportation process. Carefully inspect the car’s exterior for any visible damage, such as dents or broken glass, which could pose a hazard during the move.

Consider any potential leaks or spills that might present a risk along the way. Check for oil leaks, transmission fluid leaks, or coolant leaks. These substances can be harmful to the environment, and it is important to address any leaks before attempting to move the car.

Remove any personal belongings from the car and ensure that the interior is clear of loose items. Secure any loose parts or accessories that are attached to the car to prevent them from shifting during transportation.

Consider the distance and logistics of the transportation

Considering the distance and logistics of transporting a non-running car is crucial to plan the most suitable method of transportation. Take into account the following factors:

  • The distance between the current location and the destination
  • The availability of suitable transportation options
  • The accessibility of the pickup and drop-off locations
  • Any necessary permits or paperwork for transporting a non-running car
  • The availability of assistance or professional help if needed

By carefully assessing these factors, you can make informed decisions about how to move a non-running car, ensuring it arrives safely at its destination.

Finding The Right Towing Method

Research different towing methods suitable for non-running cars

When you find yourself in a situation where you need to move a non-running car, it’s important to research the various towing methods available. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and understanding them will help you choose the most appropriate one for your specific needs. Here, we will explore three common towing methods: flatbed towing, dolly towing, and tow bar towing.

Compare the pros and cons of flatbed towing, dolly towing, and tow bar towing

Flatbed Towing: A popular choice for moving non-running cars, flatbed towing involves loading the entire vehicle onto a specialized truck that has a flatbed. This method offers several advantages. First, it ensures that all four wheels of the car are off the ground, preventing any additional wear and tear on the tires and suspension. Second, it provides a safe and secure transport as the car is fully enclosed and protected from external elements. However, flatbed towing may be more expensive compared to other methods, and it requires a skilled operator to load and unload the car onto the truck. Dolly Towing: Dolly towing involves attaching a specialized two-wheel trailer, known as a dolly, to the towing vehicle. The non-running car is then loaded onto the dolly, with its front wheels on the platform and the rear wheels on the ground. Dolly towing offers a cost-effective solution as it typically requires lesser equipment and is easier to maneuver compared to flatbed towing. However, it’s important to note that dolly towing is suitable only for front-wheel-drive vehicles. Rear-wheel-drive cars have to be towed in reverse, posing some challenges. Additionally, dolly towing may put additional strain on the front tires and suspension of the non-running car. Tow Bar Towing: Tow bar towing involves attaching a tow bar to the rear of the towing vehicle, which connects to the non-running car’s frame or bumper. The front wheels of the car remain on the ground while the rear wheels are lifted. This method is simple, cost-effective, and widely used for short-distance towing. However, it should only be used if the non-running car is in neutral and has a steering wheel that can unlock. Additionally, tow bar towing may not be suitable for vehicles with low ground clearance or all-wheel-drive systems due to the risk of damage.

Choose the most appropriate method based on the car’s condition and budget

When deciding on the most appropriate towing method, it’s crucial to consider factors such as the condition of the non-running car and your budget. A thorough evaluation of the car’s specific requirements will help you make an informed choice. If the car is valuable or has expensive parts that can be easily damaged, flatbed towing may be the safest option. On the other hand, if you’re on a tight budget and the car’s tires and suspension are still in good condition, dolly towing or tow bar towing might be more suitable alternatives. By carefully researching and comparing the pros and cons of different towing methods, you can ensure the safe and efficient transportation of your non-running car. Remember to assess the car’s condition, budget, and specific requirements before making a decision.

Preparing The Car For Transportation

Moving a non-running car may seem like a daunting task, but with proper preparation, it can be done smoothly and efficiently. One crucial aspect of preparing your car for transportation is ensuring its safety and protecting both the vehicle and the transporters involved. In this section, we will discuss the necessary steps you should take to prepare your non-running car for transportation.

Remove any personal belongings from the car

Before transporting your non-running car, it is important to remove any personal belongings from the vehicle. This includes items such as CDs, sunglasses, documents, and any other valuables you may have stored in the car. By doing so, you not only minimize the risk of items getting lost or damaged during the transportation process, but you also avoid any liability issues that may arise. Ensure to thoroughly check all compartments and compartments, leaving no personal belongings behind.

Secure loose parts and accessories

An important step in preparing your non-running car for transportation is to secure any loose parts and accessories. This includes items like hubcaps, side mirrors, or any other detachable components that are not securely attached to the vehicle’s body. It is crucial to secure these loose parts to prevent them from moving or getting damaged during transportation.

One effective method of securing loose parts and accessories is by using zip ties or bungee cords. By fastening these items tightly to the car’s body, you ensure that they remain in place throughout the transportation process. Make sure to identify all loose parts beforehand and secure them adequately to avoid any potential damage or loss.

Disconnect the battery and empty the fuel tank

Disconnecting the battery and emptying the fuel tank are two vital steps in preparing your non-running car for transportation. By disconnecting the battery, you eliminate the risk of any electrical issues or accidental starts during the transportation process.

When it comes to the fuel tank, it is crucial to empty it entirely. Transporting a vehicle with a full or partially full fuel tank can be hazardous and may violate certain regulations. To empty the fuel tank, you can either drive the car until it runs out of fuel or siphon the gas out using a siphoning tool. Remember to dispose of the fuel safely and in accordance with local regulations.

Additionally, removing any custom-installed accessories like Bluetooth devices or GPS systems can further protect your car and prevent potential theft or damage.

To summarize, preparing your non-running car for transportation involves removing personal belongings, securing loose parts and accessories, and disconnecting the battery and emptying the fuel tank. By following these steps, you ensure a smooth and safe transportation process, protecting both your car and the transporters involved. Now that you know how to prepare your car, you can focus on finding reliable transport services to get your non-running car to its destination securely.

Hiring A Professional Towing Service

When it comes to moving a non-running car, hiring a professional towing service is often the most convenient and reliable option. With their expertise and specialized equipment, they can handle the task efficiently and ensure the safety of your vehicle throughout the process. However, it is crucial to research reputable towing companies in your area to find the right service provider that meets your requirements. Here are some key steps to consider when hiring a professional towing service:

Research reputable towing companies in your area

Before making a decision, take the time to research reputable towing companies in your area. Look for companies that have a good reputation and a track record of providing quality towing services. Utilize search engines, online directories, and local business listings to find options in your vicinity.

Check for licensing, insurance, and customer reviews

Once you have identified potential towing companies, check for their licensing and insurance details. It is crucial to ensure that the company you choose is properly licensed and insured to protect yourself from any liabilities during transit. Additionally, read customer reviews or testimonials to gauge the overall customer satisfaction level and get an idea of their reliability and professionalism.

Obtain quotes and compare pricing and services

Obtaining quotes from different towing companies is essential to compare pricing and services. Contact each company, provide them with the necessary details about your non-running car, such as its make, model, and location, and request a quote. Compare the pricing and the range of services offered by each company to determine the best value for your money.


Hiring a professional towing service is the ideal choice when you need to move a non-running car. By conducting thorough research, checking for licensing and insurance, reading customer reviews, and obtaining quotes to compare pricing and services, you can find a reputable company that will handle the job efficiently and ensure the safe transportation of your vehicle. Remember to prioritize reliability and professionalism when choosing a towing service, as the well-being of your car depends on it.

Diy Towing Precautions

When it comes to moving a non-running car, there are certain precautions you need to take to ensure a safe and successful towing experience. DIY towing can save you money on hiring a professional, but it’s important to follow proper techniques and safety precautions to avoid any further damage to the vehicle or potential accidents. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

Ensure you have the necessary equipment and tools

If you’re planning to tow a non-running car on your own, it’s vital to make sure you have the right equipment and tools at your disposal. These include:

  • Strong and reliable tow ropes or straps that are designed for towing vehicles
  • Durable towing hooks or shackles to securely attach the tow ropes or straps to both vehicles
  • A sturdy and reliable towing vehicle with enough power to handle the weight of the non-running car
  • An appropriate tow hitch or tow bar that is compatible with both the towing vehicle and the non-running car
  • A set of wheel dollies or a flatbed trailer if the non-running car cannot be towed conventionally

Having the right equipment and tools will greatly enhance the safety and ease of towing a non-running car.

Use proper towing techniques and safety precautions

Once you have all the necessary equipment ready, it’s important to utilize proper towing techniques and adhere to safety precautions. Follow these guidelines to ensure a smooth and secure towing process:

  1. Inspect both vehicles thoroughly before starting the towing process. Check for any potential issues with the brakes, tires, steering, and suspension.
  2. Make sure both vehicles are in neutral gear and the parking brakes are disengaged.
  3. Attach the tow ropes or straps securely to both vehicles, making sure they are tightly fastened to the designated tow hooks or shackles.
  4. Keep a safe distance between the towing vehicle and the non-running car to avoid any sudden movements or collisions.
  5. Drive at a moderate speed and maintain a smooth, steady pace. Avoid any abrupt stops or starts that could lead to jolts or jerking.
  6. Stay aware of your surroundings and be prepared for any unexpected situations on the road.

By following these towing techniques and safety precautions, you can minimize the risks associated with moving a non-running car.

Consider enlisting the help of a knowledgeable friend

Moving a non-running car can be a challenging task, especially if you have limited experience in towing vehicles. Enlisting the help of a knowledgeable friend who has prior experience in DIY towing can greatly enhance the safety and efficiency of the process. They can guide you through the necessary steps, share valuable tips, and provide an extra pair of hands when needed.

Moreover, having someone knowledgeable by your side can help alleviate any potential stress or confusion during the towing process. This way, you’ll have the confidence that you’re taking the right precautions and handling the situation correctly.

Remember, when it comes to moving a non-running car, DIY towing can be a cost-effective solution, but only if you take the necessary precautions. Be prepared with the right equipment, follow proper towing techniques, and consider seeking the assistance of a knowledgeable friend. With these measures in place, you can safely and successfully transport your non-running car to its destination.

Loading And Securing The Non-Running Car

In order to move a non-running car safely, it is crucial to properly load and secure it onto a tow truck or trailer. By following the correct steps and using the right equipment, you can ensure that your non-running car is securely fastened for transportation. In this article, we will guide you through the process of loading and securing a non-running car, highlighting the essential steps to keep in mind.

Position the car for loading onto the tow truck or trailer

Before loading a non-running car onto a tow truck or trailer, it is important to position it correctly. Here’s how to do it:

  • Ensure that the tow truck or trailer is on a level surface to minimize any risk of the car rolling or slipping during the loading process.
  • Align the tow truck or trailer with the non-running car, ensuring that there is enough space for the loading process.
  • It is advisable to have someone guide you while positioning the car to ensure accuracy and safety.

Use appropriate straps, chains, or hooks to secure the car

Once the car is properly positioned, it is essential to secure it using the appropriate equipment. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  1. Choose sturdy straps, chains, or hooks made specifically for securing vehicles.
  2. Attach one end of the equipment to a strong anchor point on the tow truck or trailer, while the other end should be securely fastened to a strong point on the non-running car.
  3. Make sure the equipment is tight and properly tensioned to avoid any movement or shifting of the car during transportation.

Double-check the security of the car before starting the journey

Prior to embarking on the journey, it is crucial to double-check the security of the non-running car. Follow these steps:

  • Inspect all the straps, chains, or hooks used to secure the car, ensuring they are still in place and tightly fastened.
  • Give the car a gentle shake to test its stability. If there is any movement, immediately readjust and secure the equipment.
  • Take a final look at the overall stability and security of the car, ensuring there is no potential for it to become dislodged or unbalanced during transit.

By following these loading and securing steps, you can transport a non-running car safely and without any unnecessary risks. Remember to always prioritize the security of the car and regularly check its stability throughout the journey.

Communication And Documentation

When it comes to moving a non-running car, effective communication and meticulous documentation play a crucial role in ensuring a smooth and hassle-free process. By providing clear instructions to the towing service about the car’s condition, documenting any existing damage with photos or videos, and filling out necessary paperwork, you can protect yourself and your car throughout the entire transportation process.

Provide clear instructions to the towing service about the car’s condition

It is important to provide clear and detailed instructions to the towing service about the condition of your non-running car. Whether it’s a mechanical issue, a flat tire, or any other problem, make sure to convey this information accurately. This allows the towing professionals to come prepared with the appropriate equipment and knowledge to handle the situation efficiently.

Document any existing damage to the car with photos or videos

Before the towing service arrives, take the time to thoroughly document any existing damage to your non-running car. This can be done by taking clear photos or videos from multiple angles. By doing so, you create a visual record of the car’s condition prior to the move, which can be immensely valuable should any issues arise during transportation. Make sure to capture any dents, scratches, or other visible damage.

Fill out any necessary paperwork and keep copies for your records

Prior to the transportation of your non-running car, there may be paperwork to fill out. This could include liability waivers, insurance forms, or other documentation required by the towing service or transportation company. It is crucial to read and understand these documents fully before signing them. After filling out the necessary paperwork, make sure to keep copies for your records. These copies serve as evidence of the agreement and can protect you in case of any disputes or discrepancies.

By ensuring effective communication with the towing service and meticulous documentation of your non-running car’s condition, you take proactive steps to safeguard your interests. Remember to provide clear instructions, document existing damage with photos or videos, and fill out any necessary paperwork. By doing so, you can have peace of mind knowing that your non-running car will be transported safely and securely.

Arriving At The Destination

Unload the car safely and with caution

Once you have reached your destination and your non-running car has been transported, it is important to unload it safely and with caution. This will help prevent any further damage and ensure a smooth transition from the transport vehicle to the ground.

To unload the car safely, follow these steps:

  1. Position the trailer or transport vehicle in a safe and level space, away from traffic or any obstructions. Ensure that the car can be safely unloaded without any interference.
  2. Engage the parking brake of the transport vehicle and make sure it is securely in place. This will prevent any unintentional movement during the unloading process.
  3. Carefully lower the ramps or lift mechanism of the transport vehicle to create a stable and gradual incline for the car to be unloaded.
  4. Ensure that there is enough space in front of the car for it to safely roll off the transport vehicle. Clear any obstacles or debris that may obstruct its path.
  5. Release the parking brake of the non-running car and shift it into neutral. This will allow it to roll off the transport vehicle smoothly.
  6. Slowly and steadily guide the car as it rolls off the transport vehicle. Make sure to keep a close eye on its movement and apply gentle braking if needed.
  7. Once the car is safely on the ground, engage the parking brake again and secure it in place. This will prevent any unintended rolling or movement.

Inspect the car for any new damage during transportation

After unloading the non-running car, it is crucial to inspect it for any new damage that may have occurred during transportation. This will allow you to address any issues promptly and ensure that the car is in the same condition as when it was loaded onto the transport vehicle.

When inspecting the car, pay attention to the following:

  • Exterior: Check for any scratches, dents, or other physical damage on the body. Look closely at the bumpers, doors, hood, and trunk.
  • Windows and mirrors: Inspect the windows and mirrors for cracks or chips that may have occurred during transportation.
  • Tires: Check the condition of the tires, including the tread depth and any signs of damage or punctures.
  • Lights: Ensure that all lights, including headlights, taillights, and turn signals, are functioning properly.
  • Undercarriage: Examine the underside of the car for any signs of leakage, loose parts, or damage to the exhaust system.

If you notice any new damage, document it with photographs and notify the transportation company immediately. This will help resolve any issues and ensure that you are not held responsible for any damages that occurred during transportation.

Arrange for any necessary repairs or maintenance

Once you have inspected the non-running car for any new damage, it’s important to arrange for any necessary repairs or maintenance. This will ensure that the car is in optimal condition and ready for use if you plan to get it running again or sell it in the future.

If you are not familiar with car repairs, it is recommended to take the car to a trusted mechanic who can assess its condition and provide any necessary repairs or maintenance. They will be able to identify any underlying issues that may have contributed to the car becoming non-running and recommend the appropriate course of action.

During this process, make sure to:

  • Discuss the inspection results with the mechanic and provide any relevant information about the car’s history and transportation process.
  • Follow the mechanic’s advice regarding repairs or maintenance needed to get the car running again, or to address any safety concerns.
  • Obtain a detailed quote for the repairs or maintenance before proceeding, ensuring transparency and preventing any unexpected costs.

By arranging for any necessary repairs or maintenance, you can increase the chances of getting the non-running car back on the road or improving its value for a future sale.

How to Move a Non Running Car: Essential Tips for Swift Transportation


Frequently Asked Questions On How To Move A Non Running Car

Can You Move A Car With No Engine?

Yes, it is possible to move a car with no engine. You can tow it using another vehicle or use a tow truck to transport it.

Can You Move A Car In Neutral?

Yes, you can move a car in neutral. By putting the car in neutral, you disengage the engine from the wheels, allowing you to push or tow it. However, keep in mind that the brakes and steering won’t work unless the engine is running or the key is in the accessory position.

Can I Push An Automatic Car In Neutral?

Yes, it is possible to push an automatic car in neutral. In this state, the transmission is disengaged, allowing the car to be moved without the engine’s power. However, it’s important to note that doing this may cause damage to the transmission system, so it’s best to avoid pushing automatic cars whenever possible.

How Do You Move A Car With Locked Wheels?

To move a car with locked wheels: 1) Release the parking brake. 2) Turn the ignition on. 3) Put the car in neutral or drive. 4) Slowly press the accelerator to gradually move the car. 5) Steer the car to the desired location.


Moving a non-running car can be a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and preparation, it can be done smoothly. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this blog post, you now have the tools to safely transport your non-running vehicle to its desired location.

Remember to take the necessary precautions, such as securing proper equipment and enlisting the help of professionals if needed. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to successfully moving your non-running car.

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