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towing car

There may be several reasons why you may need to tow a car. It may have broken down. Or, you may be going on a road trip and want to tow the vehicle behind your camper. In either case, you will not be driving the vehicle so can you tow a car with no insurance?

Every province in Canada has its only rules and regulations for vehicle insurance. Different rules may also be in place for the towing of vehicles and insurance needs for each province.

Legal Requirements for Insurance


Most likely you will need to have insurance on your vehicle by law. It is a requirement of the law in Canada to have car Insurance.  It is mandatory that every vehicle driven on public roads have vehicle plates. That is if you intend to drive it on public roads. Also, you must have proof of insurance to get the plates.

Rules for Towing Vehicles

Another rule that comes with vehicles is those that pertain to towing. Years ago when a car broke down another vehicle using a chain hooked up to it to tow the vehicle. New rules do not allow for this in many of the provinces.  Towing a vehicle requires proper equipment.  Plus, there are specific regulations for this.

Depending on the circumstances the towing may require the use of a proper tow bar or the use of a tow truck. There are more rules for the towing of vehicles. Drivers must be familiar with the Highway Traffic Acts. It is as they pertain to each province. Knowing the rules for towing is essential. Understanding the rules gives a better understanding. It also relates to whether car towing is allowed, and this is even when the vehicle has no insurance on it.

Moving a Newly Purchased Car


Some people will purchase a car with no intent to drive it in the near future. This comes with the challenge of legally being able to get it to where they are going to store it.  Without purchasing the plates, they would not be able to drive the vehicle on public roads. It means it would need towing or transporting.

One option may be to tow the un-plated car with another car. The un-plated car would not need Insurance, but the car towing the vehicle would. Also, implementation of the rules is necessary. Another option is to have the un-plated vehicle towed by using a proper towing service. This towing service would have the necessary insurance in place. Insurance is needed to perform this type of service.

The Car That Used for Towing

Another circumstance that can arise is a car may be considered to be used to tow another car. It again raises the question as to can you tow a car with no insurance? It pertains to the vehicle that will do the towing. The rules state driving on public roads is not allowed without car insurance.  Therefore the answer to the question would be no?

 Towing Another Vehicle and Insurance

Another circumstance that can arise is if you use your insured car to tow another car. There is a chance that something goes wrong. In this case, you need to know what your insurance coverage entails.  A claim might be valid if no rules are broken. Most often with Insurance policies, they are very rigid. Insurance policies will provide coverage based on the use of the car.

There is always a possibility that damage could occur to the car that is doing the towing or to the towed vehicle. Depending on the amount of damage it could end up classed as a collision. The collision insurance on either vehicle may not include the cost of towing. The accident itself may not be covered.

Add-Ons to Your Insurance Policy

Towing requirements come under the umbrella of roadside assistance. There are a few choices for this. Some insurance providers offer this as an add-on to the insurance policy. Every Insurance company is different in what they will cover and what they will provide.

Knowing what the add-on will cover is the insured’s responsibility. Also, it will provide a clear understanding as to whether towing services are part of it.

The other option is to take advantage of the different roadside assistance programs. Some companies specialize in this. Therefore,  if there is a requirement for towing the vehicle, the company provides the insurance.

Towing Rules Across Canada

Each Canadian province may vary in its rules concerning towing. What is common among all provinces is the requirement for car insurance.

Variations in Insurance Across Canada

In Canada, there are both private and Government Insurance providers. The insured individual should determine what the towing restrictions are. Check to see what the insurance provider offers and the type of coverage.

The majority of the provinces have private Insurance providers for vehicle insurance. Also, the mandatory insurance requirements vary in some provinces. It is a little different in Manitoba and Saskatchewan as well as Quebec. Provisions for compulsory insurance are through the government.

The Wise Decision


Every individual should understand the highway traffic act. They can refer to this to see what the specific rules are. It pertains to insurance requirements for the car towing, and the regulations for the towing of the car also need reviewing. All of this makes for a wise decision.

Individuals thinking about towing another car should check with their insurance provider first. The policy on the car will determine the vehicle coverage if there is coverage in place. It is in the case of a mishap.

Not knowing the laws when it comes to towing can create severe repercussions. If there is no insurance coverage and a mishap occurs this can be expensive. Although this may be true, there is also the risk of getting into trouble with the law. Police require proof of insurance. It is when they stop a vehicle under the highway traffic act.

It is a much safer route to have the cars insured and to leave the towing up to the professionals.

About the Author: Ashley Miller

Ashley is an insurance content professional and very knowledgeable on all related subjects. Ashley has over 12 years of insurance content writing experience working with various insurance companies throughout her career.