Can You Flat Tow A Volkswagen Beetle?

Are you wondering if you can flat tow a Volkswagen Beetle? How could you do it? We'll, don't worry! We've researched the answers to your questions.

Yes, you can flat tow a Volkswagen Beetle if it has a manual transmission. You'll want to equip the towing vehicle with appropriate tow gear before setting out. 

In this article, we'll understand what a flat tow means and if you could do it to a Volkswagen Beetle. We'll discuss more related topics, such as when you need to flat tow a car. There's no time to waste. Let's read up to the end!

Flat Towing a Volkswagen Beetle

Hand holding yellow car towing strap with car

Flat towing is a technique allowing your vehicle's wheels to keep in contact with the ground. This technique lets you bring your car anywhere, considering it is appropriate for your vehicle. Flat towing can be beneficial to relocate your Beetle if it:

  • runs out of gas
  • has a dead battery
  • damaged parts or components prevent safely driving
  • was damaged in an accident and unable to drive safely
  • is the intended "toad" or "dinghy;" the recreational vehicle towed behind an RV

Steps to Flat Tow a Volkswagen Beetle

You can flat tow a Volkswagen Beetle as it has a manual transmission. Additionally, you'll want to be equipped with sufficient towing gear. Follow these simple steps, and if you have any concerns, consult an auto mechanic and your vehicle's owner's manual to confirm/clarify the capability and recommendations to flat tow.

  1. Secure the Volkswagen Beetle to the towing vehicle via a tow bar, webbing, chain, or rope.
  2. Shift the transmission into "neutral," then press the push button start.
  3. Disengage the parking brake.
  4. Press the push button start again to switch the vehicle into "accessory" mode. You should test the steering wheel by turning it and ensure that its lock will not engage.
  5. Ensure that all four tires are laid flat against the road. 
  6. You’ll want to try going a short distance to ensure that you can control the steering as the towed vehicle turns.
  7. Once you assess that the car is safe enough for a long-distance drive, you can now pull the car for towing.

What Accessories to Use for Towing?

police department tow truck delivers the damaged vehicle

Of course, it's important to find a highly dependable, safe, and strong towing material to pull the car. See below the list of options.

Winch Strap

It's a durable webbing material that often has a rubber, making it a bit stretchable. It can pull moderate car weight, depending on the product quality. However, you should check its capacity, as it can break due to excessive load or tension.

See this winch strap on Amazon.

Metal Chains

Usually, car owners prefer chains to pull their cars when towing. Metal chains are durable and can pull a heavy load. These chains are typically covered with a yellow plastic as a protection against corrosion and rusting.

See this metal chain on Amazon.

Rope with Hook

Another option is the combination of a rope and a hook. There are products out there that come with a metal hook at each end. You can use it by tying the rope into your car instead of the other way around.

See this rope with hook on Amazon.

Towing Truck

Of course, you can never go wrong in hiring a professional to tow your car. Most towing companies offer a towing service with their trucks and heavy-duty vehicles.

Expect to spend a minimum of $50 for towing your car. The price may go high for up to $300. Some factors to consider include the location where you'll bring the car, the car's weight, and the professional fee.

However, you'll want to check the car's insurance to know if you're allowed to tow the car. Some car manufacturers may void the insurance if you tow without them knowing. Also, they may offer you a tow service for free depending on the agreement.

Can You Flat Tow Other Volkswagen Models?

Not all cars have the capacity to be flat towed. You should check the user's manual to confirm proper towing for a specific car.

However, you can also flat tow other Volkswagen models, such as Golf and Jetta. But if the manufacturer does not recommend flat towing your Volkswagen, you should not do so to prevent damaging the car.

What Are the Consequences of Flat Towing?

Volkswagen Beetle parking at the forest on street, Can You Flat Tow A Volkswagen Beetle?

Keep in mind that flat towing should not be your primary option in driving a car. Do it when you really need to, but not on a regular basis. See below some possible consequences of frequently flat towing a car.

Damaged Engine

engine repair, cylinder head diagnostics, damaged cylinder block gasket

Since you switch the transmission into neutral, flat towing can damage the engine in the long run. The transmission of energy throughout the engine affects the car's performance. So, cutting the transmission more often has a negative impact.

Deformed Exterior

A white car with a big dents beside the passenger seat

The car's front or rear body, depending on where the tow bar is, can deform due to the pulling force. The speed of the towing vehicle affects the car's weight, which could cause a collision upon the sudden stop of the towing vehicle.

Avoid this by not speeding. Consider a speed of 65 mph or slower to ensure safety, especially if the road is filled with other vehicles.

Flat Tires

man touching a flat tire on the roadside

The tires are prone to getting flat, as they're being dragged against the ground. Compared to driving the car, you have less control over the tires when towing. The friction can intensify, increasing the risk of accidents.

You'll want to pump the tires with sufficient air before towing. You also have the option to replace a damaged tire just to ensure a safe towing.

Can You Use Volkswagen Beetle to Tow Another Car?

You can do so, considering that the load of the car to tow is only 2,200 lbs or lighter.  Also, models made after the year 2011 are not ideal to use for towing. You should consult the manufacturer before doing so. 

How to Install a Tow Hitch in Volkswagen Beetle

Car's hook for draging

A tow hitch is an accessory you can install on the chassis either on the front or rear body of any car. You just need to ensure that there's a metal, or any durable part that can hold this accessory. So to install, refer to the steps below:

  1. Find a tow hitch that suits your car and style.
  2. Look beneath the car to see a durable part of the chassis. Most car owners prefer installing the tow hitch at the bottom front.
  3. Mount the tow hitch into the metal bar.
  4. Adjust the protrusion of the tow hitch by choosing what hole to secure.
  5. Insert the bolt and nuts into the hole. The bolts and nuts are usually included in the product package.
  6. Tighten the bolts and nuts using a wrench.
  7. Now, test the tow hitch by attaching some material like chains.
  8. Pull the car to see if the tow hitch will not break.

For your visuals, you can watch an installation video here:


Flat Towing Vs. Dolly Towing

Impounded car being towed with a towing dolly

Flat towing means letting the four wheels roll on the road, and dolly towing means to lift the two front wheels up while the rear wheels are in the ground.

However, you should consult the manufacturer before opting for dolly towing, as this towing technique may require a car in an automatic transmission.

Also, in terms of transportation, dolly towing is faster and more stable since the car's weight is lighter on front body compared to flat towing, in which the weight is distributed through the entire body.

Can You Tow a Beetle with a Tow Dolly?

Yes, you can dolly tow a Volkswagen Beetle, especially those that are manufactured in the year 2018 which often has a thread width of 72 inches.

What if the Towing Truck Can't Reach my Car?

There are some cases, in which the towing vehicle cannot go to your location due to complicated road structures, severe weather, or traffic issues.

You might need to manually move your car by pulling or pushing it with force. Otherwise, you can try calling the local authorities if you need a rescue instead of just a mere towing.


Volkswagen Beetle parking at the forest on street

We've learned that we can flat tow a Volkswagen Beetle with just a few steps. Remember not to tow without asking an expert to ensure you have the appropriate tow gear.

Do you want to read more like this? Join us in reading here:

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