Although a car tow dolly can be useful in some situations, for the most part, they are only good to tow smaller front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicles.
Some car dollies are also able to tow rear-wheel drive (RWD) and four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicles. The weight that can be towed by the car dolly in regards to the RWD and AWD is normally a little higher than the FWD and AWD however, it is important to note that the driveshaft needs to be removed from these cars in order for it to be towed.
Popular Car Tow Dolly Capacities
The most popular tow dollies are those that can tow a maximum of 3,500 lbs. for FWD and AWD cars and 3900 lbs. for RWD and 4WD cars.
Vehicles that weigh 3,500 lbs. or less include most cars that are part of the mid-size category or smaller. Certain full-size cars such as the Nissan Maxima (especially older models) weigh less than 3,500 lbs. however in 2009 the Maxima was redesigned and now weighs 3,565 lbs. therefore it is a little over the limit.
This means that most car dollies will be able to tow FWD and AWD mini-compact cars, subcompact cars, compact cars and mid-size cars.
Examples of mini-compact cars are:
- Audi TT
- MINI Cooper
Examples of sub-compact cars:
- Nissan Versa
- Chevrolet Aveo
- Toyota Yaris
Examples of compact cars:
- Mazda 3
- Honda Civic
- Toyota Corolla
- Hyundai Elantra
Examples of mid-size cars:
- Buick Regal
- Ford Fusion
- Subaru Legacy
- Chevrolet Malibu
RWD and 4WD vehicles may be towed with a car tow dolly if they are less than 3,900 lbs and the driveshaft is removed to prevent transmission damage. That would mean all large cars including some mid-size station wagons can be towed by a car dolly.
Some RWDs that can be towed:
- Ford Mustang
- Hyundai Genesis
4WD vehicles are mostly bigger vehicles such as SUVs that would weigh too much to be towed; however, there are a few AWD/4WD cars that would be small enough to be towed such as:
- All Subaru models
- Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
- Toyota Matrix
With extensive research, it is even possible to find a car tow dolly that can carry about 5,000 lbs. However, these are not recommended as a bigger car like this should be towed on a car trailer which is much safer for these big vehicles.
Things to Remember When Using a Car Tow Dolly
It is not only important to remember that the driveshaft needs to be removed when towing a AWD or RWD vehicle with a car dolly, some experts even recommend that these not be used on car dollies at all as it could be dangerous for the car. Before attempting to tow any car with a car dolly, it is important to check the vehicle owner’s manual and to do some research in order to find out whether or not it is safe to use a car tow dolly to tow your car.