Car towing hook: how to use it, prohibitions and insurance

If you are planning a trip, more or less long, you are perhaps considering the possibility of installing a towbar for the trailer. Here’s what you need to know.

The car towbar can be very useful for managing space problems related to the vehicle. But attention must be paid to legal limits and insurance implications.

Car towing hook: what it is and what are the limits

The car towbar is a ball device that is installed for light trailers to be hooked to the vehicle, in particular:

  • trailers with a laden mass not exceeding 750 kg;
  • car and trailer with a gross vehicle weight of fewer than 3.5 tons.

That said, you still have to consult your car’s registration document, because the limits could be lower than those listed above, and exceeding them could cause significant risks.

If, on the other hand, the vehicle can tow loads higher than those indicated for the B license, you can take advantage of this opportunity by requesting the license extension E, a license extension that allows you to tow non-light trailers.

For some vehicle categories, however, it is not possible to install the tow hook and use the trailer, due to the structural characteristics:

  • cars with LPG or methane systems;
  • electric cars.

These cars are not approved for towing.

Car towing hook: bureaucracy

With the Simplification Decree of 2020, it is necessary to apply to update the vehicle registration document to the Motorization Authority within 30 days of the completion of the modification work. Here are the documents to be attached to the application:

  • assembly certificate with stamp and signature of the installer;
  • technical documentation of the hooks;
  • copy of the vehicle registration document;
  • attestations of two payments, one of 10.20 euros for the DMV and one of 16 euros for stamp duty.

Once the conformity of the documents has been verified, the DMV issues a sticker to be attached to the vehicle registration document.

The procedure is the same when the modification consists in eliminating the tow hook.

Car towbar: how insurance works

The towbar must be insured, so once installed you must notify the insurance company where you have your car liability policy so that they can adjust the coverage. This can be done for a fee or not, it depends on your capital one insurance company.

Therefore the tow hook must be insured even if you are not using it to hook the trailer (which in turn must be covered by insurance).

This is because the hook represents a modification of the vehicle, therefore it could cause accidents.

If you travel without insurance coverage for the towbar, you will be asked for a fine that can go up to 400 euros.