Move a Car Without Wheels – 8 Ways (Step-by-Step Guide!)

It’s hard to imagine yourself in a situation where you are left behind with a car that has no wheels. However, it’s more common than most people can imagine. 

Car wheels are among the easier targets for thieves as they are easier to remove and sold to the best bidder via multiple sources ranging from Craigslist to eBay.

Similarly, the car ties may get slashed or damaged beyond repair and can’t be used anymore. 

This instance would arguably be the same as having no tires at all as your engine won’t have the power to move your car anyway.

Anyway, now that the tires are gone. 

You’d be more interested in advanced ways of getting your car removed from the vicinity. 

While one easiest way to do so is to simply buy 4 new wheels, attach them to your car, and drive away. 

However, there are a few other ways of moving your parked car without relying on any wheels.

Read on to find out more!

8 Great Ways to Move Any Car Without Wheels

As you must have imagined, it’s not easy to move a car without any wheels. 

There are 2 kinds of situations you’ll have to deal with while deciding the best approach on how to move a car with no wheels in your car. 

The first one would be when the car has lost 1 or 2 of its wheels or all of them have lost their ability to retain air. The second situation is when you have a car with no wheels at all.

As you might have expected, the latter is more complicated, time-consuming, and difficult to deal with. 

However, if you know what you are doing or have contacted the right professionals for the proper techniques for the job, you’ll get it done without causing any damage to your vehicle.

Let’s now look at some great ways how to move a car with no wheels or with a few of them missing.

1. Using a Car Dolly

Car dollies are perhaps the easiest and fastest ways to move any car and trailer without relying on their wheels. 

A car dolly is a simple device that has a truss incorporated in its design to sustain a heavy load. 

It will have its own wheels that will allow the car and trailer to slide on the tow truck without much hassle.

Car dollies are an excellent choice but have some limitations related to the terrain and vehicle weight. 

Cars can’t roll around if they are heavy and will be harder to move, especially if the area or terrain doesn’t support them.

2. Tow Straps

Tow straps are a great choice for situations where the wheels are stuck or left devoid of air due to any reason. 

The method is quite simple as you might imagine. 

All you need is to drive a powerful car with the right tow cable and strap properly secured to pull you out of the tough spot.

The biggest limitation tow straps have is their dependency on the front wheels only. 

Tires, albeit devoid of air, can sustain damage while being pulled but your car’s frame remains in perfect condition. 

Pulling the car without any wheels securely attached can become next to impossible with tow straps alone.

In some situations, you can use a tow company with a cable strap or use it in combination with a car dolly if only 1 or 2 wheels are missing. However, tow straps are not the perfect transportation solution for all 4 of them.

3. Pulling Through a Wench

A wench is another excellent choice for situations where you might have 2 or three wheels. 

Think of it as a more powerful version of the tow strap and replace the requirement of having another car with a tow truck service.

In most conditions, the tow truck operator will decide if the wench is necessarily an issue as it can potentially get traction and cause some small damage to your vehicle’s aesthetics

However, its power and ability to handle some or most of the tough situations is unparalleled.

4. Using a Forklift

Forklifts are among the easiest ways to move a car as it makes the presence of wheels and suspension almost irrelevant. 

A forklift can lift a vehicle and transport it where you want for repairs to make it roadworthy again.

Generally, forklifts can only lift up to a certain weight and work well with smaller cars only. 

You’ll find it hard to handle larger trucks or SUVs as they are unsafe because the hydraulics may give up midway.

It’s necessary to ensure that the forklift operators know what they are doing while moving the vehicle. 

The extended forks must not damage the frame from the bottom during the lifting procedure and the weight needs to be properly balanced. 

Otherwise, you’ll have another crisis at hand, that is the last thing you want.  

5. Using a Crane

Think of a crane as the big brother of your garage forklift. You can use it to move or push the car from one stop to another, but make sure that it’s not over large distances.

While forklifts have the potential to damage your car, cranes definitely will at least damage the paint and front wheels if you are not careful with the harnesses. 

Generally, it’s better to resort to some other method because cranes are both damaging and expensive, which is something you naturally wouldn’t be too keen about.

6. Taking Help from a Tow Truck

Tow trucks are the go-to solution for any tough situation as they have all the tools you get to pull you out of a tough or difficult spot. 

They are designed to move motor vehicles that are unable to move and have different incorporated systems. 

However, their one limitation is that they all depend on the operator’s skills and do cost a lot.

7. Using a Ramp

This is not a solution per se as ramps don’t allow access to move your car without wheels. 

Instead, they facilitate the movement and loading of the towed vehicle and allow you to place your car on a tow truck more safely. 

That’s why you’ll often see ramps incorporated in the tow truck design from the beginning as they allow you to get the job done.

8. Using a Pulley System

This is another facilitation system that allows the wheel and vehicle to be lifted easily with no lasting damage. 

The pulley system allows you to lift the wheel with more weight with little effort because of the efficiency difference which will go in your favor.

Things to Avoid While Moving Cars Without Wheels

Moving a car without any wheels is a difficult task and there are a few ways you can make it even more difficult for yourself. 

Here are a few things you should avoid in order to make it easier to move your car without any wheels.

  • Avoid moving the card uphill
  • Don’t use a rear tow strap jack without a pulley system
  • Moving too quickly
  • Not catering to the surroundings
  • Not calling for help despite being stuck

Final Thoughts

Wheels are essential for any car and play a vital role in moving it around. 

However, there are situations where they either give up on you or become unusable. 

As a driver, you should be aware of how to tackle such a situation, but the best course is always to get help from professionals. 

Just avoid the mistakes mentioned above and try to use the right tool to get the job done. You’ll be well on your way to moving your car without any wheels.


Dean Alvarez, TireForge Head Author

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