How to Strap a Car to a Trailer Securely

How to Strap a Car to a Trailer Securely

Last Updated October 9, 2023 | Bill Tumas

Driving your car is most likely your first option to get to a destination, but there are times, like when you’re selling your car or going to a car show, that you’ll need to trailer your car. It is essential to ensure your car is safely and securely strapped to the trailer in these situations. Failing to do so could result in significant damage to your car or cause accidents on the road. In this article, we'll guide you through the step-by-step process of how to properly strap a car to a trailer.

How to Strap Down a Car on a Trailer

Before you begin strapping down your car, you’ll need to load it onto the trailer. Once it's properly loaded, make sure you have high-quality, heavy-duty straps designed for automotive use. For this guide, we'll show you how to use axle straps and connect them to the trailer. This gives the suspension freedom to move.

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Step 1: Center the Car on the Trailer

Make sure your car is centered side to side and front to back on the trailer. Having the car off-center on the trailer can put different amounts of pressure on the tires leading to greater wear on one side.

Ford Mustang strapped to a trailer

Step 2: Attach Strap to Axle

Take the end of the strap and wrap it around the axle on the right side of the rear differential. Make sure the strap ends come together above the rear sway bar. Attach the strap hook to the ends wrapped around the axle. Then, secure the strap hook. Repeat this process for the other side of the axle.

Mechanic attaching axle straps to the back of a car

Step 3: Tighten Down the Strap

Connect the rear end of the strap to the opposite attachment point on the trailer, so the straps form an X shape. Pull the excess slack back through the strap, towards the car until it’s slightly snug. Once the strap is tight, use the ratchet to crank down the tightness until it’s firm. Repeat this process for the strap on the other side.

Mechanic attaching axle straps to the back of a car

Pro Tip:A good gauge to tell when the strap is tight enough is to pull on the ratchet until you need to use two hands to tighten it further.

Step 4: Tie Down the Excess Strap Length

Take the end of the excess strap length and slide it through the center of the ratchet to secure it. Feed the end down through the metal loop at the end of the strap hook. Use the remaining slack to tie a knot around the bottom section of the strap.

Mechanic attaching axle car straps to the back of a trailer

Step 5: Attach Straps to Front Control Arm

Head to the front of the car and wrap the straps around the front control arm, near the base of the wheel. Attach the hook to the two front ends of the strap.

Mechanic attaching axle straps to the front control arm of a car

Step 6: Tighten Down Front Straps

Attach the other end of the strap either to the connection point on the trailer, or to the trailer frame. Tighten down the ratchet and repeat step 4 to tie off the remaining slack. Use the same process for the strap on the other side.

Mechanic tightening front ratchet straps on a car trailer

Transport Your Car with Confidence

Properly strapping a car to a trailer is crucial for safe transportation. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your car is securely fastened to the trailer, minimizing the risk of accidents and damage during transit. Always remember to inspect your straps before hitting the road to make sure they aren’t worn out or frayed.

If you’re trailering your car for a sale, be sure to check out our guide on how to sell your car online for all the best tips and tricks for a painless sale.

This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.