One of the main alternatives to shipping a car is towing it. Car towing is most frequently used in local settings to move non-running or non-operational cars. But did you know that there are also long-distance car towing services?
Not all shipping companies offer this, though, and for the most part, towing a car defeats the purpose of wanting it shipped. But it can be a good way to save time or money in the long run. Read on to learn more about the various methods of towing cars and figure out which method will be best for you.
The standard method of car towing
As mentioned, most of the time, tow companies move inoperable cars within a local distance. But for longer-distance shipments of any car, towing is an option.
The best method of towing a car is with a flatbed trailer. Flatbed transportation is already used in the auto shipping industry, but it’s usually used to transport oversize vehicles. However, for a regular car, flatbed towing often is done by a pickup with a flatbed trailer attached to it.
This is a safe way to ship a car, but usually is more expensive than shipping with a standard carrier. We offer transportation services on standard ten-car open haulers. We generally recommend flatbed trailers for people who want to tow the vehicle themselves. However, towing it yourself incurs other types of costs, especially if you’re towing it long distance.
Not-so-standard towing methods
The standard method of towing a car is usually with two wheels on the ground and two in the air. You’ve likely seen a tow truck like this – they’re used mainly in local towing situations.
You can, however, tow a vehicle this way long distance. Typically, if you do it yourself, you use a specialized trailer called a tow dolly. These allow you to drive the vehicle’s front two wheels onto the trailer, leaving the back two on the ground.
The trouble with this, especially on longer shipments, is the wear and tear. Not to mention rental costs – the same goes for any tow trailer, really, but renting one gets expensive. However, two-wheel tows can be useful for short-distance trips (within a couple hundred miles), especially if you need to replace the tires. Note that you’ll have to disable any four-wheel drives, usually by taking out the drive shaft, which can be a real pain!
The more commonly used method, though, is a tow bar. A tow bar is often what people use to tow their vehicles behind an RV. While four-down towing (where all four wheels are on the ground) may not be ideal when it comes to wear and tear, it’s a lot easier to use a tow bar like this than a two-wheel tow dolly.
More importantly, a tow bar is a lot easier to actually transport a car with than a tow dolly. It spreads wear and tear evenly over the tires, doesn’t require you to disassemble any parts of the vehicle, and is much more forgiving for someone unfamiliar with towing vehicles.
When to use car towing services
Naturally, if your vehicle isn’t running and you need to get it to a shop, call a tow company. But if you’re just looking at moving the vehicle yourself, chances are a tow bar is the best bet.
You can theoretically use car towing services to get your vehicle to or from anywhere in the U.S. But most of the time it’s not cost effective. If you’re looking at shipping your vehicle, it’s best to use a shipping company, like American Auto Shipping, to get it moved.
You want to use car towing services or methods when you’re looking at moving a vehicle locally, or if you know you’ll need to use it while you’re out camping. Towing a vehicle behind an RV is common. If that’s what you’re doing, use a tow bar.
You can choose whatever method you want to use to tow your vehicle, of course. But really, you want to use them when you know you’ll be moving the vehicle yourself. If you hire someone to tow it, you’ll need to accept whatever method they choose.
Get great car shipping services with American Auto Shipping
Whether you want to tow your car yourself or you’ve decided you’d rather ship it, get a quote from us. At the very least you can compare it against some of the other costs you’re mulling over. We offer great rates that are guaranteed to get your vehicle moved when you need it moved.
All you need to do is fill out our free online quote request form. It’s free and easy and won’t take but a minute. You can also contact us any time toll-free at 800-930-7417. You’ll get in contact with a live agent right away. They can give you a quote over the phone, answer questions, give advice, and more. So don’t wait. See what American Auto Shipping can do for you and your shipping needs today.