When you need to get your car from one place to another, you generally have three options: drive it yourself, tow it, or ship it. In many cases, driving your car a long distance isn’t practical or possible so you might need help moving it. This leaves you with the decision of whether to tow your car or ship it. For most people, this isn’t something they do every day so there is a lot of confusion about which option is best. In this article, we will discuss the differences between these two options so you can decide whether shipping or towing will work best for you.
Towing Your Car
Depending on how far you need to move your car, towing can sometimes be the most affordable option. However, this method certainly doesn’t come at no cost. Not to mention, towing requires special equipment and there are several factors to consider when towing a vehicle. For starters, there are three different methods for towing your car: flat towing, a tow dolly, and a vehicle trailer.
Flat Towing: Flat towing refers to pulling your vehicle behind another vehicle with all four wheels on the ground. It is popular for pulling cars or four-wheel drive vehicles behind large trucks or motorhomes. This is one of the most basic ways to tow a vehicle, since it doesn't require setting up a dolly or trailer. However, it is not an option for every vehicle. Only certain vehicles are meant to be flat-towed. In addition, it puts a lot of mileage and wear and tear on your vehicle, so it's best for short distances as opposed to a cross-country haul.
Transport Dollies: You can rent a transport dolly and hook it up to a personal truck or moving truck. During transport with a dolly, the front tires of your vehicle are secured to the dolly while the rear tires remain on the road. During transport, the rear tires spin just as they would if you were driving, meaning that the same mileage is being put on those rear tires. Renting a dolly is fairly inexpensive, but it's not ideal for long-distance transport because your car is still subject to a lot of wear and tear along the journey.
Vehicle Trailer: You can also rent an auto transport trailer in which the vehicle is strapped to a trailer for the duration of the trip and will not make any contact with the ground. While it certainly provides a safer option for your vehicle and prevents wear and tear, a vehicle trailer is a more expensive option and still requires a driver to pull it.
Driving with your vehicle being towed behind you might save you money, but it is not necessarily the best option for a long-distance drive. That’s because dollies and flat-towing still put a great deal of mileage and wear on your vehicle. Furthermore, all of the towing options make driving much more difficult. Driving a long distance across the interstate presents dangers on its own, and towing a vehicle that is difficult to maneuver and break quickly only magnifies those dangers. Towing is usually a great option for short distances, while shipping is definitely safer for long distances.
Shipping Your Car
Shipping a car is by far the most convenient way to move your car across the country. The biggest advantage of shipping is that a reliable transport company can handle all of the logistics for you and there is absolutely no wear and tear on your vehicle. You can even choose between open or enclosed carriers, depending on the level of protection you want for your vehicle. Furthermore, you can enjoy the convenience of door-to-door delivery so the process is simple and hassle-free. While it can cost a bit more than flat towing or dolly towing, it costs about the same as it would to rent a vehicle trailer. Plus, unlike towing your car, shipping is a worry-free experience and the safest way to transport your vehicle a long distance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to Your Car Moving Questions
The hardest thing for people researching car moving companies to understand is that the prices they are getting are not hard and fast gaurantees, but rather ESTIMATES of what one company thinks it will take to get a vehicle moved promptly versus another company's opinion of what it will take. Don't be fooled, there are not carriers committed to take your vehicle at these quoted prices, the company you choose will still have to get to work getting a carrier to commit to move it at the price they quote you.
Your total price breaks down into two parts, the broker's fee (or 'deposit' as everyone calls it) and the carriers fee (your COD amount) Make no mistake about this, EVERYONE YOU ARE GETTING SALES CALLS FROM IS GOING TO BROKER YOUR MOVE. In this industry, there are brokers who try to fool you into thinking that they are the actual carriers and there are an equal amount of carriers who sell themselves on the fact that they have a truck or two but are not being honest about the fact that they broker out 90% of the orders they book. Here is a quick easy way to tell, if a company takes an up front fee, whether they call it a deposit or any other name, they are a broker. Carriers do not take any payment until the vehicle is delivered.
In our opinion, you are crazy to do so. Have you ever been paid up front for the work that you perform for your employer? Why would you pay a fee up front when there are reliable and trustworthy companies like ours that won't ask for it until we provide you with your carriers details?
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will be between one and two weeks. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.