Your home is packed up, and the movers are on the way. You can’t wait to get into the new space, which is ready and waiting in a whole other state. Everyone is excited about the move.  

But wait! What do you do with your vehicles? Maybe you have a car or two, and then there is that extra-large SUV. Don’t forget your passion project, the car that you are determined will actually drive one of these days—once you get settled into your new location of course. 

I know, you think, I’ll just get one of those tow dollies and save money by towing it myself. Or maybe I’ll hire a tow truck...? 

It’s certainly a possibility, but is it the best option for you? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you decide.

A Visual Comparison 

Tow vs Transport infographic

What Is a Tow Dolly?   

What exactly is a tow dolly? A car dolly or a tow dolly is a trailer that you attach to another vehicle that will only lift the front wheels of your car. The rear wheels remain on the ground as it’s pulled behind a larger vehicle. This differs from a car trailer, where the whole vehicle is lifted off the ground and placed on the carrier.

Cost 

We won’t lie, the cost of renting a tow dolly is less than shipping your vehicle on a carrier. However, there are some additional costs to think about here: 

  • If you don’t have a vehicle with which you can use a tow dolly, then you may have to rent one which adds to your cost. Of course, you could always buy, but if you only need it one time that may not be the best option. One reason to own a tow dolly might be if you use it with an RV, as described by this RV owner who chooses to use one
     
  • Even if you own a vehicle that can do the towing, many companies will not rent you a dolly unless you rent one of their trucks as well.
     
  • Driving at high speeds with a tow dolly can cause a dangerous fishtail movement called trailer sway. This is one of the leading causes of towing accidents, especially during bad weather. The solution is to drive slower, which means your move takes longer. If you are driving for more than 500 miles, this means that your cost is increased by the need for places to stay and food to eat.
     
  • Towing a vehicle also lowers your gas mileage, so you’ll end up spending more on fuel

Distance 

If you’re only towing across town or a short distance, then this might be your best option. If your move is long, however, there are other issues to consider as you will see below.

Types of Vehicles 

While a car dolly can tow most front-wheel drive vehicles, and a few other types of vehicles, there are weight restrictions that make it inadvisable to tow heavier vehicles.

Damage 

  • Since the tow dolly works by leaving two wheels on the road, towing longer distances can leave the tires susceptible to wear and tear. 
  • If towing a vehicle that is low to the ground or has a long front, there may be some clearance issues, which can leave body kits, bumpers, and undercarriage parts dragging on the ground.

Time 

As already mentioned, towing a car will slow you down. The time will depend on you.

What About a Tow Truck? 

Tow trucks are vehicles intended to be used for quick pickups to run short distances. These are the trucks you call in an emergency when you are stuck at the side of the road. The drivers might fix your car while you wait by the side of the road, before they decide to tow. They are also used to move vehicles that are parked improperly, or for repossessing a car. The more cars a tow truck driver moves in a day, the more money they make. 

In other words, these are the people to call in an emergency, not if you are planning a move.

Cost 

Because they’re called in emergencies and provide speedy assistance, the cost will be high.

Distance 

Generally, these trucks work within short distances.

Types of Vehicles 

This will depend on the type of tow truck used. Some have flat beds, others tow in a similar way to a tow dolly. Some will have higher weight limitations than others. 

Damage 

If the tow truck is not a flat bed, then there is the same risk of wear and tear on the tires. The other risk of damage, though, comes from the fact that these drivers make more money by towing more vehicles. Rushing can sometimes lead to damage of the vehicles being towed. 

Time 

If you need a quick pickup and transport, this is the way to go.

Professional Auto Shipping Companies 

Professional auto transport companies provide those flat-bed trailers that you see shipping multiple vehicles at one time, as well as any other type of vehicle transportation trailer. The best shipping companies, like ShipLux, offer both enclosed and open shipping, have different equipment to transport unique vehicles, have access to drivers everywhere, and provide excellent, transparent customer service.

Cost 

Shipping your vehicle costs money. The cost will depend on where you are moving, the distance, the size and make of your vehicle, your choice of enclosed or open shipping, and even seasonal changes in shipping. Although pricey, you don’t have to worry about the additional costs of food and places to stay that you need to tow it yourself. The savings in peace of mind are often worth the price.

Distance 

Most car shipping companies will ship any distance. The farther you go, the less it will cost per mile. 

Types of Vehicles 

The best companies will have access to a variety or equipment enabling them to ship everything from motorcycles to antique cars to heavy equipment.

Damage 

Minor damage from weather and road debris is possible if you chose open shipping. However, that damage is usually minor and covered by insurance. Choosing the slightly more expensive option of enclosed shipping will always give your vehicles the most protection of any kind of transportation. 

Time Most car shipping companies need some advance notice to schedule your car. They need to plan routes, find drivers, and (unless you pay extra) your car will be shipped with other vehicles. That said, you can always get expedited or same day shipping, for a cost of course. The time between pickup and drop off will again depend on distance. Drivers have to follow the rules of the road including limitations on driving time. Like all of us, they are also at the whim of the weather. 

Shipping With ShipLux Means Flexibility & Peace of Mind 

Reach out to ShipLux today to find out what we offer. If you decide you would rather tow it yourself, we’ll support that, because we love driving. 

However, if you don’t have the time to do it safely, or are nervous about towing a vehicle your own, talk to our agents and ask for a guaranteed transparent price quote! Trust our team of experienced drivers to get your car to you in a timely, safe, and secure fashion 

Let us do the driving for you.