Auto transport vs towing

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Planning to move out of the city, going on a trip, or moving out for college? Well these, along with many other situations, often require transporting your car to your new location. Now, you might be wondering, how? Driving is the first option that may come to your mind, but wait! There are several other options that could work better for you. Shipping your vehicle is a great alternative when it comes to moving to a place where your car is absolutely essential. There are several ways of doing it, but it is important to understand the differences involved with each method. Here, we will talk about the two most important shipping methods you may want to consider, in case you need to transport your car: Auto Transport and Towing.

Auto Transport vs. Towing 

As mentioned before, transporting or towing a car involves moving your vehicle from point A to point B without driving it. This, of course, involves an auto transport company handling the coordination of the shipping process. However, despite the fact that both perform the same function, there are a few characteristics that differentiate them from each other. These mostly involve the vehicle's attributes and the shipping distance. Let's take a look at them closely.

How do they work?

A tow dolly is a type of trailer with two wheels that raises an automobile´s front wheels while the rear wheels stay on the ground. There is also a tow system called flat towing, which includes four wheels on the ground, which is a bit faster and easier to drive. However, it is typically best to avoid flat towing because your car will be fully exposed to the ground with no protection or support system. Two-wheel towing is much safer and common, therefore, we will focus on this type of towing throughout the reading. 

On the other hand, an auto transport trailer is a four-wheel trailer that lifts the vehicle completely off the ground. The car will be securely strapped to the trailer during shipping, allowing for no contact with the ground, while free from using its wheels or main elements. This option provides some great benefits including, no added mileage to your vehicle, as well as no wear and tear. Your vehicle would be shipped as cargo. 

Choosing Between Towing and Trailers

When choosing your shipping method between auto transport and towing, you must consider your car's weight, length and ground clearance. A tow dolly works perfectly for most front, all, rear and four-wheel-drive vehicles. For a carrier, larger vehicles like large cars, trucks, or 4x4 can be transported easily, making it a great shipping option, in case you are worried about your vehicle’s size.

Loading Process

When it comes to setting up your vehicle for transport, you should consider some factors that might affect your decision. Connecting your car to a tow dolly might be tricky, mainly because you must ensure that the drive wheels are secure in case of any incident. You also must make sure that the drive shafts are removed, which make the process a bit more tedious and difficult. 

For auto transport via car trailers, your involvement will be much more limited, which offers a higher level of convenience for most people looking to transport their vehicle. The carrier, as well as the auto transport company, will be responsible for doing this. Your main responsibility will be getting your car ready for shipment and inspecting it for any scratches or dents prior to  loading. For more tips about setting up your car for transport, check out our latest blogs and never miss a successful transport experience.

Is There A Chance Of Car Damage?

While there is always a risk of damage when your vehicle is being transported from one location to another, the chances of this are relatively low. With car towing, you run the risk of wearing down the tires of the vehicle due to the extra weight that is put over the back wheels. Additionally, several areas may run the risk of being dragged if the vehicle is low to the ground, damaging bumpers, undercarriage components and body kits. Keeping this in mind, a tow dolly might not be the greatest option for long-distance travel.  

When auto shipping via car carrier, the risk is further decreased in terms of damage. This is because the entire vehicle is lifted up without having any contact with the ground. Keep in mind, if the vehicle is transported via open transport, there are still some chances of minor dents or dirt due to being exposed to the elements, rather than in enclosed transport where the car is fully covered. 

Security vs. Pricing

Fishtailing movements are frequent when towing and driving at fast speeds, resulting in one of the most serious vehicle dolly towing concerns. This is known as trailer sway, and is really dangerous in conditions such as bad weather or snow, due to slippery roads. When shipping with a car trailer, your car will travel in safer conditions because the vehicle will be entirely lifted above the road.

In terms of lower costs, hiring a tow dolly is the best option, not only because the process is simpler, but also because distances are commonly shorter, and therefore costs will typically be less. On the other hand, carrier transport is a bit more expensive in relation to loading and shipping, but offers a higher level of convenience and peace of mind for the customer. 

Towing your own car

Towing your vehicle yourself is an option that may come to mind when considering your auto transport options. While this method may sound appealing, as it allows you to move and control your own car, while cutting costs of hiring a transporter, there are drawbacks. Unfortunately, it could actually end up costing more than towing it with specialists or by auto transport companies, due to the wear and tear your vehicle will endure, road conditions, fill ups, trailer renting, and numerous other factors. 

We do not recommend towing your car on your own, mostly due to the high level of danger on highways and the high level of complexity involved from the time you start towing until you arrive at your destination. You should be experienced in securing the dolly, securing your own vehicle, driving through high-speed roads and even parking lots. It is a complex process that can result in extremely dangerous consequences for you if you´re not a professional in the industry. 

Auto Transport: An Excellent Alternative 

Shipping your vehicle with an auto transport company is a very good option for delivering it to your final destination in a safe, convenient way, especially if you're traveling long distances. While doing your own research of different auto transport companies, you should make sure that the company you choose has years of experience and professionalism in shipping different kinds of vehicles, and provide you the chance to get a free quote prior to requesting the service. Many great auto transport companies, such as AmeriFreight, provide the option of shipping your car via open or enclosed transport, depending on your car´s specific features or requirements. 

Long-Distance Transport Recommendation

If you want to ship your car cross-country, consider auto transport as your best option, due to the fact that it will ensure a safe journey and arrival for one of your most prized possessions, your vehicle. Also, take into account that open-air transport is much safer in comparison to towing, because no elements of the car will be directly exposed to the roads, preventing it from any possible damage. Don’t forget that enclosed transport is a great option as well, especially for luxury, new, or vintage cars that require better protection.

Time to Choose

As we have previously discussed, there are a number of differences between towing and auto transport beyond the fact that both options, essentially, serve the same function. Now it’s time for you to consider aspects such as your car type, traveling distance, budget, and even your own skills for towing your own vehicle. These are key points that will help determine which option is right for you, so think wisely and get ready to prepare your vehicle for your next journey! 

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