Corvette uploading into a trailer

Is Long Distance Towing a Viable Choice for Car Transport?


If you ever need to move a car from one location to another, long distance, it’s important to research your options. The easiest probably seems like driving it yourself. It might also appear to be the cheapest option, but not when you look a little closer at the logistics. 

Towing long distance is another option and that’s what we’re going to examine in this post. 

Towing long distance - what are the options?

If you want to know more about long-distance car towing, let’s start by looking at the different options. 

Tow dollies

A tow dolly is a two-wheel trailer. To use one, you secure the front wheels of your car to the dolly. The rear wheels roll on the road. 

It’s important to note that not all cars can be towed with a tow dolly. It depends on the make and model, its weight, weight distribution, the length of the car, and its ground clearance.

You can transport most front-wheel drive vehicles using a tow dolly, however, it’s always best to check the owner’s manual. 

If you want to use a dolly with a rear wheel or a 4WD drive vehicle, you’ll have to disconnect the drive shaft for towing over a long distance. 

Is a tow dolly a good option? They are relatively inexpensive to rent in the short term. However, remember that gas mileage decreases when a vehicle is towing.

A tow dolly with an auxiliary brake system can be a good option for short journeys. For long-distance transport, they’re not the best option because your vehicle is still subject to a lot of wear and tear on the journey.   

Flat towing

One alternative to two-wheel towing is flat towing. It’s also known as four-down towing and dinghy towing. 

You attach a tow bar to your car and pull it behind your truck. All four wheels of the towing vehicle are on the ground. 

Traditionally, this was a popular option because there were more vehicles with manual transmission. 

With the increase in front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles, flat towing is a more complicated option.

There are many other auto transport options, so it’s best to avoid flat towing if possible. One consideration is wear and tear. 

If your vehicle is relatively new, it’s recommended that you choose an auto transport trailer over four-down towing.   

Auto transport trailers

Auto transport trailers are a much better option for towing a car long distances. Four-wheel trailers can carry a wide range of vehicles, up to around 5,000 pounds.

Vehicles being towed in this way are securely strapped to the trailer throughout the journey and aren’t in contact with the road. 

Auto transport trailers can be used to move front and rear-wheel drive vehicles, four-wheel drive vehicles, and new vehicles with electronic transmissions. 

A big advantage of towing a car long distance using an auto transport trailer is that it doesn’t add mileage to your car. In addition, there is no additional wear and tear during the journey.  

How safe is towing a car?

Towing a car can be safe, but there are risks, depending on the way you tow a car. Depending on what vehicle you’re using to tow your car, you may have problems seeing your car or the trailer in your mirrors.

In some states, auxiliary braking systems aren’t mandatory which means the trailer you rent might not have its brakes to compensate for the weight of your car.

With a dolly, there is another set of problems. The maneuverability of the towing vehicle is limited and for the inexperienced, it can be very challenging. 

Finally, when driving, if you accidentally swerve, you could damage the trailer, the hitch, or both. If you load the trailer incorrectly, the trailer could sway and cause a serious accident. 

Why a road trip with a car in tow is not such a good idea

A road trip with a car in tow might seem like the best way to move your car, but there are two very good reasons why you should look for another option. 

In the first instance, the large interstates that crisscross the US are some of the most dangerous roads you can travel on. If you’re not used to towing large cargo, the danger increases significantly.

Secondly, towing a car is not easy. The trailer rental company might tell you that towing a car is not a big deal, but don’t believe them. 

Towing a car is a big deal and it’s not just the driving you’ve got to master. You’ll be responsible for securing the trailer or dolly, securing your vehicle, navigating highways, small roads, and parking lots while you’re towing a car. 

Why shipping your car is a much better option

A far more common way of moving a car across the country is shipping. For some vehicles, this means making the journey on an open flatbed or double-decker carrier. For more valuable or classic cars, this means a journey in an enclosed trailer that protects them from prying eyes, road debris, and the weather. 

One of the biggest advantages of using an auto transport company like SGT Auto Transport is that they take care of all the details. In addition, there is no wear and tear on your vehicle and no added miles on the odometer. 

Shipping a car is also stress-free, worry-free, and in many cases, a far more affordable option.

Want to know the cost of shipping a car with us? Request your auto transport quote today 

Choosing the best car transport company 

You’ve decided to ship your car rather than tow or drive it, so the next step is to decide on a shipping date and find an auto transport company. 

On the surface, most auto transport companies look very similar. You might think that price should be the defining feature, but remember that in life, you get what you pay for. Choosing a company just because they’re cheap can be risky. 

A much better way to decide is to look for a provider that offers the services you consider important. Are you looking to ship your vehicle in an enclosed trailer? Would you like to ship your vehicle door-to-door? Do you consider it important to be able to check on your vehicle 24/7? Your needs should be your guide. 

One final consideration is to make sure the company you use is licensed, insured, and has a long history of shipping cars and lots of satisfied customers. 

If you’re looking for a reliable auto transport company, SGT Auto Transport will tick all your boxes. We provide a range of services to suit your needs, our prices are affordable, and we have thousands of happy customers.

For more information or to make your booking, call our shipping advisors at (864) 546-5038. Alternatively, use our Live Chat option.

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