Drive or Tow Your Car?

A major relocation comes with many decisions. What to pack versus what to discard. What moving company to hire? Should you have a moving sale so there’s less to pack? Should you DIY with a moving truck? Are you flying or driving to your new home? It’s that last question that raises one of the big issues with relocation: If you rent a moving truck, should you drive or tow your car behind the truck?

Of course, driving your car is only an option if there are two licensed drivers in your household — or if you can convince a friend to come along with you on the trip. One person drives the moving truck and the other the car.

The Benefits of Driving

There are some circumstances where driving the car is a better solution than towing it behind the truck. Families are much more likely to pick this option if there are children involved. One parent drives the truck while the other is in the car with the kids. Here are a few other reasons that driving is better than towing.

  1. Pets can be transported in the car
  2. Fragile items, high value items, and things you will need on the road (such as snacks, overnight bags, etc.) will travel easier in a car
  3. Large moving trucks are difficult to maneuver without a car towing behind it
  4. Depending on the tow option chosen, you could put extra wear on your vehicle
  5. Gas mileage on a moving truck will decrease significantly with a towed vehicle
  6. A vehicle with good gas mileage may cost less in gas than the tow option from the moving company

If you have a second driver, this may be the better option for you.

The Towing Option

There are actually two ways to tow your car behind a moving truck. The first involves a tow dolly, this holds the front wheels of your vehicle off the road, secured to the truck. That means that the rear wheels stay on ground during the entire drive. It does not, however, add mileage to your odometer. The second option is to hitch a tow trailer to the moving truck. Your car is secured to the trailer and saves wear and tear on the tires as well as the odometer.

There are distinct advantages to this type of move.

  1. Only one vehicle to drive and find parking for on your trip
  2. Only one vehicle to fill up at the gas station
  3. You don’t have to worry about getting separated in traffic
  4. If your vehicle gets bad gas mileage, the tow option (even with higher weight) may be cheaper than gas on the car/SUV
  5. Single people don’t have to worry about finding a buddy to travel with (who you will likely have to pay in food or return airfare)
  6. If you have a spouse, they will be in the cab of the moving truck with you — a much more enjoyable trip than driving all those lonely highway miles by yourself.

There are other options available for transporting your car to your new home. Some moving companies will transport your car for you, so you can just fly ahead and meet them at your new address. There are also companies that specialize in transporting cars. Some use professional drivers to move the vehicles while others have car transport trucks. You may even decide to sell your vehicle and just buy a new one when you land.

Do your research into the costs of the various options as early in your moving process as you can. That way you can make an educated choice as to which way you want to go and make all the necessary arrangements well in advance. That’s the real secret to a successful relocation.

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