Instead of dropping a few thousand dollars to buy a car tow dolly or having to rent a car carrier, you can simply rent a car dolly for a day or two from a truck rental company and save a lot of money. How much does it cost to rent a car dolly, exactly? We will answer all your questions about car tow dolly rentals, including the costs and everything you need to know!
Renting a car dolly can range from $40-$350, depending on the mileage of traveling with the dolly and how many days it is rented for. Each rental truck agency or department store will have its own car dolly rental rates. Dolly rentals are more affordable than purchasing one or renting a car carrier.
If you want to rent a car dolly, continue reading to get all the information you need to know so you can get on the road with your car towed behind your moving van or truck!
Rental Costs of a Car Dolly
To rent a car dolly for any purpose, such as to assist in the moving process or to tow your car for repairs, the price will be generally inexpensive for the car dolly alone. Renting a car tow dolly will usually cost somewhere around $40 to $65 depending on the rental agency you are renting from, but this cost can range up to around $350 if you plan to travel long distances or you need to use it for multiple days.
While this may be a bit of an expensive cost on top of all the money you will need to invest in your move or your car repairs, this cost is much cheaper than renting a car carrier (which carries the entire car on all four wheels) or purchasing a car dolly. A car dolly can cost somewhere between $1500 to $3500, so unless you plan on using the dolly frequently enough to justify the purchase, renting the car dolly is your best bet.
Some moving van rental agencies that rent out car dollies won’t allow you to rent the dolly alone. Instead, they must be rented with a moving van for an additional cost. Other agencies will allow you to rent the moving van alone or the car dolly alone but will provide a package deal to those who rent them together and at the same time, with a discount on both.
U-Haul is a rental agency that provides car dollies to be rented separately to be used with their moving vans or with your own compatible vehicle. If using it with your personal vehicle, an employee at the U-Haul rental shop will help you determine if your vehicle’s make and model are compatible with towing another vehicle with the car dolly.
How the moving process with your car dolly looks
Generally speaking, you’ll likely be renting your car dolly for only one day unless the travel is across state lines or very long distances. People generally use car dollies for moving, which will be discussed here, but they can also be used for other reasons, such as towing a broken down car to a mechanic shop. For moving purposes, most people tend to rent a car dolly along with a moving van from the same rental agency they rented the moving van from because the agency can easily hook up the dolly for you so all you’ll have to do is load up your car from there, and receive assistance if needed. Otherwise, so long as their vehicle is capable of towing another vehicle, they can hook up the dolly to their own vehicle.
Renting a car dolly with a moving van is the easiest way to go about this process, but moving things into the moving van may be made difficult if your car is already hooked up to the dolly. Because of this, you may want to wait until after the moving van is full before loading your car. Often, people will load up their moving van with all their stuff (or the first load of their stuff, depending on how much needs to be moved), then hook up their car to the dolly and bring the moving van straight to the new home, then unload their car in the driveway and move their items into the new home.
This way, if they have more than one load, they can return the dolly to the nearest rental location without paying extra, then finish the move with the moving van, which can then be returned at another time. If this is the only load, the renter can unload the van, then return both the van and dolly at the same time to the nearest location, bringing their towed car with them so they can use it to drive home.
Additional Car Dolly Cost
If you’re going to tow your car with a rental moving van, expect to pay for both the moving van rental and the car dolly rental. If you’re going to tow your car with your own compatible vehicle, you’ll first need to ensure that your vehicle will be able to tow another vehicle and that its towing capacity exceeds the weight of the vehicle you’re towing. If the vehicle you’re using to tow doesn’t have a tow-hitch, you’ll need to purchase one and have it installed onto your vehicle.
You can do this yourself following directions on the tow-hitch packaging or get this done professionally to fully ensure it is installed safely and securely. A tow-hitch that can tow up to 6,000 pounds will generally cost you between $450 and $500. U-Haul offers a service where they will sell you a hitch and install it for you, making your nearest U-Haul rental location your best one-stop rental agency for all your car towing needs.
Related Article: U-Haul Trailer Hitch Installation
Another additional cost to consider is the insurance of your towed vehicle and the vehicle doing the towing if this is your personal vehicle. You’ll want to ensure that both vehicles are properly ensured and that your towed vehicle has towing insurance. This means that at an additional cost added to your regular car insurance, your car will be covered for any damages that happen to it while it’s being towed, whether that be yourself or some other third-party towing company.
Why rent a car dolly?
Renting a car dolly is perfect for one-time trips or even round trips in which you need to move your vehicle from one location to another, whether that be across town or across the country. They are useful for big moves, for transporting a broken down vehicle, or for attaching your car to the back of your camper vehicle. It’s perfect for attaching to your U-Haul or moving van while you haul the rest of your stuff or to even attaching another one of your vehicles, like a truck or powerful SUV. The car dolly will pull your car from the front, lifting up its front end with its back wheels touching the ground. Once properly attached to your towing vehicle and your towed vehicle is loaded and put in neutral, you’ll be able to pull your car with ease.
A car dolly is a great option because it’s inexpensive to rent, especially when compared to renting a car carrier trailer, which will tow the vehicle on all four wheels, or hiring a towing company to relocate your vehicle for you. This is especially so if you’re wanting to travel a long distance, as most towing companies won’t exceed a certain number of miles or will charge excessive amounts to tow long distances. Renting a tow dolly will also be much cheaper than purchasing one, so for one-time or short-term use, you’ll make better use of your money by renting.
Short-distance trips vs. long-distance trips
The total price of renting a car dolly will vary by how far and how long you travel with it. Keep in mind that the longer the distance you’re going to tow your car with the dolly, the more the rental cost will be. Some rental agencies will ask you to provide them an estimate for how many miles you will be traveling with it and schedule with you a good time and place to return the dolly.
If they do this, they will generally charge you the full price of renting the dolly on the spot prior to when you rent it. Otherwise, the total price based on the mileage traveled and/or the amount of time you’ve been renting will be calculated once you return the dolly. The main factor for estimating the rental price is how long you will be renting it, especially because mileage can’t always be confirmed unless the rental agency records your odometer number. How long you rent the dolly will determine how much it will cost, so the longer you have it, the more expensive it will be. If you rent the dolly for one day, it will cost closer to $40 or $50, while renting for an entire week can cost you anywhere from $200 to $350.
Some factors to consider before renting
When you decide to rent a car dolly, be sure to consider a multitude of factors, many of which you will need to provide to the rental agency or simply to ensure that the towing vehicle you use (if you’re not renting a moving van) is capable of towing the vehicle and that your vehicle will be able to be towed properly.
The first thing to consider is the type of dolly you need. There are three different dolly types that most rental agencies have available: Standard dolly, tow bar dolly, and electric winch dolly. Standard is the most common, and it uses straps and pulleys to pull and lift up your car’s front wheel off of the ground. Low bar dollies will attach to the back of your car and support its back wheels, and an electric winch dolly is motorized to lift up your car onto the dolly platform. Some dollies are
You’ll also need to keep in mind how long you’ll need to rent the dolly for your particular needs, as well as whether or not you’re going to be making a one-way trip or round trip with it, and how many locations of the rental agency there are. This will help you to determine how much you will be using it. If you know how long you’re gonna be using it to tow your vehicle, you’ll get a better estimate or quote of how much it’s going to cost you in the end. If you know whether or not you’re going to make a one-way trip or round trip with the dolly, this can help you determine how far you’re going to travel with it. And, lastly, especially if you’re going to make a one-way trip with your dolly, it will be useful to know how available the rental locations are so that you can determine how quickly and easily you’ll be able to return it. Agencies with fewer locations are also going to cost you more than agencies that have locations all around the area.
One of the most important factors to consider when renting a car dolly is the weight and size of the vehicle you’re going to tow (as larger vehicles require larger, more expensive dollies), your car’s towing capacity, and the dolly’s towing capacity. You’ll want to make sure that both the vehicle you are using to tow as well as the dolly you’re using to tow is going to be able to handle the weight of your towed vehicle (meaning its towing capacity exceeds the weight of your vehicle). This will help ensure that your vehicle can be towed safely without causing any damage to your towing vehicle or the car dolly because paying for damages to the car dolly or the moving van you’re renting can get expensive.
How to hook up your car dolly, then load and unload your car
Each rental agency that provides car dolly rentals will have detailed instructions on their website for how to hook up the dolly to your car or truck, as well as to load and unload your car to and from the dolly. For example, Regardless of which company you rent from, there are a few main things to remember when towing your car using a car dolly.
First, make sure that the vehicle you are towing is empty to avoid possible damage to these items or your car and to ensure the weight doesn’t exceed the limit for the car dolly.
Secondly, ensure that your towing vehicle will be able to have control over steering, stopping, and maneuvering your towed vehicle. The heavier your towed vehicle is, the more difficult it will be to maneuver while towing.
Always use the chains and tie-down straps that are equipped with your car dolly. This will ensure that in a sudden stop that your car will stay secure on your dolly.
It is against the law to tow a trailer or tow a vehicle on a dolly that does not have brake lights and turn signals hooked up to your towing vehicle. If you’re towing a car with a car dolly, ensure that the brake lights and signals are connected to warn others of breaking and turning.
Keep in mind that the speed limit for vehicles towing another vehicle is 55mph on highways and 45mph on other roads with speed limits of 45 or higher. You can use the slow lane so others can easily pass you.