When you need to transport your vehicle from one place to another because of mechanical issues or other reasons, sometimes renting a tow truck is a good option, especially if you need to move multiple vehicles. Calling to get your car towed by a tow truck driver can get very expensive, especially for long distances, so it may be cheaper to rent one.
Flatbed tow trucks can be rented for personal use and are more efficient and cost-effective than paying for a tow truck service drive to come and move the vehicle. Renting includes paying for the amount of rental time plus the mileage traveled, and is ideal for long-distance towing.
To learn more about renting a tow truck and some other alternative options for moving your vehicle, continue reading!
How To Rent A Flatbed Tow Truck
While there are various types of tow trucks, a flatbed tow truck is the only tow truck that is available to rent. Other tow trucks, such as a ball and chain tow truck or a special tow truck that has a pully system to lift and pull the car onto the truck bed are generally only available as services, in which a driver will come to your location, load up your car for you, and bring it to the desired location. These service companies can charge an arm and a leg to do this, so in some instances, especially when the distance at which you need to move your car is over ten miles, renting a tow truck may be the best option without having to worry about fees.
To rent a flatbed tow truck, you’ll first need to find the nearest towing company to you that will rent out a tow truck, that provides rental services instead of just its towing services. Some car rental services will also rent tow trucks, but this is rare. There are many people on reselling sights that will offer their flatbed car trailers for rent, but renting a tow truck may be easier than hooking up a flatbed trailer to your own truck and loading a car onto it.
In order to rent a tow truck, you have to meet the age and license requirements for driving and operating a tow truck, both of which vary by state. If you need, many rental companies will rent out a pickup truck and a car carrier, such as Home Depot or U-Haul if you don’t have a pickup truck of your own, and it may be cheaper and easier to rent than a tow truck. Tow truck rentals are more difficult to find, so this may be your best option.
How Much Does Renting A Tow Truck Cost?
If you want to rent a tow truck you should expect to pay a bit more than renting a car trailer or dolly to transport your vehicle. Regular flatbed tow trucks are a bit more expensive to rent and less available for rent. The rental prices will vary by the size of the tow truck, how long you’ll be renting it, and how far you’ll be driving it. Your daily fee will depend on the size of the tow truck, multiplied by the number of days you rent it for.
Often times this price is at a minimum of $100 per day. Factors like how many miles you drive it for and rental insurance will be tacked on to that daily rate. Usually, this price is half a dollar per mile you travel with it, and the insurance covers any risk of damage to the vehicle itself. Generally speaking, the total of all these things combined could run you somewhere between $200 per day and $600 per day.
Hiring A Towing Service To Move The Vehicle For You
The easiest option for transporting a vehicle to and from another place is calling a towing service to transport your vehicle for you, this option is going to be expensive, especially with all the extra fees many towing companies tack onto the total. However, it may actually be more cost-effective if you only need to transport your car a few miles on a one-way trip to a mechanic shop.
The tow truck used in these services will be able to pull your vehicle up the ramp and onto the truck bed without having to drive it up, so it’s also great for cars that are not in driving condition. The prices may also vary by how accessible the car is, for example, it will be cheaper to rent a tow truck to transport a vehicle backed into your driveway than it would be to transport a vehicle in the middle of the break-down lane on a highspeed freeway.
Generally, a towing service is received by call. If your car insurance, credit card company, or car dealership includes roadside assistance, you can call them to schedule a tow truck to come to you. Otherwise, you can call the nearest car towing service or even a mechanic shop to come to tow your vehicle for you. You’ll need your registration, license, proof of car insurance, and, if utilizing a roadside assistance program, your membership card.
Ensure that your license matches the name on the registration, otherwise, you’ll need whoever owns the car to send you a photo of their driver’s license. After you call, the tow truck driver may take up to an hour to arrive at your location, and once your car has been loaded up, you can get a ride from the tow truck driver to the mechanic shop if needed.
Alternative Option: Renting A Car Trailer
Sometimes renting a car trailer will be more feasible and easier than trying to find a rental company that will rent out a tow truck to you. It can also be much cheaper, especially if you already own a pickup truck to pull the car trailer. If you don’t already own a car trailer, you may need to rent a pickup truck as well to tow the trailer.
Many companies, like U-Haul and Home Depot, and other moving van rental companies, will rent out a car trailer, which you can simply hook up to your trailer hitch on your pickup truck and load your car onto. These trailers are like flatbed trailers but designed to transport vehicles, and your entire car will sit on the trailer. This more ideal for long-distance travel and moves.
It’s best to tow cars using a car trailer if you’re able to drive your car up the ramp and onto the trailer. Otherwise, if your car is broken down or is not in workable condition, you’ll have to put the car in neutral and get help pushing it up onto the trailer.
Then, you’ll need to put the vehicle in park and follow the correct car trailer instructions to load the strap in or lock the vehicle in place before transporting it. You can hook up this trailer to the back of your pickup truck, to the back of a rental pickup truck, or to the back of an RV or a moving van, making it the ideal option for moving or for long-distance trips.
Alternative Option: Renting A Car Dolly
Renting a car dolly is another feasible option for long-distance trips and moving from one house to another. You’ll rent these in the same way as a car carrier, with a daily rate plus insurance fees and any other rental fees. A car dolly is like a car carrier, except it has two wheels and tows the car by its front wheels, dragging its hind wheels behind it.
These are generally much cheaper to rent than a car carrier trailer, and instead of putting your car in park, you’ll put your car in neutral so that the hind wheels can still turn while towing it. You can hook this up to your trailer hitch at the back of your pickup truck, moving van, or RV.