What is the Difference Between a Towing and an Auto Transport Company?

What is the Difference Between a Towing and an Auto Transport Company?

Sometimes a drive in the car is not feasible when your car needs maintenance or you might be moving to another state for a new job promotion. In these situations, as well as others, you will need assistance moving your vehicle. Car towing and car shipping are the two most commonly used options. While people sometimes confuse towing with auto hauling, the two activities are different.

Here, our professionals at AutoStar Transport Express discuss the differences and explain whether towing or shipping is best for your situation.

Difference Beween Towing and Car Shipping

What is a Towing Company?

Towing companies run short distances and respond immediately, unlike auto transport companies. The reason is usually an emergency. Towing is the best choice when your car breaks down and you need immediate assistance.

Despite providing fast service, the cost may be higher than an auto transport company. Since most towing companies operate 24 hours a day, they are ideal for moving vehicles both during the day and at night. Depending on the towing company, they may have wheel lift tow trucks or flatbed tow trucks for moving vehicles.

There is a greater chance that a towing company can cause damage because the drivers rush from one job to the next. The more cars he/she tows that day, the more he/she takes home that day.

A towing company also offers roadside services such as tire changes, jump starts, fuel delivery, and ditch recovery. Apart from that, they are often hired by companies to remove illegally parked vehicles from parking lots or by local governments to recover repossessed vehicles. They are therefore limited by distance, usually less than 100 miles.

Related Article: Is AAA the Best Option for Long-Distance Towing?

The Benefits of Hiring a Towing Company

  • Towing companies typically offer 24/7 service. So when you call, they’ll come on the same day. When you are in a hurry or don’t want to wait, the towing company is the answer.
  • A towing company has another advantage over car shipping, which is flexibility. It is necessary to schedule car shipping in advance. Towing is typically scheduled on the same day.
  • There is no better way to move broken-down cars across town.

Car Towing Cons

  • Towing your car comes with several risks. Firstly, the risks of long-distance towing with your trailer. In a perfect world, nothing would go wrong, but user error is still possible. You have to assume the risks if you are going the DIY route. In addition, towing puts wear and tear on your engine. In all cases, towing will wear down a towing vehicle. You can’t control all the factors that impact wear and tear.
  • Towing is always the most affordable option for short distances. In case you own a car capable of towing and you rent only a trailer (or you own a trailer), that configuration may be the most economical option – but at an added cost of time and energy.

When to Tow Your Car?

Do you wonder whether it is necessary to tow your car? Towing is generally a good option for short distances. It is a cheaper option to tow your vehicle for long-distance travel if only a trailer is rented. Often, car shipping is the cheaper and safer option – as well as being more useful and efficient – than renting both a towing vehicle and a trailer.

What You Can Expect from the Tow Truck Driver

A tow truck driver will attach the front bumper of a stalled vehicle to a hook and then secure it with chains. Occasionally, A towing company will send drivers to pick up vehicles on flatbeds. The driver would then load the stalled vehicle onto the flatbed truck, secure it with chains, and ensure that the truck was secured in the back.

What is an Auto Transport Company?

In contrast to a towing company, an auto transport company carries vehicles longer distances and can be used in a planned manner, even when going down the street.

Auto transport is known by many names but it all means the same thing. Car transport, car shipping, vehicle transport, vehicle shipping, and auto transport are just a few of the terms used interchangeably. It is important to understand that long-distance towing always refers to auto transport.

Auto transport is all about saving money. Every vehicle on a 10-car carrier that is going somewhere will split the cost of a shipment and the cost of transporting the vehicles. Using an auto transport company will help prevent your car from getting damaged since they’re using a carrier or flatbed to transport your car, and they aren’t rushing around the city to transport as many cars as they can within the allotted time.

The Benefits of Hiring an Auto Transport Company

  • Your car shipping company only needs to know the first date your vehicle is available to the next carrier in your direction. The only physical effort you need to put in is driving to the pickup or drop-off location.
  • Towing your car yourself means driving for hours or even days. The driving is done by someone else when shipping a car. If you’re moving states, you can ship your car and fly or drive there faster without hauling another vehicle. Most carriers serve all 48 states in the continental United States.
  • Towing your car is often more expensive than shipping it. Trailers (and vehicles) can be expensive to rent, not to mention gas mileage and repair costs afterward. Towing your car across state lines is almost unheard of, and will cost you much more than getting it shipped by an auto transport company.

Car Shipping: Cons

  • Shipping cars often involves more than one car. Occasionally, there are delays because other cars must be picked up and dropped off.
  • There are fewer car shipping companies than towing companies or car rental agencies. Having fewer options can make finding the right fit more difficult, especially if you have special requests or a demanding schedule. That is why AutoStar Transport Express is such a reputable broker.
  • The scheduling and cost of shipping a car are usually not worthwhile for short trips within 50 miles. In these cases, a towing service will provide faster and more affordable transportation.

When to Choose Car Shipping

Traveling a long-distance? The best choice for you is car shipping. A car shipping company’s prices are typically low since they ship multiple vehicles simultaneously.

Related article: Tow Dolly vs Car Trailer vs Auto Transport – Which is Best for Me?

Moving a luxury vehicle? Besides standard carriers, an enclosed trailer is also an option available. Collector’s items, new cars, and high-end vehicles can be transported in an enclosed transport. Want to keep it simple? With AutoStar Transport Express you can ship your car as easily as dropping off a package.

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