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Tow Dolly Rental: Here’s What You Need to Know

    When driving the vehicle isn’t an option, move it from one place to another both safely and economically with a car dolly. It will get your vehicle from Point A to Point B — and you don’t need towing experience to use it. All you need is a willingness to learn and a commitment to follow instructions.

    What is a tow dolly?

    A tow dolly, also known as a car dolly, is a trailer made specifically for carrying front-wheel drive vehicles. If you want to tow a rear-wheel car, lock the steering wheel and disconnect the driveshaft. Otherwise, the tow dolly can severely damage the vehicle. In a front-wheel drive scenario, the two front wheels of the vehicle are secured to the trailer, while the rear wheels remain in contact with the pavement. The car and trailer are then pulled behind another vehicle, such as a pickup truck or moving truck. You’ve likely seen this setup on the roads before.

    Are they expensive?

    Tow dollies are easily accessible from your local rental store — and at a great price, too. Plus, the affordable price includes access to knowledgeable store employees. You might be nervous about using a car dolly if you’re not experienced with trailers, but rental store employees can help. Their instruction and tips can give you the confidence to take on the open road, vehicle in tow.

    What to do — and what not to do

    The rental store will provide instructions as well, but here are a few tips for operating a car dolly rental safely.

    1. Remove excess weight from the towed vehicle, especially the trunk.
    2. Center the vehicle on the dolly, facing forward. Loading the vehicle backward can cause the dolly to whip back and forth while driving.
    3. Follow all instructions given to you by the rental store.
    4. Correctly attach the tow dolly to the vehicle and properly load the tow dolly.
    5. Keep people away from the area at all times.
    6. Do not allow any passengers or pets inside the vehicle being towed.
    7. Complete a final walk-around inspection before departing.
    8. Drive slower than normal. Most tow dollies should not be driven faster than 55 mph.
    9. Give yourself plenty of room to brake. Slowing down will take longer than it does while driving a singular vehicle.
    10. If the tow dolly starts swaying side to side, let off the gas, slow down and pull off the road to check the dolly as soon as possible. Avoid steering, braking and accelerating.
    11. If one of the tow dolly or vehicle wheels goes off the road, let off the gas and slow down to under 25 mph. Then, steer the dolly back onto the road.
    12. Do not back up the truck when the tow dolly is attached. It could cause significant damage. Instead, remove your vehicle from the towing device, unhook the towing device from the truck, then move them separately.

    Stop by your local rental store to find an expert who can answer additional questions and set you up with a tow dolly rental. Perhaps you’ll find additional rental items you need while you’re there, such as a hand dolly or car top carrier. Find a rental store near you using our store locator above.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Are dollies expensive to rent?

    Tow dolly rentals are very affordable, around $50 per day depending on where you live. The cheapest tow dolly rental, though, might be even less. Check multiple different stores near you to compare prices.

    Can I use a tow dolly for long distances?

    Although you can, it’s generally not recommended. Using a car carrier or an auto transport service will prevent the uneven wear and tear between the front and back wheels that can happen on a cross-country trip.

    How much can I tow with a tow dolly?

    Most tow dollies can handle between 4,000 and 5,000 pounds of weight.