If you’re moving a car to another state, you have a few options. You could self-tow, drive the car, pay for a driver, or ship it. And while each option has its own set of pros and cons, self-towing is certainly one of the most affordable and convenient routes to take.
Driving the car yourself is going to be your cheapest option as a rule. Still, it isn’t always possible, especially if you are also dealing with a moving truck. Paying a driver or shipping a car may sound like a great idea at first glance, but the high cost outweighs the benefits for many.
So, when you’re looking for a budget-friendly option that allows you to get your belongings and your car to your new home in one trip, it’s almost always best to tow your car to another state.
How to Tow a Car to Another State
Now that you know the most affordable and convenient way to move a car from state to state, let’s talk logistics. Here’s how to tow a car to another state:
- Make sure you have a vehicle suitable for towing. Not all vehicles have the capability to tow. For example, a sedan obviously won’t have the capacity to tow a truck, but a 16-foot or 26-foot moving van can tow most cars. Check each vehicle’s towing capacity and weight to make sure the towing vehicle is heavier than the car you’re towing.
- Rent a car dolly or car trailer. A car dolly is suitable for most cars—it lifts the front two wheels of the car while the two rear wheels remain on the ground and roll while traveling. A car dolly is ideal for heavier cars, luxury cars, or four-wheel drive vehicles. A dolly keeps all four wheels off the ground and uses an auxiliary braking system.
- Disengage the parking brake (if using a car dolly). Keep the parking brake disengaged so that the wheels of the car can spin while being towed.
- Remove valuables and car documents. Ensure you remove any valuables (including registration and insurance for the vehicle) before hitting the road. Keep car documents with you in the towing vehicle.
- Don’t put a car cover on the vehicle. The car you’re towing may get dirty, but it’s best to skip the car cover. It could act as a parachute and cause added trailer sway while on the road, putting you in greater danger of an accident.
Can Your Car Be Towed with Budget Truck Equipment?
Wondering whether your moving truck can move your car to another state? Enter your vehicle’s make, model, and year in the “Can I tow my car” section to find out.
Tips for Towing a Car Behind a Moving Truck
Learning how to move a car to another state by self-towing requires a bit of research and careful driving practices. Here are some tips on how to make driving a moving truck while towing cargo go more smoothly:
- Perform a safety check. Never hit the road without performing a safety check first. Drive about 100 feet, then check to make sure straps, bolts, and chains are all properly positioned and secure.
- Drive slower. It’s best to drive slightly below the speed limit to prevent trailer sway and give you better control of the vehicle.
- Plan for a wider turning radius. Turning while towing a car requires a wider turning radius. Be sure to slow down and allow plenty of space for the towed vehicle.
- Stay in the right lane. Because you’re driving at a slower speed than most cars on the highway, it’s safer to stay in the right lane as much as possible.
- Avoid backing up. When self-towing, it’s important to accept that you’ll have limited maneuverability. You won’t be able to back up easily—so make parking choices wisely.
Check out Budget Truck’s Vehicle Towing Guide for more helpful tips.