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Cheapest Way to Tow or Trailer a Car

by Robert Morello

A car may be towed or trailered with little difficulty and without great expense using several different methods. Each method has its own purpose and its own set of benefits.

Emergency Tow

You can find an emergency tow strap in any auto supply store and keep it in your car trunk in case of need. The strap is made of super strong nylon and has steel hooks at each end. With one end connected to the tow vehicle and the other connected to the stranded vehicle, the strap is suitable for use with cars or trucks and requires no other equipment. Tow straps are suitable only for a short tow and cost in the range of $20 to $30 as of January 2011.

Cheap Long-Distance Tow

Four-wheel towing---also called dinghy towing or toading---involves low cost and minimal equipment requirements. Only certain vehicles are capable of this type of towing. As a general rule all front-wheel drive and manual-lock 4x4 vehicles are OK to tow this way. The only equipment needed is a tow bar, which attaches to the vehicle undercarriage allowing for the front wheels to keep the car in line, and which attaches to the tow vehicle by a hitch. Tow bars cost around $200 as of January 2011.

Cheap Long-Distance Trailer

Towing with two wheels up is also a low-cost option. Front-wheel trailer towing helps to spare the wear and tear on a vehicle front end. The two-wheeled dolly elevates the vehicle's front end and is attached to the tow vehicle by a tow hitch. If your tow vehicle is not equipped with a tow hitch, you may rent one and attach it in only a few minute. The easiest way to obtain a dolly for towing is to rent one. Rates for a trailer rental start around $45 per day as of January 2011.

About the Author

Robert Morello has an extensive travel, marketing and business background. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in 2002 and has worked in travel as a guide, corporate senior marketing and product manager and travel consultant/expert. Morello is a professional writer and adjunct professor of travel and tourism.

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