What is a tow dolly and when do you need to use one? How much weight can a tow dolly support? How do you transport front-wheel drive vehicles on a tow dolly? What about rear-wheel drive vehicles? Where do you go to rent a tow dolly? We have the answers to everything you need to know about finding, renting, and using a tow dolly. In this article, we will explain what a car tow dolly is, where to get a tow dolly rental, and all the other important details you need to get your car from Point A to Point B using a car tow dolly.

What is a tow dolly?

A car tow dolly, or sometimes referred to as a tow dolly, is a small, lightweight towing device that is used when transporting vehicles from one location to another. The car dolly attaches to the vehicle like a trailer does and then the tires of the non running vehicle are places onto the dolly to haul the non running vehicle from one location to the next.

What situations are best for using a tow dolly?

People need a car dolly when they are moving or simply need to move a car from A-B. The car dolly allows you to haul your car from one location to another, instead of having to worry about how you’re going to relocate your car. Tow dollies are cheaper than trailers or a professional transporter. If your car is compatible with the tow dolly, then that’s the best way for you to re-locate your car at a cheaper price.

Important Things to Know About A Car Dolly

  • Hauling a rear-wheel drive vehicle: If your vehicle is rear-wheel drive, you must disconnect the drive shaft to prevent transmission damage. Putting the car into neutral is not enough! You must disconnect the drive shaft at the rear axle and then secure it. Some people remove the drive shaft altogether. If you decide to do this, be sure to cap the transmission tail shaft so you don’t lose any fluid. Many dolly rental places will do this for you for an extra fee.
  • The vehicle needs to be secured during transport: You can secure your car to the dolly with the use of chains or straps to ensure that your vehicle does not roll away during the hauling. Each company that you get a car dolly from has their own type of security system to keep your car safety attached to the car dolly. Be sure to ask the employee to ensure your car will be safety attached during the transportation.
  • You may need a car carrier/trailer instead of a car dolly: In some cases you may need to opt for a car carrier instead of a car dolly. A car carrier supports the entire vehicle, lifting it completely off of the ground unlike the car dolly. If your car is a four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, or you have a vehicle that has a low front end or air dams, then you will need to rent a car carrier because a car dolly will not work with your vehicle. Be sure when you are renting a car dolly you ask the employee to ensure your car works well with a car dolly or if you should opt for a car carrier instead. Of course you can always disconnect the driveshaft so two wheels will turn freely but that will likely me more hassle than it’s worth and you may just want to rent a car carrier.
  • Your price will vary: We would like to provide you with an estimate on your car dolly, but the truth is that each dolly rental is tailored to your individual needs. This means that each car dolly rental is unique and will cost different amounts depending on size and kind of vehicle being towed, locations you will be traveling to and from, and how long you will need to use the car dolly. Keeping all of these factors in mind, the company will give you a quote that is tailored for your own unique trip and use. This is why the price of your car dolly will vary per person per individual trip.

Places Where You Can Rent A Car Dolly

 1. U-Haul

  • Car Dolly Features
    Ratchet-operated tire straps
    Vehicle security straps
  • Weight Limits
    Max Load: 3,450 lbs. when towing a front-wheel drive vehicle, 3,900 lbs. when towing a rear-wheel drive vehicle.
    Empty weight: 750 lbs.
  • Age Requirement to Rent:
    You have to be at least 18 years old to rent
  • Other Requirements to Rent:
    Must provide at least two forms of identification
    Accepted forms of identification includes:
    Driver’s license
    State-issued ID
    Passport
    Social Security card
    Vehicle registration
    Phone bill
    Military ID
    Credit card
  • Deposit:
    No deposit is required if paying by major credit card, or debit card with a major credit card logo. If paying by cash, the following is due when you pick up your equipment.

    • In-Town trailer or towing: $60 or estimated rental charges (whichever is greater).
    • One-Way trailer or towing: $60 plus rental rate.
  • One-Way Rental:
    One-way rentals are available
  • Travel State-to-State:
    Yes
  • Travel Outside of The U.S.:
    Canada: Yes
    Mexico: Varies per rental location
  • Shop U-Haul Car Dollies Here
  • Watch How To Use U-Haul Car Dolly Here

Find this information and more here on this page of the U-Haul website.

 2. Penske

  • Car Dolly Features
    3 point tie-down system
  • Weight Limits
    4,300 lbs
  • Age Requirement to Rent:
    You have to be at least 18 years old to rent
  • Other Requirements to Rent:
    Must provide at least two forms of identification
    Accepted forms of identification includes:
    Driver’s license
    State-issued ID
    Passport
    Social Security card
    Vehicle registration
    Phone bill
    Military ID
    Credit card
  • Deposit:
    One-way reservations – No deposit is required if you reserve online and pay with a credit card. If you reserve with a credit card but decide to pay in cash or with a check, a $100 deposit will be required when you pick up the truck.
    Round-trip (local) rentals – A $150 deposit is required when pay with a credit card and a $200 deposit when you pay in cash.
  • One-Way Rental:
    One-way rentals are available
  • Travel State-to-State:
    Yes
  • Travel Outside of The U.S.:
    Canada: Yes
    Mexico: Varies per rental location
  • Shop Penske Car Dollies Here
  • Watch How To Use Penske Car Dolly Here

Find the above information and more here on this page of the Penske website.

 3. Budget

  • Car Dolly Features
    Vehicle security straps
  • Weight Limit
    4,300lbs but ‘can vary per rental’
  • Age Requirement to Rent:
    You have to be at least 18 years old to rent
  • Other Requirements to Rent:
    Must provide at least two forms of identification
    Accepted forms of identification includes:
    Credit or debit card.
    Valid U.S. passport or current U.S. military identification card.
    Current employer-issued photo identification.
    Social Security card.
    Current copy (within the last 60 days) of the customer’s cellular phone bill, home telephone bill, bank statement or utility bill.
    Paycheck or paystub.
    State-issued ID card
  • Deposit:
    At the time of a U.S. rental, Budget Truck generally requires a credit card hold of $150 for local truck rentals. For one-way truck rentals, we require a credit card hold of $150 and the estimated cost of the rental.
  • One-Way Rental:
    One-way rentals are available
  • Travel State-to-State:
    Yes
  • Travel Outside of The U.S.:
    Canada: Yes
    Mexico: Varies per rental location
  • Shop Budget Car Dollies Here
  • Watch How To Use Budget Car Dolly Here

Find the above information and more here on this page of the Budget website.

 4. CCM Rental in Chesterland, Cleveland, Mentor, and Middlefield Ohio

  • Car Dolly Features
    Vehicle security straps
  • Weight Limit
    4,300 lbs
  • Age Requirement to Rent:
    You have to be at least 18 years old to rent
  • Other Requirements to Rent:
    Varies per rental location
  • Deposit:
    No deposit required
  • One-Way Rental:
    One-way rentals are not available
  • Travel State-to-State:
    Yes
  • Travel Outside of The U.S.:
    Canada: No
    Mexico: No

Find the above information and more here on this page of the CCM Rental website.

Places Where You Cannot Rent a Car Dolly

It’s important to know where you can find a car dolly, but it is also important to know places that DO NOT offer car dollies for rent. These companies do not provide any type of towing equipment either.

  1. Enterprise
  2. Ryder
  3. Hertz
  4. Enterprise

Car Tow Dolly Rentals: Conclusion

Knowing where you can get a car dolly is important information. We invite you to use the list of places you can get a car dolly when you’re moving or simply need to relocate a car at a far cheaper price than by renting a full-length trailer. If you are also in need of a moving truck, check out our article on Long Distance Truck Rentals. Or is a trailer a bit too expensive or cumbersome for you? Read our roundup of which places rent out car trailers. And a top tip: rental companies don’t have a problem with mix and matching a trailer from one company and a truck from another. So figure out the logistics and the cheapest price for you (by using these two articles, of course) and you’re good to go.