The Hidden Costs Of Towing Your Own Car: Why A Car Hauler May Be Cheaper

You are moving all of your stuff, including your two cars, to the other side of the country. Movers are taking your stuff, and you are driving one of your cars. However, you cannot decide if you should tow your other car behind the car you are driving or if you should pay a hauler to move your second car for you. Paying a hauler involves an upfront fee, which can make towing look cheaper, but in reality, towing your own car carries a lot of hidden expenses.

When comparing the cost of hiring a hauler to move your car or doing it yourself, here are some of the hidden costs to keep in mind:

1. Reduced fuel efficiency

Unfortunately, it is hard to estimate exactly how your fuel efficiency will be compromised if you haul your own car. The exact numbers depend on the vehicle doing the hauling, the weight of your car, the wind resistance as you travel, and multiple other factors.

However, research suggests that for every 100 pounds of extra weight you have in your car that fuel efficiency wanes by 2 percent. This number is based on filling your trunk or the interior of your car with items, but it approximates the changes you will notice in fuel economy if you tow your own car. For example, if the car being towed weighs 4,000 pounds, you are basically adding 40 100-pound bundles to your vehicle. This stands to reduce your fuel economy by a whopping 80 percent.

If the car you are driving has a 24 mpg average fuel economy, lowering that number by 80 percent leaves you with a fuel economy of just 4.8 mpg. Once you factor in drag, the numbers are likely to get worse. This increases the amount of gas you need to buy on your journey substantially.

2. Lighting obligations

Gas isn't the only extra cost associated with towing your own car. You also have to invest in special lights. When you tow a car, you have to connect its lights to your lead car. That way, when you hit the brake or use the turn signal, those lights flash on the car being towed, and the people behind you know what you are doing. Light kits are relatively easy to install, but you have to buy them first, and that's another cost to consider.

In addition, lights are critical for safety, but they are also legally mandated in most areas. If you get caught towing a car without the proper light setup, you could face fines, penalties or even points on your license. In addition to the upfront costs associated with getting a ticket, it may drive up your insurance costs in the long run.

3. Tire wear and tear

In addition to considering direct costs such as gas and lights, you should consider the wear and tear on your vehicle's tires. When you tow a car, its wheels move along the ground. These miles are not registered in the odometer of most contemporary cars, but they still can take a toll on the tires themselves.

On average, tires last for about 50,000 miles, but in some cases, tires last only 20,000 miles. If you tow your car 3,000 miles from California to New York, you are using between 6 to 15 percent of your tires' potential life span. As a result, you will likely need to replace your wheels sooner. In contrast, if your car is sitting on a car hauler, its wheels are not moving or receiving any damage.

Want to learn more about the hidden costs of towing your own car or how using a car hauler could save you money in the long run? Contact a professional car hauler like Route 12 Rental Co Inc. for information and ideas.