General Towing

Long Distance Towing- Prepare Your Car For The Ride

long distance tow

Those of us lucky enough to live in Northwest Arkansas relish any opportunity to drive to the Ozark Mountains for a few days. Sometimes, however, life intervenes, and you need to transport your car over a long-distance. Here’s how to prepare your vehicle for long-distance towing.

Long-distance towing refers to transporting a vehicle over many miles. For example, paying a company to transport your Honda Civic from Bentonville to Little Rock is a long-distance tow. 

Safely transporting multiple vehicles over long-distances requires special equipment and considerations, and an entire industry exists to meet the need. You can choose from either a towing company that specializes in transporting cars or go with a national moving company. Both types of long-haul auto transport companies are well-equipped to relocate your vehicle efficiently.

Prepare for long Distance Towing

You’ve undoubtedly heard horror stories about cars that experienced severe damage during a long-distance tow. While we won’t pretend that those tales are false, we will say that it’s possible to move a car over many, many miles without damage. Preparation is the key to your car, arriving safely at its destination.

The happy news is that the practice of long-distance towing isn’t new, and professional car services like ours have lots of experience to share. Follow along for our five-step plan to transport your car without worry.
#1- Examine your options. The two typical modes of transport are open and closed car carriers. Both types of car carriers can transport multiple cars at one time. In general, you can safely send your vehicle on an open carrier, although high-value, classic car owners often opt for a closed option.

  • #2- Get written estimates. It’s always a smart decision to get a detailed written estimate from at least three car transport companies. Carefully examine the cost estimates to make sure that they cover the same items and remember that the cheapest option isn’t always the best one.
  • #3- Investigate. Use your smartphone to check online consumer reviews at sites like Yelp. You can also find any complaints against a company through your local Better Business Bureau website.
  • #4- A car transporter who goes across state lines must register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. A legitimate company won’t hide its registration number. Stay away from a long-distance towing company that doesn’t clearly show a registration number.
  • #5- Road accidents do happen. Protect yourself by requesting to see proof of insurance from your transport company. You might also decide to check with your car insurer to see if you should add any temporary coverage.

Once you’ve settled on a long-distance towing company, it’s time to focus on getting your car in shape for the move.

Get Your Car Ready for Transport

Many of the problems that car owners report with long-distance towing won’t happen if you get your vehicle prepared for the trip. Fortunately, it’s not too time-consuming to get your car transport ready. Experts at Moving.com recommend that you take the following pre-transport steps.

  • Disable your car alarm so that it won’t go off accidentally during transport.
  • Wash your car so that you can spot any dings and dents when your vehicle gets to its final destination.
  • Repair any fluid leaks.
  • Properly inflate the tires.
  • Take out custom accessories that are likely to experience damage during the trip.
  • Remove valuables from the trunk and glove compartment.
  • Don’t forget to lock the car.
  • Minimize the weight of your car by keeping the amount of gas in the tank low.

We also suggest that you take photographs of your car before turning it over to the long-distance towing company. Although high-quality transport companies do a decent job of preventing dings and scratches, you’ll want photos to establish the physical condition of your car before the tow.

Cost of long Distance Towing

Sending your car on a long-distance towing trip isn’t cheap. Fees typically vary from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars per car. The actual price depends on several factors: The distance of the move, vehicle type, weight, and the time of the year.

The final destination also impacts the overall price of your auto transport. Most companies give you the option of either taking delivery at a location of your choice or delivery to a central shipping terminal; You can save money if you pick up your car at a terminal.

You’ll also pay more if you opt to send your car in an enclosed car carrier. Although more costly, enclosed transport protects your vehicle from the weather and potential strikes from road debris. Protecting your vehicle from the weather is especially valuable if you have a custom or classic car.

Hand Over the Keys

After all of your hard work in finding a car service, the time will come to turn over your car keys. Don’t worry if this step makes you feel a little nervous. After all, you love your car, and it takes faith to trust its safety to the long-distance towing driver.

The shipper also needs to have confidence that you are the legal owner of the car and have the right to ship it. Expect to show your vehicle registration, driver’s license, and proof of insurance.

The driver will also inspect your car and note any exterior imperfections before loading the vehicle onto the carrier. Make sure that you watch the inspection and agree with everything that the driver writes onto the inspection report. Participating in the vehicle inspection helps you to later document problems that occur during transport.

Keep in mind that the expected delivery date for your car is an estimate. Most of the time, your vehicle will arrive on-time. However, unexpected things, such as a snowstorm or a major highway accident, might delay delivery.

Last Thoughts

Lastly, long-distance towing doesn’t need to be scary if you prepare in advance. Give yourself time to find an auto transport company that fits your needs and budget. You can help to make sure that everything goes smoothly during the transport by preparing your car for travel.


Roadside Services Towing of NWA excels at delivering affordable, high-quality assistance to our customers in Northwest Arkansas. Contact us for speedy roadside assistance at any time of the day and night