Difference Between Flatbed Towing & Regular Towing?

Difference Between Flatbed Towing & Regular Towing?

Are you familiar with the ways cars get a lift when they’re in a bit of a bind? It’s not magic, but it is a choice between two practical solutions – regular towing and flatbed towing. Imagine this: you’re stranded on the side of the road, and a tow truck arrives. But have you ever wondered why some cars are hoisted onto the truck, while others ride on a flat platform?

Let’s unravel the mystery behind these two common towing methods and understand the simple yet crucial differences between flatbed towing and regular towing in the world of automotive rescues.

Regular Towing

Ever wondered how your car gets a lift when it breaks down? Regular towing is the unsung hero of roadside rescues. It involves towing a vehicle with its wheels on the ground, using a tow truck. Here are the basics:

Definition and Purpose

Regular towing is the go-to when your car needs a lift without any fancy tricks. It’s the method where the tow truck pulls your vehicle with its wheels rolling on the road. The purpose? To get your car from point A to point B when it can’t do so on its own.

Common Vehicles Towed:

Regular towing is the friend of smaller vehicles like sedans, hatchbacks, and motorcycles. When these vehicles face a breakdown or need to be relocated, regular towing comes to the rescue.

Tow Truck Features for Regular Towing:

Picture a tow truck with a sturdy hook or hitch at the back. That’s the tool for regular towing. It’s designed to secure your vehicle by the front or rear and transport it safely to its destination. Simple, yet effective!

Flatbed Towing

Ever seen a car riding on a truck bed instead of being towed with its wheels on the ground? That’s flatbed towing, and it’s more than just a cool sight on the road.

Definition and Purpose:

Flatbed towing is like giving a car a piggyback ride but on a flat platform. The main goal is to keep the towed vehicle safely elevated, preventing wear and tear on its wheels during the journey. It’s like a secure journey for your car, especially if it’s not feeling well.

Common Vehicles Towed:

Flatbed towing is like the superhero of towing – it can carry almost anything. From sleek sports cars to bulky SUVs, it’s the go-to choice when you want to transport your four-wheeled friend without making it touch the road.

Tow Truck Features for Flatbed Towing:

Picture a truck with a sturdy, flat platform on its back – that’s the flatbed tow truck. The platform can be tilted or lowered to make loading and unloading a breeze. It’s like a car elevator but on the back of a truck, ready to lift vehicles to a safe journey above the ground.

Key Differences Between Flatbed and Regular Towing

When it comes to towing your vehicle, it’s important to know the differences between flatbed and regular towing. These distinctions play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of your vehicle during transportation. Let’s break down the key differences:

Loading Method:

Regular Towing: Your vehicle is towed with its wheels on the ground. This method is common for shorter distances and simpler towing needs.

Flatbed Towing: The entire vehicle is lifted and securely placed on a flat platform. This method is more versatile and suitable for various vehicle types.

Vehicle Compatibility:

Regular Towing: Best suited for smaller and lightweight vehicles, such as sedans and compact cars.

Flatbed Towing: Offers flexibility, accommodating a wide range of vehicles, including larger ones like SUVs and trucks.

Safety Considerations:

Regular Towing: There’s a potential risk of damage to your vehicle, especially if it’s low to the ground or has specific features that may be affected during towing.

Flatbed Towing: Ensures a reduced risk of damage as the entire vehicle is securely placed on the flat platform, eliminating potential contact with the road.

Distance and Speed Restrictions:

Regular Towing: Typically suitable for limited distances and lower speeds, making it more appropriate for local towing needs.

Flatbed Towing: Provides greater versatility, allowing for longer distances and higher speeds, making it suitable for inter-city or highway towing.

Understanding these differences empowers you to choose the right towing method based on your vehicle type, distance requirements, and the level of safety you want to ensure during transportation on Australia’s diverse roads.

When to Choose Regular Towing

In the towing world, regular towing has its sweet spots, making it a go-to choice in specific situations. When your car decides to call it quits in easily reachable areas, when the tow distance is short, and when budget concerns are on your mind, regular towing steps up to the plate. Moreover, there’s even a handy option to consider – the unregistered vehicle permit. Let’s break down each scenario:

Breakdowns in Accessible Areas:

If your vehicle decides to take a nap in places easily reached by traditional tow trucks, regular towing is your hassle-free solution. These tow trucks can swiftly navigate through urban spaces, parking lots, and neighbourhood streets.

Short-Distance Towing Needs:

When the tow destination is just a hop, skip, and a jump away, regular towing is the practical choice. It efficiently handles short distances without unnecessary complexities.

Cost Considerations:

For those counting their pennies, regular towing often comes with a more wallet-friendly price tag. It provides a reliable towing service without breaking the bank.

Utilising Unregistered Vehicle Permit:

In cases where your vehicle lacks proper registration, an unregistered vehicle permit can be paired with regular towing services. This ensures a legal and smooth towing process, allowing you to transport your unregistered vehicle without any hiccups.

 When to Choose Flatbed Towing

When your car feels more like a prop than a mode of transportation, that’s when flatbed towing steps in to save the day. Here’s when choosing a flatbed tow is your best bet:

Non-Operational or Damaged Vehicles:

If your car decides to throw in the towel and refuses to move, flatbed towing is the superhero. This method gently lifts your non-functional car entirely onto the tow truck’s flat platform. No dragging, no scraping – just a smooth ride for your wounded vehicle.

Long-Distance Towing Needs:

Planning a cross-country journey with your car but worried about the wear and tear? Flatbed towing is like giving your vehicle a VIP seat. It’s the preferred choice for long-distance towing, ensuring your car arrives at its destination without accumulating extra miles or wear on its tires.

Luxury or High-Value Vehicles:

When you’re dealing with a sleek and high-value ride, the last thing you want is potential damage during towing. Flatbed towing cradles your luxury car on its secure platform, shielding it from bumps and bruises on the road. It’s the red-carpet treatment for your four-wheeled star.

Hiring a Towing Service in Australia

However, if you’re selling your vehicle to car removal or cash for cars Sydney services, they provide you free towing service throughout the area they cover. These services usually have all types of towing trucks to tow away vehicles of all types. When your vehicle faces trouble on the road, finding the right towing service can be a relief. Here’s a simple guide on hiring a towing service in Australia:

Researching Local Towing Companies:

Before making a call, spend a little time researching local towing companies. Look for reviews or ask friends for recommendations. Choose a service with a good reputation to ensure reliable and trustworthy assistance.

Requesting the Right Service Based on Needs

Be clear about your needs when you call a towing service. Specify the type of towing required – whether it’s a regular tow for short distances or a flatbed tow for longer journeys. Providing accurate information helps them send the right help your way.

Understanding Cost Estimates

Ask about the cost upfront. Understand the charges involved, including any potential additional fees. Clear communication about pricing ensures there are no surprises later. Remember, transparency is key when dealing with towing services in Australia.


In conclusion, understanding the nuances between flatbed towing and regular towing is crucial for making informed choices in Australia. Whether opting for regular towing for short distances or flatbed towing for damaged vehicles, the right decision ensures the safety of your vehicle. Additionally, considering services like the Unregistered Vehicle Permit can further facilitate a seamless towing experience. Choose wisely for a reliable and efficient towing solution.