A car dolly is one of those things you don’t think are useful until you need one. It’s best to keep one around packed away in the garage. They make lifting and moving cars around so much easier. And no, it’s not just mechanics who should keep a wheel dolly or auto dolly around.
The best thing about this accessory is how convenient they are. If you have a multi-vehicle garage and need to move cars around, they’ll help you do that. If you’re restoring a vehicle but need to move it so you can reach an area of your garage, a dolly will do that. If one of your vehicles is down and waiting for a repair but you need to move it for whatever reason, an auto dolly will do just that. You get the gist.
Today, we’re bringing you a list of the top 10 best car dollies on the market. We’ve looked at their specs, price, reviews, and a lot more so you don’t have to. You’ll also find in this article a buying guide that will show you how to find the best wheel dolly for your needs. Lastly, we have a section of frequently asked questions about these accessories.
We picked the Pentagon dolly because of its high rating, glowing reviews, amazing specs, and impeccable quality. It’s the best product you’ll find of its kind on the market today.
For starters, the skates are suited for extra-large tires. They measure 12 inches by 16 inches, meaning virtually all cars and trucks can fit on the skates. Not every model out there can brag about their plate width.
Each piece has four ball bearing casters. This means the wheels can turn in any direction you want easily. Thus, you can move a heavy vehicle around the garage without a hassle.
The set of four skates can handle up to 6.000 pounds of weight. As long as the car or truck you want to move weighs less than three tons, you won’t have any problems moving it.
Lastly, there’s a hole in each dolly. They’re there to make it more convenient for you to hang them safely in your garage or tool shed when you’re not using them.
The red Hound Auto Premium tire skates come in pretty close and grab the second place. They’re also easy to use, sturdy, and have great reviews online. It was hard picking between first and second place for these helpers!
Each plate is 15 ¾ inches long and 12 inches wide. These are great dimensions, as they are suited for pretty much any vehicle you can think of (boats included).
They also each have their own set of four sturdy ball bearing casters. They move smoothly across even surfaces even when they support the weight of a vehicle on them.
The four-piece set of skates can withstand up to 6.000 pounds. That means each tire can handle 1.500 pounds by itself.
Luckily, you can choose how many dollies you want. You can buy a full set (four skates) or opt for only half (two skates). On top of that, you can choose between red and black dollies.
You know you’re getting your money’s worth when you pick up the WEN skate plates. They’re good quality for relatively cheap and will last you a long time. Plus, they have some features other dollies can only dream of having.
Every tire plate has four ball bearing casters screwed in. It makes moving the mounted vehicle much easier. Moreover, you can oil each wheel to make it slide even smoother across the floor.
Each unit (one skate) handles 1.500 pounds of weight. When you purchase the full set (two skates), they will support 3.000 pounds. If you have an even heavier vehicle, you can always purchase a second set to have on hand.
You can place tires that are up to 12 inches wide onto the skates. Trucks, boats, cars, you name it.
But the best part is the built-in pedal brakes. Press down on the lever next to the wheels and they will lock into position. We have to admit the carrying handles are also pretty handy, especially when the time to store the dolly comes.
Weight capacity: 3.000 pounds (or 1.5 tons)
16” by 12” tire plate measurement
Has four ball bearing caster wheels per skate
Has handy brake pedals
Carrying handles make it easy to store and transport
Another pretty affordable dolly set is the ABN one. It has good reviews online, is slightly wider than other models, and gets the job done. The icing on the cake is the extra feature not a lot of competitors have thought of including in their products.
The skates are made from silver sturdy metal. The four ball bearing casters screwed onto each piece are also made of strong metal, meaning they last longer.
Curiously enough, ABN chose to make their dollies wider than every other model we know of. They’re each 16 inches long by 14 inches wide. You’ll fit your vehicle on the plates, no problem.
There are also brakes on every wheel to lock them in place safely. This way, you can rest assured your vehicle won’t be sliding down slightly slanted surfaces.
Lastly, the four-piece set easily takes on up to 6.000 pounds. Virtually all common vehicles are safe when placed on these skates.
There’s a reason why the GoJack Hydraulic dolly is so expensive: it’s the best quality your money can buy. They leave the competition behind and would easily take number one on our list if the cost wasn’t one of our criteria.
For starters, the GoJack is the first hydraulic model on our list. That means it replaces a jack. When you place it around your car’s wheels and push down on the pedal, your vehicle is immediately raised. No force needed from you at all.
This unit can handle tires that are up to 13 inches wide. That’s still pretty decent! Most models can only handle tires up to 12 inches wide. The dolly is also built to support up to 6.300 pounds in total.
Lastly, to clear up any confusion, the $200+ price tag you see on Amazon is for one auto dolly only. Meaning if you want a pair, prepare to shell out around $500. The convenience of the hydraulic pedal is what makes it more expensive—and so much more worth it.
Another great hydraulic model is the Sunex wheel dolly. It also has the convenience of not needing a jack but it’s somewhat cheaper than the GoJack model. Yet, it gets the job done perfectly.
When you push the pedal, the hydraulic forces help you lift your vehicle. This replaces a jack and makes your job a lot easier. You can also lift and lower cars and trucks more quickly this way.
Each skate comes with a set of four ball bearing casters. They make moving the unit around less burdensome. On top of that, they have a sturdy built-in carrying handle for easy transportation and storage.
One of the best features is the locking system. Every wheel has a brake pedal. When you push it down, it locks the wheels in place, stopping them from moving or rotating.
Lastly, you can use these dollies on tires that are up to 13 inches wide. Each skate manages up to 1.500 pounds of weight, so a set of four is great for a 6.000-pound vehicle. And don’t forget the price you see ($190) is for one dolly alone—not the complete set!
Weight capacity: 6.000 pounds
Holds up cars whose tires are up to 13” wide
Four caster wheels per skate
Each wheel has a built-in locking pedal
Works using hydraulic forces to lift cars and trucks
You’ll need to buy each dolly separate to make a set (can become expensive)
The Performance Tool dollies are somewhat weaker, but they’re still worth looking at and considering. They come in sets of two and are great for lighter cars and trucks.
These skates are designed more uniquely. They have curved bottoms to accommodate your vehicle’s tires snuggly. The straight metal bars on the side ensure the tires are firmly in place and won’t roll out of the skate.
If your vehicle’s tires measure less than 14 inches width-wise, this product is great for you. It’s also important to point out each dolly can only support up to 1.000 pounds. This means as a set of four, they can handle a vehicle that weighs up to 4.000 pounds.
The wheels are cast-iron swivel ones, which slightly restrict your movements. It’s not as good as straight-up ball bearing casters, but they still get the job done.
The third hydraulic piece on our list is the OTC Tools one. It’s slightly pricy, but since it works using hydraulic forces, we think it’s a fair and reasonable price.
The arms of this dolly are spaced out so that it can lift and hold on to tires that measure up to 12 inches wide. Each roller dolly can also handle 1.500 pounds, meaning a car that weighs up to 6.000 pounds isn’t a problem for a set of four.
You’ll notice the black pedal when you get this item. Push it down over and over again to trigger the hydraulic forces. They’ll pick up the vehicle from the ground and keep it elevated. You don’t need a jack if you have this product.
Again, they’re sold individually. If you want to use them as a full set, you’ll need to buy four of these pieces. That won’t go easy on the budget.
We’re back to a much more traditional model, which is why it’s also cheaper. They’re also not the best-performing dolly, but they’re still reasonable.
Each of the skates measures 12.7 inches wide and 16.3 inches long. If your vehicle’s tires are around 11 inches wide, this product will work for you. If they’re wider, you’re better off looking for another item.
Cars and trucks up to 6.000 pounds heavy are easily supported by the skates. That should cover the vast majority of vehicles, including boats.
Their main disadvantage is the wheels. They’re not the best by a long shot and don’t slide easily. This can be fixed with a thorough oiling session before you assemble them on the skates, though.
Weight capacity: 6.000 pounds (or 3 tons)
Holds up tires up to 11 inches wide
Can be hard to move around by one person alone
The wheels don’t allow for smooth sliding across the floor
The last auto dolly product on our list is the XtremepowerUS model. It’s a classical swivel caster tire skate that handles most cars and trucks in America.
The dual-bearing swivel casters are designed to make moving a heavy car around the garage a one-person job. They give in easily to changes in direction.
These skates are suited for cars that weigh less than 6.000 pounds. They were also designed to support tires up to 11 ½ inches wide. Those are pretty good specs, so you should have trouble making it fit your vehicle.
We also like how sturdy the metal plates are. Even the screws and the swivel wheels are made from durable metal. It makes us happy knowing this is a product that will get the job done for a long time.
Weight capacity: 6.000 pounds (or 3 tons)
Four dual-bearing swivel wheels per skate
Made from durable, rust-proof metals
Skates measure 16” by 12”
Sometimes can be hard to find available online
What Is a Car Dolly?
A car dolly (or auto dolly) is essentially a skate for your vehicle’s tire. They usually come in sets of four, so that every tire is resting on a skate. They have wheels at the bottom, which is what makes them useful. After all, their purpose is to help you move a heavy car or truck around a garage.
Why Should I Buy a Car Dolly?
There’s plenty of reasons why getting a wheel dolly is a good investment. It’s not just mechanic shops that should keep a set around.
First of all, you have freedom of movement. You can move any vehicle—new or old—easily and quickly. You don’t even need anyone’s help, you can do it all by yourself.
Secondly, it’s a great way of making the most of the space you have. With a dolly, you can move a car from one side of the garage to the other. So, if you need to reach a chest of drawers that were being blocked by a car, you can do that.
It’s also handy for people with cars needing repairs. Since the motor isn’t working, you wouldn’t be able to move it if you needed it. These tire skates solve that problem. Plus, you can easily move it so you can work on it.
They’re also useful for car shows. Setting up a room with gorgeous cars can be hard if you need to move them around to improve the layout. If all the vehicles are on dolly wheels, that’s not a problem anymore.
Car Dolly vs. Jack Stand
A car dolly isn’t a jack stand for one main reason: mobility. Jack stands do what they say they do: stand in place. You can’t move a car or truck that’s lifted using a jack. However, you can move a vehicle that’s on an auto dolly. That’s their whole point!
Car Tow Dolly vs. Car Dolly
A tow dolly is also not the same thing as a wheel dolly, despite having s similar-sounding name. They’re used to tow cars across relatively short distances. They have two tires under a metal structure where your car is attached to. Then, you connect the tow dolly to another car and can drive off.
A wheel dolly can only be used in smooth, flat surfaces. It can’t be used to tow cars or even move them on the road. Instead, they’re meant to stay inside a dealership, garage, or auto body shop.
Different Types of Car Dollies
There are two main types of auto dollies. They each have their upsides and downsides. Which one you should get depends entirely on how much you’re willing to spend and how you want to use it.
This is your regular auto dolly. They have a tire skate, four wheels at the bottom, and that’s it. To place a car on one of these pieces you would first need a jack to lift the car. Then, you’d slide the skate under a tire and then lower the vehicle. You’ll need to do this for every wheel.
As you can guess, this is a big disadvantage. It takes time to place a car on the dollies. Because they’re such straightforward pieces, they have a clear advantage: you can find them for much lower prices.
Hydraulic car dollies are where it’s at. They use hydraulic forces to lift the car for you. Thus, they replace a jack, since you won’t be needing them anymore. They still have four wheels and are made of sturdy metal, just like standard dollies.
Their main advantage is the fact that they’re much more convenient and easy to use. At the same time, because they have hydraulic pumps in them, their disadvantage is that they’re much, much more expensive.
Choosing the Best Car Dolly: Buying Guide
Couldn’t find the best car dolly for you? That’s okay, this auto dolly buying guide will help you in the search for the perfect product for your vehicle. Look into each dolly’s specs and see what they say about the following features.
This affects how much weight the skates can withstand. You’ll obviously need skates that can support the full weight of your vehicle. Most dollies handle up to 6.000 pounds as a set of four, but not all, so keep an eye out for that.
Another important factor is the width of tires. You need skates that are wide enough to accommodate the tires of your vehicle. Otherwise, your car or truck will be held up precariously and could get damaged as a consequence.
Sturdiness and Durability
Since vehicles are heavy, you need skates that are made from good-quality durable materials. Look for ones made with reinforced, thick metal plates and galvanized screws and bolts. Ask yourself, “Is this structure going to hold up after months of use with a heavy truck on it?” You need the answer to be yes.
This isn’t a necessity and it’s a feature only a few dollies come with. Some models have brake pedals on each of the four wheels of a skate. When you step on them, they will lock the wheel in place and prevent it from moving around. This is heavy if your garage floor is a bit uneven in some places, but no brake will hold up in ramps, so that’s not even an option.
Ball Bearing Casters
These are the best skate wheels you can find. They move smoothly at a 360-degree angle with very little pressure. You should keep them oiled throughout the year to make sure they don’t wear down, but they’re usually long-lasting components.
Number of Dollies
Ideally, you would need a set of four dollies to make things work. It makes it so much easier to move your vehicle around. But a set of two could work just fine, you’d just need to put more effort and force into moving it.
Keep this in mind because some brands (particularly those selling hydraulic dollies) will sell their pieces individually. Thus, if you see a price tag of $200 on hydraulic skates, be aware that you’re not getting a great deal. Those $200 are paying for only one dolly.
It’s also important to choose a brand you can trust. Especially if the product isn’t covered by a warranty plan. Look into the reputation of a manufacturer before you make a final purchase. It’s best to be safe than sorry.
Think of how easy it would be to use the dolly. Would you need a jack to lift and lower the car on the dolly every time you need to use them? Is this something that could bother you in the long run?
Convenience is what will affect which type of auto dolly you want: a standard one or a hydraulic one.
At the same rate, keep your budget in check and be realistic. How much are you willing to spend on a set of tire skates? Will that be worth it? Only you can answer that question, so whip up a budget and don’t go over it. You can still find a good auto dolly for under $100.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to use a wheel dolly?
If you’re using a standard dolly, you’ll need a jack. First, lift the vehicle you want to mount on the dolly. Second, slide the skate under the wheel and put it in the right position. Lastly, lower the vehicle onto the skate using the jack. Do this for every tire.
Using a hydraulic dolly is much easier. Separate the two metal bars so that they can fit around the lower portion of your car’s tire. Then, step on the hydraulic lever several times until the car is raised by about two inches. Lastly, make sure the vehicle is securely attached to the dolly.
Do I need a car dolly?
Not having a car dolly won’t stop you from living your life. But it can make things harder and less convenient. As with all other car accessories (coolers, bumper guards, blind spot mirrors, etc), they’re not essential, but they make things a lot easier.
How long can you use a car dolly?
Technically, a car or truck can stay on a car dolly indefinitely. The tires won’t wear out because the dolly is built to have a strong, stable, flat surface in contact with the tires.
How to store an auto dolly?
Some come with carrying handles that can be fashioned as hooks or mounting bars. Others have holes drilled in the metal plates so they can be left hanging on a metal rack. But more often than not, you can stack auto dollies and leave them in a corner of the garage or tool shed.
How many auto dolly pairs do I need?
For best results and ease of use, get a set of four dollies. You can get by with two, but it will make moving the car around much harder, which somewhat defeats the purpose.
Can you tow a car using auto dollies?
No, you can’t. You’ll need a car tow dolly to do that.
Can you put a truck on wheel dollies?
Yes, you can. As long as it’s under the weight limit, you can mount on it any vehicle. You could even do it for a boat.
Are car dollies safe to use?
Yes, they are. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure you know how to use a car jack before you place a vehicle on these skates.