Should You Ship Your Car? Evaluating Your Auto Transport Options

Should You Ship Your Car Evaluating Your Auto Transport Options

Should you ship your car? Many auto owners answer this key question by evaluating shipping cost, time savings, and the care of their vehicle. Whether you’re moving across states or buying a car from afar, let’s cut straight to the chase and shed some light on the car shipping process versus hitting the road yourself. Short on fluff, it’s time to focus on what really matters for your decision.

Key Takeaways

  • Car shipping services offer convenience and efficiency for situations like long-distance relocations, cross-country vacations, or purchasing out-of-state vehicles, providing benefits such as saving time, preventing wear and tear, and eliminating the stress of driving long distances.
  • Several factors influence the decision to ship a car, including cost comparison, time constraints, and the vehicle’s condition and value. Auto transport can be a cost-effective and time-saving option, especially important for valuable or classic vehicles requiring extra protection.
  • Choosing the right car shipping service involves evaluating carrier types, the company’s reputation and reviews, and the insurance coverage offered. Adequate preparation of the vehicle for shipment ensures safety and reduces the risk of damage during transit.

Reasons to Consider Car Shipping

Car shipping process

Shipping your car offers a myriad of benefits, including:

  • Convenience
  • Flexibility
  • Time-saving
  • Energy-saving

car locationCar shipping services, provided by reliable car shipping companies, are designed to transport your vehicle safely and efficiently, making vehicle car shipment is an ideal solution for various situations such as long-distance relocations, cross-country vacations, or purchasing a vehicle from another state.

When you are overwhelmed by the stress of relocation and the multitude of tasks that come with it, car shipping provides a simple solution to transport your vehicle, which can often be arranged with a single phone call. Seasonal factors like universities letting out for summer also influence the decision to ship a car as people relocate or embark on vacations.

The thought of traveling long distances, particularly if you intend to drive, can be intimidating. However, car shipping services can easily fit into your travel plans, providing door-to-door service for utmost convenience. Additionally, if you’re in the market for a new vehicle and have found the perfect one in another state, car shipping can bring your new ride straight to your doorstep.


car travelledRelocating to a different city or state can be an enormous challenge, inundated with numerous responsibilities. Amid such a situation, the additional burden of vehicle transportation is the least you need. Car shipping services offer a convenient solution, providing door-to-door service and saving you time and effort.

Shipping your car offers several benefits, including:

  • Relieving you of the hassle of driving it to a terminal or port
  • Preventing wear and tear that would occur during a long-distance drive
  • This is particularly beneficial for those in remote locations
  • Being convenient for those moving with more than one car

Long-Distance Travel

USADesigning a long-distance road trip can be a draining and lengthy process, involving considerations for accommodations, pit stops, and meal plans. Shipping a vehicle saves all this time, allowing you to focus on other personal or professional responsibilities upon reaching the destination.

Moreover, the convenience of shipping a vehicle significantly amplifies when you consider families with young children or pets. The daunting task of addressing their needs during a lengthy car journey is completely eliminated, making car shipping a much more appealing option.

Purchasing a Vehicle from Another State

In an era of online shopping, buying a car from another state has never been easier. But, the process of bringing your newly purchased vehicle home can present difficulties. Here is where car shipping services prove beneficial, serving as a comfortable and stress-free alternative to personally driving the car cross-country.

Purchasing a vehicle from out of state can offer several advantages, including:

  • Taking advantage of price differences due to supply-demand imbalances in different regions
  • Accessing online vehicle retail platforms to locate specific car models at potentially lower prices
  • Using cost-effective shipping methods like open-air car hauling to get your new ride home without breaking the bank.

Factors Influencing Your Decision to Ship a Car

Several cars beaing shipped cross-country

Several elements influence the decision to ship a car, including cost comparison, time limitations, and the vehicle’s condition and value [1]. Choosing the right auto transport provider can make the service affordable and safe, giving you peace of mind.

Cost is a primary concern for most people looking to save money. While driving your car may seem like the cheaper option, this isn’t always the case when you factor in fuel costs, food, and lodging. Shipping, on the other hand, can be more cost-effective, especially for longer distances.

Time constraints also play a crucial role. If you’re pressed for time due to moving or starting a new job, shipping your car can save a significant amount of time and effort.

The condition and value of your vehicle are also vital considerations. For instance, if you own a high-value or classic car, shipping it can help maintain its condition and value over time.

Cost Comparison

moneyContrary to popular belief, shipping a car isn’t necessarily more expensive than driving it yourself. In fact, for shorter distances, driving may be cheaper due to the main expenses being fuel, food, and lodging. However, for distances exceeding 500 miles, shipping may be more justifiable due to the convenience and safety it ensures for the car.

The average car shipping cost per mile for a car is approximately $1,108, whereas driving includes variable costs such as fuel, food, and lodging [2]. For instance, driving costs can range from about $200 to $1,220 for distances between 150 to 2,750 miles, while car transport costs, synonymous with car shipping costs, span from around $300 to $1,210 for the same distance range. The cost to ship a car can vary depending on factors such as distance, vehicle size, and shipping method.

Factors such as the shipping method chosen, vehicle size, and pickup/drop-off locations can significantly influence shipping costs. Open transport, for example, is the most economical choice for standard vehicles and shorter distances. However, for long distances, the total cost of transporting a car can increase, especially if you opt for an enclosed trailer or flatbed transport for added protection.

Time Constraints

second CalendarTime is a valuable commodity, and shipping your car can save you a significant amount of it. Driving a car across the country can take several days, which can be better utilized for other important tasks related to moving or starting a new job.

Shipping a car can save substantial time for the owner, eliminating the need to spend days driving across long distances. This freed-up time can be used to focus on other aspects of relocating, such as settling into a new home or preparing for a new job.

Vehicle Condition and Value

The condition and value of your vehicle can also influence the decision to ship a car. If you have a valuable or classic car, shipping it can help maintain its condition and value over time. For such vehicles, enclosed shipping offers added protection, safeguarding them from environmental elements and road debris during transport.

Moreover, using car shipping services can result in savings on maintenance and repair costs by minimizing the wear and tear that a vehicle would typically experience on a long journey.

Choosing the Right Car Shipping Service

Enclosed car shipping

Selecting the correct car shipping service is essential to guarantee a smooth and stress-free experience. This choice requires an assessment of available carrier types, the company’s reputation and reviews, and the insurance coverage they provide.

Various types of car shipping services can address different vehicle needs, such as open, enclosed, or flatbed transport for standard, delicate, and oversized vehicles, respectively. Moreover, if you need your vehicle transported promptly, expedited shipping offers a timely and efficient service.

Additionally, the reputation and reviews of the car shipping company should play a significant role in the decision-making process. It’s essential to examine a car shipping company’s services and reputation to ensure a reliable choice underpinned by a high customer satisfaction rate.

Lastly, understanding the insurance coverage provided by your chosen car shipping service is critical to ensuring the safety of your vehicle during transit.

Types of Carriers

truckDifferent types of carriers offer varying levels of service, suitable for various car types and customer needs. Car Haul services transport vehicles on an elevated platform of a car carrier trailer, typically used for cross-country shipping.

On the other hand, Enclosed Critical transport services provide a secure enclosed box for shipping, protecting against elements, dust, and dirt—ideal for classic or sports cars. Personal Vehicle Shipping offers exclusive enclosed transport services for a single car, often with door-to-door delivery, suitable for unique or high-end models.

ShipYourCarNow offers a variety of car shipping methods tailored to suit diverse needs and preferences. One method is the use of car carriers, available in both open and enclosed formats. Enclosed carriers provide enhanced protection from external elements, albeit at a higher cost, while open carriers offer a more budget-friendly option, albeit with slightly less protection.

Additionally, customers can opt for flatbed trucks, which provide greater flexibility for loading and unloading, although they may not offer the same level of security as car carriers. With these options, ShipYourCarNow ensures that customers can select the shipping method that best aligns with their requirements for both safety and affordability.

Reputation and Reviews

ShipYourCarNow LogoThe reputation and reviews of car shipping services play a crucial role in your decision. From mainstream review websites and social media pages, such as Yelp, Facebook, and Google, to specialized websites like, you have a wide range of sources to assess the reliability and customer satisfaction of auto transport companies.

Car enthusiasts frequently use forums to share first-hand experiences and offer recommendations and testimonials about shipping vehicles. With all this information at your fingertips, you can make an informed decision, ensuring a smooth delivery process when purchasing and shipping a car from another state.

Insurance Coverage

LockInsurance is a pivotal consideration when shipping your car. Auto transporters are legally required to provide liability insurance for damages during shipping and typically include standard auto cargo insurance policies.

For added peace of mind, customers have the option to purchase gap coverage or third-party vehicle-shipping insurance plans, such as the uShip Protection Plan. Before shipping, it’s important to obtain written proof of the transporter’s insurance and check with your personal auto insurance providers to understand the extent of coverage during transit.

Preparing Your Car for Shipping

Preparing a car for shipping

Preparing your car for shipping is a vital step in the car shipping process, which includes cleaning and inspection, removing personal items, and securing any loose parts. Washing the exterior of the vehicle before the auto hauler arrives facilitates easier inspection and documentation of the current condition.

Ensuring that the vehicle is running smoothly by checking the condition of the tires and battery and that the emergency brake is functional is also necessary. Additionally, top off car fluids, including oil, brake fluid, and power steering fluid, and ensure the radiator has antifreeze as part of the pre-pickup preparation.

Cleaning and Inspection

planA clean car facilitates a detailed inspection and accurate condition report. Therefore, conducting a thorough cleaning of the vehicle’s exterior prior to shipping is crucial. After cleaning, inspect the vehicle for any scratches or other damage, as hidden damages are more visible on a clean car.

Document any pre-existing damage with photos or videos, ensuring a thorough record is made for verification upon delivery. Upon delivery, inspect for any damages, document them on the Bill of Landing, and verify the transport worker’s notation of the vehicle’s condition before signing off.

Removing Personal Belongings

Personal items inside the car are generally not covered by car transport insurance. Thus, it’s important to remove all personal items from the interior of the car to prevent damage and theft during transport.

If you intend to ship personal belongings with the vehicle, notify the shipping service, as there may be a weight limit and additional charges. Keep in mind that many companies prohibit the shipment of personal belongings inside the car and advise against it to decrease the risk of damage during transit.

Securing Loose Parts

Securing loose parts on your vehicle is crucial to prevent damage during transit. This includes accessories like bike racks, luggage racks, ski racks, and custom spoilers.

Before you transport your vehicle, make sure to take the following precautions:

  • Fold-in retractable side mirrors
  • Remove and store detachable antennas
  • Secure convertible tops, sunroofs, or moonroofs to prevent them from opening during transit
  • Use protective coverings for fragile fixtures to minimize the risk of damage

By following these steps, you can ensure that your vehicle is safely transported without any issues.

Pros and Cons of Shipping Your Car

car locationThough the prospect of shipping your car may seem overwhelming, it is accompanied by numerous benefits. These include time-saving, convenience, and preservation of your vehicle’s mechanical integrity and resale value. On the flip side, potential drawbacks include the risk of cosmetic damage, compromised privacy, and reliance on third-party companies for safe delivery.


Shipping your car saves a significant amount of time. Driving a car across the country can take several days, which can be better utilized for other important tasks related to moving or starting a new job.

Shipping a car can prevent adding extra miles on the odometer, thus preserving the vehicle’s mechanical integrity and resale value. Moreover, sometimes, shipping a car can be less expensive than driving it, especially when you factor in the overall costs such as fuel, lodging, and wear and tear on the vehicle.


Despite its numerous advantages, car shipping does come with potential drawbacks. Vehicles transported in open carriers have a higher risk of cosmetic damage due to exposure.

Open car transport, also known as open car shipping, provides limited protection, making vehicles vulnerable to road debris and minor damages. Moreover, customers must trust a third-party professional car transport company to safely deliver their vehicle, which can sometimes be a cause for concern.

ShipYourCarNow: Your Trusted Partner for Reliable and Affordable Auto Transport Solutions

Reliable and affordable car shipping

ShipYourCarNow distinguishes itself as a reliable and reasonably priced auto transport company in the competitive auto transport industry. As one of the leading auto transport services providers, we offer an extensive array of car transport services, including:

  • Open transport
  • Enclosed transport
  • Expedited transport
  • Door-to-door service
  • Terminal-to-terminal service

We customize our offerings to cater to both businesses and individuals.

ShipYourCarNow provides door-to-door shipping, offering both coast-to-coast and international car shipping services. Our expert logistics agents are standing by 24/7 to assist with your car transport needs, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience.

All car shipping with ShipYourCarNow comes with claim assistance. In the event of any damage, we will help you through the process, providing peace of mind and ensuring a positive customer experience.

Full Summary

Car shipping offers a convenient and flexible solution for various situations, including relocation, long-distance travel, and purchasing vehicles from another state. By choosing the right auto transport provider, you can ensure an affordable and safe car transport service, providing you with peace of mind.

Preparing your vehicle for shipping is a crucial step, from cleaning and inspection to removing personal belongings and securing loose parts. And while there are potential risks of cosmetic damage and compromised privacy, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks for most people.

Whether you’re moving to a new city, planning a long-distance vacation, or buying a car from another state, car shipping can make the process easier and more efficient. So, the next time you find yourself in one of these situations, remember to consider car shipping as a viable option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is shipping a car worth it?

Shipping a car is worth it for long distances over 300-500 miles, especially for high-value or classic vehicles, as it can save time, money, and stress during a move, and if you value your time, it may be more financially beneficial to invest in auto shipping services [3].

Is it cheaper to ship a car or buy one there?

In most cases, shipping a car is significantly cheaper than buying a new one, with the average cost to ship a sedan across the country being around $1200-$1500.

Can I put stuff in my car when I ship it?

Yes, you can put stuff in your car when you ship it, but keep in mind that the items are not covered by the carrier’s insurance, so you do so at your own risk. Also, any damage caused by your personal belongings will not be covered.

What are some factors that influence the decision to ship a car?

When deciding whether to ship a car, it’s important to consider factors such as cost comparison, time constraints, and the vehicle’s condition and value. These elements will help you make an informed decision about shipping your car.

( Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at SYCN Auto Logistics-Alchemist, blending the best technology, analytics & service available. )

Senior automotive logistics professional with a passion for the industry and a 10+ year history of accomplishments. Proven track record of exemplary client management working with both RMCs, Van Lines and OEMs. Keen ability to react to an ever-changing marketplace while offering superior technology solutions, programs and services. Architect of award winning auto transport portal technology offering transparency and agility to clients, agents and transferees. Successful team builder and leader easily managing budgets with effective leadership, strategic planning, and problem-solving capabilities.

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