Reading : 3 minutes
Jan 16, 2024

Long distance auto transport presents logistical challenges. Do you drive your vehicle when moving across the country or to a faraway location? Do you, alternatively, choose to ship it? And if you do ship it, do you flatbed it or trailer it?

These are all important questions to consider. And, while shipping a car can sometimes be more expensive than driving, that’s not always the case. In fact, there are many hidden costs to driving a car yourself over long distances — not to mention potential safety, car maintenance, and wear and tear concerns.

Here are 4 reasons why shipping your car may be the best option for you.

1. Vehicle Wear & Mechanical Concerns

Whether you are looking to transport your exotic car, “garage queen”, or daily driver you will avoid putting mileage on your vehicle and contributing to wear of items like tires and brakes by having your car shipped by a specialty long distance vehicle transport service.

The last thing you want is to break down on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere with no cell service.

While most modern day cars are fairly reliable, if you’re looking to ship a classic or a vehicle that’s been sitting — or a vehicle that’s had its fair share of issues — we highly recommend getting your vehicle shipped.

If you do choose to drive yourself, we encourage you to research & plan your trip route before traveling and find safe places to stay so you don’t wind up broken down in the middle of a crime-riddled area. And don’t skip getting a vehicle trip inspection completed by a mechanic you know and trust and fix anything that needs fixing before traveling. 

2. Convenience & Moving Logistics

Do you have multiple vehicles you’re looking to move long-distance or across the country as part of the moving process? Even if you have all your personal items shipped by a moving company, there’s still the issue of how you’ll transport your cars.

Or maybe, instead, you are buying a classic or vintage vehicle or exotic car, and think it could be fun to take it across the country. Have you thought about the time and cost involved with doing that? While it may seem glamorous in theory, sometimes, this type of journey can be riddled with unforeseen issues and expenses in practice.

The reality is that in many cases of long distance car transportation, shipping a vehicle with a car carrier is often simply more convenient than figuring out the logistics of driving yourself. 

3. Travel Costs

Car transport services and long distance shipping costs can be expensive. And rightly so — after all, you’re paying for professionals to carefully transport your vehicle for you, sometimes over thousands of miles. Choosing the cheapest shipping company, if that’s your aim, is usually *not* recommended, because there are many sketchy shipping companies out there with dubious credentials. That’s what makes the vetting process so important.

Here at Ship a Car Direct, we vet your auto transport company options carefully so you can make the right decision. We have helped over 1,000,000 customers and have over 50,000 reviews.

That being said, people are often surprised when they start to add up the hidden costs of driving their vehicle over long distances, which can include:

  • Hundreds of dollars for gas and tolls
  • Hundreds of dollars (if not more) on lodging, food, and accommodations
  • Mid-journey or pre-journey car repair and maintenance costs
  • Opportunity cost of driving yourself vs. packing or focusing on other priorities

Car Shipping vs Driving Costs: An Example

Say for argument’s sake that you receive a shipping quote of $1,000 to get your car from New York to Los Angeles. If you get 25 mpg and you pay $3.00/gallon for gas, you can expect to spend $360 on gas.

Breaking the trip (which takes about 40-45 hours) up into 5 days, which allows for 8 hours of driving time a day plus stops for gas, food, bathroom breaks, and so on, conservatively, if you spend $150 a night, that’s $750 for lodging. 

Add food and maintenance costs in, and you can see how easily driving yourself can become more expensive than shipping your vehicle.

4. Scheduling, Time, & Effort

If you have a busy work schedule or life jam-packed with things to do — for yourself, for your spouse, or for your kids — can you really spend the associated time and effort involved with driving your car yourself?

The answer may be yes, and then even so, do you want to?

These are the kinds of questions that are important to ask yourself when figuring out your priorities when it comes to costs vs. benefits of shipping your vehicle versus taking a road trip.

Learn More or Get Your Personalized Shipping Quote

Learn more about shipping your car long-distance in this informative blog post.

Looking to make moves soon? When it comes to finances, the best way to determine if shipping is the right move is to get a quote and compare costs. We invite you to do so now, or call us anytime with questions; we’re here to help the often stressful and unclear process of shipping a car go more smoothly!

Frequently Asked Questions

Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions

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