If you are planning to have your vehicle transported from one place to another, there are a few options to consider. The two most common options are car towing and car shipping. Car towing is when people choose to have their car towed behind a moving truck or moving trailer while car shipping involves hiring a professional auto shipping service to handle the transport of your vehicle. You may be wondering which of these two options is the most cost effective, and the answer might surprise you. Let’s take a closer look at the costs of long distance auto shipping versus towing your vehicle.
At first glance, it might seem like hiring a professional auto transport company would be a much more expensive option. However, when you consider all of the factors, you might find that this price comparison is not so cut and dry. Here are a few important things to consider.
- If you plan to tow your vehicle yourself, you will need to rent a dolly or vehicle trailer in order to transport your vehicle. The cost of this rental will vary depending on the rental company, but it can be expensive and in some cases can cost almost as much as auto shipping.
- If you are towing your vehicle a long distance yourself, you can expect to drive for several hours and even days if you are moving across the country. When renting a dolly or vehicle trailer from a moving company, customers typically have mileage allowances and a limited number of days to use the equipment. Should you exceed either one due to unforeseen circumstances while driving, you may be expected to pay additional charges.
- In addition to the cost of the dolly or vehicle trailer rental, you will also need to factor in other expenses such as gas, lodging, food, and car maintenance at the end of the trip. When you consider these additional expenses, you are likely to find that shipping your car is often cheaper than towing it yourself.
When it comes to considering the cost of transporting your vehicle, you should also consider things like time, convenience, safety, and vehicle protection. When you are moving across the country, your time is very valuable and auto shipping can simplify the process for you, freeing up your time to handle other moving tasks. Furthermore, you can avoid potential damage to your vehicle as well as the risk for accidents, both of which can be extremely costly. In the end, when it comes to moving a car a long distance, shipping is almost always a better choice than towing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.