Is It Cheaper To Drive or Ship a Car When Moving?

Rochdi Rais Rochdi Rais · Updated August 28, 2023

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Car shipping has become an increasingly popular mode of transportation for those who are moving, traveling long distances, or purchasing a car from another state. However, many people are left wondering if it’s cheaper to drive or ship a car.

In this blog post, we’ll explore both options and determine the cheapest way to ship a car.

Should You Ship or Drive a Car?

Option 1: Drive To Pick up a Car

Driving to pick up a car may seem like the most convenient and cost-effective option. You can save on shipping costs and use your own car to transport your newly acquired vehicle. However, there are some downsides to this option as well.

Firstly, driving long distances can be tiring, and it’s important to factor in the cost of gas, food, and lodging during your trip. On average, it’s estimated that it costs around $0.60 per mile to operate a vehicle, including gas and maintenance expenses. For a 500-mile trip, this could cost around $300, not including the cost of food and lodging.

Secondly, there’s wear and tear on your personal vehicle. Long-distance driving can strain your car and may require additional maintenance down the road. This can cost you more in repairs than it would have to simply ship your car.

Option 2: Ship a Car

Shipping a car may seem like the more costly option at first, but it can actually save you money in the long run. When you ship a car, you don’t have to worry about gas and maintenance expenses, and you can avoid the wear and tear on your personal vehicle that comes with long-distance driving.

Additionally, car shipping companies are experienced in transporting vehicles safely and efficiently. They have the right equipment and knowledge to ensure that your car arrives in the same condition it was in when it left. Many car shipping companies also offer insurance coverage in case of any unforeseen damages during transit.

Wondering about how much to ship a car?The cost of shipping a car varies depending on the distance, the type of vehicle, and the shipping company you choose. On average, it costs around $500 to ship a car between 100 and 200 miles, $900 to ship between 1,000 and 1,500 miles, and $1,500 to $2,000 to ship a car cross-country. It’s important to do your research and choose a reputable car shipping company to ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money.

Choosing the Cheapest Option

When it comes to choosing the cheapest option for car shipping, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of both options. While driving to pick up a car may seem like the most cost-effective approach, it can lead to hidden expenses in the form of gas, food, lodging, and vehicle wear and tear.

On the other hand, shipping a car may seem more expensive upfront, but it can ultimately save you money in the long run by avoiding these additional costs.

If you’re considering shipping a car, CitizenShipper is a trusted and reliable transportation marketplace that can connect you with a network of experienced car shipping companies. With CitizenShipper, you can compare quotes, read reviews, and choose the best shipping option for your needs and budget.

Preparing Your Car for Shipping

When shipping a car, it’s important to prepare your vehicle to ensure a smooth and safe transportation process. Here are some steps to follow before handing over your car to the shipping company:

  1. Clean your car thoroughly, both inside and out. This will make it easier to inspect your vehicle for any pre-existing damages and will help prevent any issues during transit.
  2. Remove any personal belongings and valuables from the car. Shipping companies are not responsible for lost or damaged items left inside the vehicle.
  3. Check your car’s fluid levels and ensure there are no leaks. It’s also a good idea to have a quarter tank of gas in your vehicle, as this will be sufficient for loading and unloading but won’t add unnecessary weight.
  4. Disable your car alarm to prevent any issues during transit.
  5. Document your car’s condition with photos, noting any pre-existing damage. This documentation will be useful in case of any disputes or insurance claims.
  6. Make sure to provide the shipping company with any specific instructions or concerns regarding your vehicle.

By taking these steps, you can ensure that your car is ready for shipping and will arrive at its destination in the same condition it was when you handed it over.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Car Shipping Service

When selecting a car shipping service, it’s essential to consider several factors to ensure you’re making the best decision for your needs. Here are some key aspects to take into account:

  1. Reputation: Choose a shipping company with a solid reputation and positive customer reviews. This will give you confidence in the company’s ability to handle your vehicle with care.
  2. Experience: Look for a company that has been in the industry for several years and has experience shipping various types of vehicles.
  3. Insurance: Ensure the shipping company offers adequate insurance coverage for your vehicle during transit. This will provide peace of mind in case of any unforeseen damages.
  4. Cost: Compare quotes from different shipping companies to find a service that fits within your budget. Be cautious of extremely low quotes, as they may indicate lower quality service or hidden fees.
  5. Delivery options: Consider the different delivery options available, such as door-to-door service or terminal-to-terminal shipping. Choose a method that best suits your needs and preferences.

Considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when choosing a car shipping service and ensure your vehicle is transported safely and efficiently.

FAQS: Ship or Drive a Car

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car?

Car shipping costs vary depending on distance, vehicle type, and shipping company. On average, it can range from $500 to $2,000.

Is Driving To Pick up a Car Cheaper Than Shipping It?

While driving may seem cheaper, additional expenses like gas, food, lodging, and vehicle wear and tear can make shipping a more cost-effective option.

How Do I Find a Reputable Car Shipping Company?

Use platforms like CitizenShipper to compare quotes, read reviews, and select a reliable car shipping company that meets your needs and budget.

Is My Car Insured During Shipping?

Many car shipping companies offer insurance coverage for any damages during transit. It’s essential to confirm this with your chosen company.

How Long Does It Take to Ship a Car?

Shipping times depend on the distance and shipping company. On average, it can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the cheapest way to ship a car ultimately depends on your specific circumstances and preferences. While driving to pick up a car may seem like the most convenient and cost-effective option, it can actually end up costing you more in the long run. Shipping a car, while more expensive upfront, can ultimately save you money by avoiding hidden expenses and vehicle wear and tear. With CitizenShipper, you can easily compare car shipping options and choose the best option for your needs and budget.