Is It Worth Shipping a Car? Here’s the Ultimate Answer

Jason Hilderbrand

27 Jan 2022 8 months ago


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So you’re relocating to another city and undergoing A LOT of stress. We get it. The hassle of moving all your stuff, taking care of family, and not compromising on the work part can crumble the best of us. In the midst of all of this, there’s one more thing that adds to the ever-rising pile of anxiety: your car. You’re probably asking: “Is shipping a car worth it?”

Well, there’s no one-word answer to this question as it all depends on you. However, in this blog post, we will unfold this mystery petal-by-petal so that you can decide whether to ship your car or not.

Is it Worth Shipping Your Car?

For most people, the answer would be a straight ‘no,’ and you can skip to the next part if you’re one of them.

In case you’re not sure whether to ship your car or sell it, let us ask you some questions to get clarity:

  • Would you think of selling the car if you weren’t moving?
  • Will the cost to ship a car be more than the selling value of your car?
  • Do you not have any plans to use your current car after moving?

If the answer to all three above questions is ‘yes,’ then only you should think of selling your car instead of shipping it. There’s a good reason to keep your car even if you have the slightest of doubt.

What are the Different Methods to Ship a Car?

Now that you know you want to ship your car, the next question is finding the best method to do it.

There are four ways you can ship a car:

  1. Shipping through a Car Shipping Service
  2. Driving the Car by Yourself
  3. Hitching Your Car to a Moving Truck
  4. Hiring a Driver

Why Choose a Car Shipping Service to Move Your Car?

The most obvious choice to ship your car is to hire a car shipping company. These companies load cars on a single truck to ship many cars going to the same destination. They also provide door-to-door service so that you don’t have to do (almost) anything.

Car shipping services will cost you some money, but they offer many advantages, and that’s why many people are willing to pay for it. Let’s see why you should opt for a car shipping service.

  • Peace of Mind: When you pay for a car shipping service, you’re paying for your peace of mind more than anything else. That’s because professionals from these services do everything, starting from picking up your car from your doorstep to delivering it to your new home.
  • Insurance: You might be worried about the safety of your car as you’re giving it to someone you don’t know. Well, you need not worry as your car remains protected by an insurance plan. This means the car shipping company will have to pay if any damages are caused to your vehicle.
  • Saves Time: When you’re going through a move, which is one of the most stressful experiences of your life, you will need to do hundreds of things. If you decide to drive the car by yourself to another city, you will need to drive for a few days and also count the fatigue that comes with it.

Hiring a car shipping service saves you from all the trouble as all you need to do is find a reliable car moving service, sign a few documents, and voila! Your car will be on its way while you spend your time in things that need your attention.

Moreover, you can opt for expedited shipping that lets you move your car on an immediate basis, saving days of waiting. Thus, it’s a no-brainer to hire a car moving company if time is of the essence for you.

How Much Would it Cost to Hire a Car Shipping Company?

Determining the cost to ship a car is not as straightforward as it looks. It depends on various factors (click here to know in detail) such as distance, time, mode of shipping, etc. However, we can give you a general idea so that you know what you’re in for.

Here’s a table showing the with respect to distance to give you an approximate idea of the cost to ship your car:

DistanceAverage costOpen transportEnclosed transport
150 miles$470$350$590
550 miles$750$550$950
1,000 miles$985$720$1,250
1,050 miles$1150$900$1,400
2,750 miles$1,300$1,050$1,550  

Note: The costs shown in the above table are approximate and the final cost could vary based on various factors.

What are Alternate Methods of Shipping a Car?

Hitching Your Car to a Your Moving Truck

If you’re thinking of cutting off on your overall shipping costs, you might think of hitching your car to your moving truck. While it makes sense as your truck is also moving to your new home, it comes with the risk of accident, and you or someone else will also have to sit in your car to make sure it reaches safely.

It could be a sensible option for shorter distances but can be tedious and risky for long-distance moves.

Hiring a Driver

Another option is to hire a driver who would pick up your car from your garage, drive it along the way and deliver it to your new home. With this option, you need to consider the cost of gas and the driver’s wages. You will have to shell out around $15 an hour for the driver’s service. Moreover, it risks road accidents along the way, and your car doesn’t stay protected under an insurance plan.

Driving the Car By Yourself

“Why can’t I just drive it myself?” – you might think of this, and it could be a great option for a short distance ride. But if you’re moving long-distance, you need to know a few things.

Firstly, you will need to consider food, water and accommodation costs along with the gas expenses. The second thing you need to consider is the amount of time and energy you’re investing. Driving is a physically and mentally taxing exercise, so you will also need to consider the time you spend resting after reaching your new place. And, of course, there’s a chance of road accidents along the way.

So, Is it Worth Shipping Your Car Through a Car Shipping Company?

After going through various options, we can conclude that a car shipping service is worth the investment for long-distance moves. It saves time, moves your car safely, and gives peace of mind for you to focus on other things.

However, you can consider other options for shorter distances as they save you a good chunk of money. As a thumb rule, we suggest hiring a car shipping company if the distance is greater than 250 miles.

How to Find a Reliable Car Shipping Company?

Now that you know that it’s worth hiring a car shipping service to move your car, the next step is to find a good car moving service that you can trust. We suggest you consider the below points to make the best choice.

Customer Reviews

The first sign of a good car shipping company is good feedback from customers. You must check it on various social media platforms and independent websites. If needed, drop a message to people who’ve posted there to know how their car shipping experience was.

BBB Rating

Checking BBB (Better Business Bureau) rating should be your second vetting point. BBB accredits companies and helps you to know whether the company has been approved or not.

Supportiveness

We suggest you spend some time interacting with the company’s support staff and asking them as many questions as you can. Their support and confidence will tell you a lot more about their service.

License & Insurance

Last but not least, you should check if the company is licensed and approved for interstate shipping. You can do this by visiting Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator’s website and verifying its US DOT number.

We suggest you shortlist around 3-5 different car shipping services and compare what they’re offering. This will help you know the differences and choose the right one.

What are Different Modes of Shipping? Which One to Choose?

You can ship your car in two ways: Open Car Shipping and Closed Car Shipping.

When you ship your car by open car shipping mode, your car will be loaded onto an open trailer that will have a few rows of vehicles. Your car gets exposed to weather elements such as rain and snow as it’s open. It doesn’t cause many problems in clear weather conditions but can damage in harsh climates. This is an economical method of car shipping and is preferred by most people.

The second way you can ship your car is through a closed shipping truck. It’s called ‘closed car shipping’ as your car will be loaded inside a closed truck container. As it’s closed, it doesn’t expose your car to climate conditions and eliminates chances of car damage. As you’d expect, it is a costlier car shipping method. We strongly recommend you go with this option if you have a classic or luxury car.

Which Documents are Needed to Ship Your Car?

Below are the documents you’ll need to ship your car:

  • Vehicle registration information
  • Insurance documents
  • Bill of sale / Bill of landing
  • Original vehicle title
  • Your unexpired identification (i.e., driver’s license or passport)

How to Prepare Your Car for Shipping?

Now that you know it’s worth shipping your car, it’s time to prepare your car so that you can ship seamlessly. Do the following steps before you give your car keys for shipping:

  • Remove your documents and personal items from the car
  • Keep your gas tank one-fourth of its capacity
  • Make sure your car battery is charged and working
  • Ensure condition of your tires and change if needed
  • Check if your car is under an active insurance plan

Once you’ve performed all of the above actions, you should wash your car and take pictures of your car inside-out. We’re suggesting this as you can check these pictures to ensure that no damages were caused along the way once you receive it.

Our Two Cents

When you’re going through a move, the car shipping costs might seem like an avoidable expense. However, you need to think of it as an investment rather than an expense. You must have spent a good amount when you bought your car, and shipping your car is one way to protect its value. Moreover, you can stay worry-free as your car will be in safe hands.


Jason Hilderbrand