January 30, 2023 Posted in Auto Transport
Daisy Wilson

Daisy was born in Salt Lake City and in her free time, she writes about moving and watches Charmed.

Drive or Ship a Car across the Country? What’s the Best Solution?

Deciding whether to drive or ship a car across the country can be a difficult choice. There are many factors to consider, such as cost, time, and safety. Driving your car may seem like a simpler option, but it is often more expensive than hiring a professional long-distance moving company to transport your vehicle for you. Which option you will choose depends on many factors. Here are some of them to consider.

car shipping overlay
Explore the options and pick the best one for you

Hiring a moving company ensures that your car will arrive safely at its destination without any of the risks associated with driving long distances in unfamiliar areas. It also gives you peace of mind knowing that experienced professionals are handling all aspects of transporting your car from start to finish. However, driving your vehicle has its benefits as well. So keep reading and see what are pros and cons of both options, and decide for yourself.

Drive or Ship Car across the Country? Things to Consider Before Making the Decision

When moving cross country, one of the questions that pop up in your mind will be, “should I ship my car or drive?“. There is no one size fits all answer, but there are a few things to consider before making this decision.


The most important factor in deciding whether to drive or ship your car across the country is how much time you have on your hands. If you have enough time, it might be more cost-effective and convenient to drive your car yourself. However, if you are entangled with last-minute relocation and don’t have enough time, then shipping your car might be a better option.


Another factor to consider is cost. Driving across the country can be a costly endeavor as it involves gas expenses, vehicle maintenance, and other costs. On the other hand, shipping your car will involve an upfront cost but could end up being more cost-effective in the long run. Not to mention that if you hire movers for all-in-one cross-country moving services, it’ll be even better for you. If the company provides comprehensive services, they will also have car shipping as part of their services – you will be able not only to reduce your relocation costs but also to have a more efficient move.


Safety is another key factor to consider when deciding between driving or shipping your car across the country. Driving can be very dangerous and unpredictable, so if you don’t feel comfortable driving or have family members riding along with you, then it might be a better idea to hire a moving company to ship your car instead. Shipping with a professional moving company will ensure that the safety of your vehicle is maintained throughout the drive, and it can also provide you with additional insurance coverage in case any damages occur during transit.

Driving Is More Fun

Last but not least, driving can be fun if you are relocating with family. If you have enough time and you are relocating with kids, driving your car across the country can be a fun experience for the whole family. Also, fun road trips can help your kids cope with relocation better.

In case you are relocating with a dog, this trip will be amazing for your furry friend as well.
However, you will need to plan this trip ahead and book and arrange everything on time. Another reason to book professional long-distance moving services is to help you out.

Prices of Car Shipping?

When it comes to considering whether to drive or ship your car when relocating to another state, one of the most important considerations is cost. Driving a car could be cheaper initially because you don’t have to pay for shipping, but there are several hidden costs associated with driving a car that could make shipping more affordable in the end.

On the other hand, shipping your car can also be pricey. The cost will depend on the distance that you are traveling and the type of service you use. Professional auto transport companies typically require insurance for your vehicle and a deposit for the shipment. However, when compared to driving yourself, professional auto transport tends to be more affordable in most cases. Here are some of the ways you can transport a vehicle across the country:

  • Renting a trailer or tow vehicle,
  • Hiring an auto transport company,
  • Hiring cross-country moving company,
  • Driving yourself.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car?

When deciding whether to ship a car or drive across the country, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option and compare costs. As you can see, there are several ways you can ship a car across the country, and it is up to you to decide which way will bring you the most benefits.

Professional cross-country moving companies can provide you with a free quote for shipping your car, so you can decide which is the best option for you. It’s worth noting that hiring a moving company for your car shipping needs is often the safest and most efficient option. Professional moving companies have experience in safely transporting cars, and they also offer protection for your vehicle during transport which can add peace of mind. The price will mostly depend on mileage and the type of service you take.

For example, if you choose an enclosed trailer over an open one, the cost will be higher. Also, if you take door-to-door options for pick up and delivery, it will increase the price compared to the terminal-to-terminal option, where you need to leave and pick up your car at the nearest company’s terminal. Of course, reliable companies, such as Cross Country Moving Company, offer both options to their clients. Here are the average prices of car shipping if you hire a relocation company.

150 miles 1000 miles 2750 miles
Open trailer $370 $1,000 $1500
Enclosed trailer $600 $1,300 $2000

What Factors to Consider When Calculating Costs of Driving a Car Across the Country?

When traveling by car, you must factor in the cost of gas, lodging, and food during your drive. Depending on the distance, these costs can become significant – especially if you drive a large vehicle or drive alone. Additionally, you will also have to consider any wear and tear that may occur on your car during the drive. And even though you will be able to pack your car for relocation and bring some valuable belongings with you, you will still have to book cross-country movers to transport furniture and other large items you have in your household. So consider whether it is worth driving your car when you already have to pay movers for relocation. Also, with gas prices as they are today, maybe hiring professionals is the best deal.

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Gas Costs Will Be High

Gas prices are an important factor when it comes to deciding whether you should drive or ship a vehicle. The cost of driving a vehicle can vary greatly depending on how many miles you drive, how much fuel your vehicle needs, and the cost of gas. For instance, when comparing a drive from Los Angeles to New York, the cost of gas can add up quickly. Even if you drive a fuel-efficient vehicle, you will still be responsible for the gas mileage and fuel costs that are associated with the drive.

You Will Have to Pay for Hotel

Depending on the distance and the location you are relocating to, you will have to pay for accommodation along the way. If you are relocating from the West Coast to the East Coast, you will have to drive between four to six days if you drive on average eight to ten hours a day. But if you are traveling with family, this can easily be longer. On average, hotel prices in the USA are around $150 for the night, so add that up to your calculation when deciding whether or not to ship a car.

Food Will Be Costly as Well

Forget about homemade meals when you are on the road trip – you will have to eat in the diners, motels, or restaurants along the way. An average meal in a cheap restaurant is $15 per serving, so if you eat three times a day, this will be $45 each day for one person.

Is It Easier to Drive or Ship a Car?

Driving your own car long distances can be inconvenient, especially if it’s an older car with high mileage or you don’t have access to reliable transportation while away from home. Depending on the distance and route, there may be factors such as drive time and rest stops. For example, if you are relocating from the East to the West Coast, driving all the way through the country can be challenging even for professional drivers. On the other hand, if you are relocating to Seattle from LA, this trip shouldn’t take long, but make sure you know the route and plan ahead where you will stop.

Additionally, driving long distances can cost more fuel and oil changes than shipping your car. So make sure you put that in your relocation budget when deciding which option is better.

Which Option Is Safer?

When deciding on the best method for transporting a vehicle across the country, it is important to first consider which option is safer. Driving across long distances can be dangerous and time-consuming, while shipping a car ensures safety and convenience. There are so many things you need to consider when deciding whether or not to drive across the country. For example, if you are relocating in winter, you need to be prepared to drive in these conditions.

are you ready for long distance moving and romantic landscapes of city in the winter covered in snow overlay
Make sure you check the weather

What Is a Faster Option?

Driving offers greater control and flexibility, as you decide when and where you go and can make pit stops if needed. However, shipping is often faster and can save time in the long run. But keep in mind that in some cases shipping a car can take longer, and this mostly depends on the type of services you take and what time of the year you book your long-distance movers. For example, relocating in summer means you are in the peak of the season and that you may wait a bit longer for your car to be delivered. Take a look at this video and see more about a coast-to-coast road trip.

How to Prepare Your Car for Shipping with Cross Country Moving Company

There are several steps you can take to prepare for movers that will ship your vehicle.

The first step is to have your car inspected by a certified auto mechanic. This inspection should include a full diagnostic, checking for brakes, tires, and any other parts that could be affected during shipping. Keep in mind that this inspection is not mandatory, but it would give you peace of mind knowing you have checked everything before shipping your car. Also, if you need to make repairs to your car before having it shipped, make sure they are done at least two days before the scheduled shipping date.

The next step is to thoroughly clean your car inside and out. Make sure that all dirt, debris, and items are removed from the interior of your vehicle. This includes vacuuming, wiping down surfaces, and cleaning windows so that the moving company can easily assess its condition when it arrives at its destination.

Once your car is inspected and cleaned, you should document its condition. Take a few photos of the interior and exterior of your car, and make sure that you have signed documentation from the auto mechanic who inspected it. This will help to protect you in case some damages happen to the exterior of your car.

A man washing a vehicle before moving across the country overlay
Clean your car and take a picture from every angle

The Final Decision Is Up to You

As you can see, there are some factors that can rule in favor of driving a car across the country, like spending quality time with your family. But if we take into consideration only time, costs, and safety, then the shipping option will be a winner. Because in the end, hiring a moving company to transport your car will be a much cheaper option. All in all, the final decision is up to you.


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