Shipping A Car Cross Country

Moving: some love it, some hate it. And fortunately (or luckily, for some) we all end up doing it at some point in our lives. Whether you’re moving for a new home, a new job, or just a new adventure, moving successfully is a skill that some must master early in their lives.

One aspect many don’t consider when making a big move across country is what to do with their car. The task sounds simple enough – get your car or vehicle from point A to point B. However, there are a lot of factors to consider when shipping a car that can impact the ultimate cost and amount of time, hassle, and energy needed to make the move. Below are some important tips to keep in mind while you decide if – and how – you’ll ship your car when you move across country.

Know the distance for shipping a car

Car shipping cross country

The first and foremost things to consider is the distance of the move. This variable will have the most dramatic effect on the cost to move your car. It will also affect the methods of transporting the vehicle based on the car’s ability.

In some cases, it might be easier to just drive the car yourself. In others, paying an upfront cost for a transportation service may make more sense. Every situation is different.

For instance, if you are relocating from coast to coast, driving to your new home for days at a time may not be worth it.  If you are just moving across the state, or even a state or two away, driving yourself could save you a decent amount of cash.

Of course, if the car is older, driving larger distances or on difficult roads may make driving the car yourself out of the question. In these situations, paying for the car to be shipped may be your best bet.

Check in with the DMV about car shipping

Typically, when you move to a new state, the local DMV will require you to fill out paperwork right away. Every state has different rules and stipulations, and its important to know all of the laws to drive legally.

For example, some states may require you to register your car right away. They may also require you to sign up for a state license immediately. Go online or call to find out everything you may need to do to accomplish these tasks, including taking new tests or bringing identification and certificates. This way you can eliminate any chances of getting easily avoidable tickets.

Look into insurance policies for auto transport

car shipping truck

Insurance is another factor to consider when moving. Some agencies do not offer coverage in every state, so it’s important to know your current agency’s regulations. Make an appointment and talk to your agent to find out if you will need to find a new policy once you move.

Another reason to contact your agency is to prepare for any mishaps that may occur during the move. Notifying your agency will prepare you for any potential hiccups, accidents, damages, or even possible thefts. Your insurance agent will be able to fill you in on possible risks and ways to ensure coverage for them.

Find a car shipping company

enclosed car shipping

Shipping a car via truck is one of the more common ways people go about relocating their vehicles. The cost of shipping a car using a truck service depends on a number of factors, such as:

  • the type of car
  • the car’s condition
  • the distance to be traveled
  • the time of the year
  • the start and finish locations.

Shipping a car on the back of a semi-truck can be daunting, but it often the best idea. When selecting car moving companies to give you a hand, be sure to call ahead to get a quote and a rundown on the company’s shipping policy. Knowing how the system works will alleviate a large amount of stress on moving day.

One factor many are not aware of while shipping cars with a auto transport company is weight restrictions. Due to insurance policies, many companies are very strict about the weight of each vehicle they are transporting. That means that packing the car with personal items that need to be moved is not an option. However, many companies offer up to 50 extra pounds per vehicle, so your space is not completely lost.

These weight restrictions will also affect the price of the transportation. Bigger cars like a Forrester will cost a little more, while compact cars like a Lancer will have a smaller fee. Regardless of the vehicle’s size, the car shipping company will use a number of straps and pulleys to ensure that your car is safe and sound.

Move the car yourself

In theory, driving yourself may seem like the cheapest option. However, there are factors that will affect the true price of driving you car across country yourself, such as:

  • Driving time
  • the type of car
  • the car’s condition
  • the distance to be traveled
  • the time of the year

Technically, driving 3,000 miles can be done in just 48 hours nonstop. This can be done with the help of a copilot, but is highly discouraged. Having a partner is great for rotating shifts, but realistically the drive should have plenty of rest stops.

If you choose to drive and have scheduled rest stops along the way, outside costs will begin to add to your total. Motels and meals can get pricey on the road, and could end up costing you hundred more.

Of course, the biggest factor to keep in mind is the condition of the car. If your car is old or not mechanically sound, hitting the road may not be the best idea. Be sure to take your car into the mechanics for a full checkup before you leave, and be well stocked with emergency supplies.

On the other hand, if your car is not good enough to make the trip, you may want to consider if it can survive its new home. It may be cheaper in the long run to sell the car and invest in a new one once you have completely moved.

If you decide to keep your car despite its inability to drive to a far destination, renting a tow dolly for the back of a moving truck is another option. Towing your car will lift the front tires and pull the rest of the car along the highway. However, this still runs the risk of your car being damaged by wear and tear or road conditions.

Moving across country is never easy, and a car certainly complicates matters. Whether you’re driving yourself or hiring professionals to help, remember to your research.

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