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The Pros and Cons of Moving Vehicles by Yourself vs. Using a Freight Company

Published by Joe Webster.

What's in this article?
  1. Driving vs Shipping Car When Moving Cross-Country
  2. Cost to ship car
  3. Distance between cities
  4. Time required to ship the vehicle
  5. Size of the vehicle
  6. Cost to drive across the country
  7. Safety Concerns of Shipping a Car
  8. Your car's condition
  9. Red flags
  10. Insurance options
  11. The Convenience of Shipping a Car vs Driving
  12. Does It Cost More to Ship a Car or Drive It?
  13. Conclusion
The Pros and Cons of Moving Vehicles by Yourself vs. Using a Freight Company

When moving vehicles, whether cars, trucks, RVs, etc., you always want to ensure everything goes smoothly. But how do you choose between hiring a professional auto transport company or driving the vehicle yourself?

Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages. If this is your first time moving a long distance, you may not realize just how complicated it can get.

This article will help you understand the process of moving vehicles by yourself compared to using a freight company.

We'll take a closer look at the pros and cons of each method and help you decide which one works best for you.


Driving vs. Shipping Car When Moving Cross-Country

Cross-country moves are stressful. The process typically takes weeks, costs thousands of dollars, and leaves you exhausted. If you want to avoid some of the stress at a reasonable cost, consider shipping your vehicle(s) instead of driving it yourself.

Shipping a car is considerably easier and faster than driving. In addition, there are no worries about gas, maintenance, car park fees, tolls, and traffic jam.

And shipping a car is safer than transporting it yourself. An auto shipping company will ensure your vehicle gets delivered safely and securely. They'll have insurance, too, in case anything were to happen.

Finally, shipping a car is far simpler than transporting it yourself. All you have to do is drop off the keys and wait for the car to arrive.

Cost to ship car

You can use several methods when shipping a car across the country. For example, some companies charge per mile, while others charge based on how long it takes to ship the vehicle..

In addition, you can choose to drive the car yourself, hire a third-party shipper, or go with a multi-carrier.

Here are several factors to consider when choosing which way to go.

Distance between cities

The distance between cities where you want to ship the car determines whether you should ship or drive it.

Driving your car can save money if you live near the city you're moving to.

However, shipping it with a company is ideal if you live far away from the city you're relocating to because it saves time and provides better security.

Time required to ship the vehicle

Hiring a third-party shipper saves you time in most cases because they have all the systems to care for it efficiently.

Size of the vehicle

How big is your car? Can it be transported easily? What's the price of insurance?

These questions help determine whether you should drive the car or use a third-party shipper.


Cost to drive across the country

Driving across the country can be a costly undertaking. So here are some things you need to consider when planning your trip.

  1. Gas prices differ depending on where you're going. Check out Gasbuddy to find out what gas costs around the world.
  2. You'll still need an insurance policy to be safe. So be sure to take care of that first.
  3. You have to calculate how long it takes to drive, including stops for rest and meals. You'll need hotel or motel accommodations to sleep if it takes more than a few days.
  4. Stopping along the way may mean paying additional fees for parking. Parking fees can be charged per hour or day, often requiring a deposit.
  5. You need to look for mechanical assistance if your car breaks down on the way.

Safety Concerns of Shipping a Car

Shipping a car across the country is a great way to save money and avoid traffic congestion. However, it's important to consider any safety risks.

Here are three things to keep in mind when shipping a car.

1) Your car's condition

Always check your car before shipping it with a company. Take notes of its condition before and after the shipment.

It will avoid disputes with the shipping company if you find any damages to the car during or after transport.

2) Red flags

When selecting a shipper, make sure they are licensed and insured. An unlicensed company will not be safe.

It's also helpful to check out their track record. For example, have they ever had a complaint? Did any incident ever happen?

Looking at previous users' reviews will also help you check their reputation.

3) Insurance options

You should always have a good insurance policy if you ship your vehicle. This insurance protects you against loss or theft. It also covers the cost of repairs if something happens to your vehicle.


The Convenience of Shipping a Car vs. Driving

Arguments can be made for both sides. It all depends on your priorities.

Using a shipping company is relatively hassle-free for you as the car owner. The company will handle the packing, loading, delivery, and insurance coverage.

Furthermore, most car shipping companies will pick up vehicles from their current location and transport them. It means you don't have to spend money on gas and cut your driving time.

In other words, hiring a company typically simplifies the process for you, and it can figure out the proper logistics planning.

However, if you choose to drive your car, you don't have to worry about leaving your vehicle in someone else's hands. You will know exactly where your car is and what its condition is.

Plus, you might be able to go sightseeing along the way. If you go with your family, a road trip might be a fun way to spend your time together.

Does It Cost More to Ship a Car or Drive It?

The answer to this question depends on how far you're moving.

On average, shipping a car across the USA costs between $900-$1200.

Meanwhile, with a gas cost of $3.50 per gallon, driving the average sedan from coast to coast would be roughly $300-$400.

The price will, of course, increase significantly if you transport your car abroad.



If you decide to move vehicles by yourself, you might save some money. However, you might also find that you spend more time than necessary on logistics.

On the other hand, using a freight company means you won't have to worry about any job details, but you might pay more for the service.

So it ultimately depends on the specifics of your particular circumstances and needs.

If you decide to ship your vehicle, use A-1 Auto Transport Service. We ensure that the process is stress-free and that you get the lowest possible cost.

With our experience and professionalism, you can transport your vehicle hassle-free. Contact us to get a free quote now.

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd,
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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