Better ways to ship a car across the country

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Better ways to ship a car across the country

Nowadays there are quite a lot of ways to ship a car cross country depending on the budget and special requirements. Here we will cover the most common ones with their main advantages and disadvantages.

Professional carrier

If to speak about the most common choice the overwhelming majority of the car’s owners do, it is applying for professional transportation. There are a huge number of companies that provide such a service and you may always check their basic quotas on their websites. Normally, the cheaper variant is to arrange terminal-to-terminal (or port-to-port) delivery with an open transport.

Not everybody knows but sometimes it may be even more beneficial to arrange door-to-door delivery as the price per mile can be less with longer distance. For example, a short-distance trip means approximately 2 USD per mile, but if you need to ship a car across the country with more than 1,500 miles distance it will cost you about 0,60 USD per mile. Thus, longer distance does not always mean higher price.

Originally, a much more expensive way to ship cars across the country is an enclosed transport – the cost is about 50-60 percent higher than in open transport. On the other hand, if you own an extremely valuable, expensive and exotic car this option is the only chance to make sure you will not suffer significant damage on the way. In this case it’s much “cheaper” to pay extra for the transportation than to get higher losses upon delivery.

Driving on your own

Sometimes this option indeed can be considered. For example, if you are moving to the new flat or house and all the personal belongings are already packed and shipped, you can drive your own car to the final destination.

But normally it will take a lot of time and effort and not everybody can handle it. Additionally, there are always some extra payments you need to take into consideration. Thus, if you decide to pick your car up from another state’s salon, somehow you need firstly to get there (by plane, by train or while renting a car). If you add fuel consumption on the way back and probably need to stay overnight in some hotel on the way, totally it may cost you pretty the same as to ship a car cross country with the previous option of the carrier.

Another way is to tow your vehicle. Here some troubles also may appear. You will need to buy or to rent a tow dolly and to find the car that will tow yours. Additionally, in some cases the car may have some issues which will not allow it to be driven (means the usage of the tow dolly is not possible). Here you will somehow need to find and to rent a flatbed which can also be not so easy.

Moving companies

This is the case if you are planning to move all your personal belongings, furniture and other stuff with assistance of a special moving company. The great benefit here is that some of the can also offer or agree to ship a car across the country to the final destination. Surprisingly, but the car itself may be placed inside the trailer to be delivered together with other belongings. As an alternative, some moving companies have contracts with carriers and can offer you some attractive discount. That is why in regards to moving it’s always recommended to choose a famous and reliable company, with a wide network and great working experience.

Luxury auto transport

Hired driver

Despite the fact that all the mileage will be put on your car itself, hiring a driver (so-called Driveaway service) is still a very popular and common way to ship cars cross country. And if you are not worried about this detail, you may quite easy and fast find an appropriate person.

Basically, there are some companies that provide such service and this is the most reliable way as the companies’ drivers are always carefully checked and being tracked on the way to avoid any kind of cheating.

If there is a person you can trust you may also hire an individual driver. This option is especially popular in summertime and actually it’s beneficial for both sides. You as the owner will get your car probably much cheaper and faster than with other variants of the car’s shipping, the driver will have the opportunity to easily achieve a desired destination not paying for the train, the plane or the bus.


In the U.S. this option is staying popular for decades and the demand is not lowering. It can be compared with the enclosed transportation as your car will be placed inside of the train. And the price for such service is significantly lower than you will need to pay to the carrier.

Here we should mention a couple of difficulties you may face in regards to the train option. Firstly, time consumption. The usage of the train is not that personalized service as you may think and probably you will have to wait much longer for the car to be shipped. Secondly, the security here is under a big question. There is always a risk to become a victim of vandalism, especially if there are a lot of stops on the way. Finally, if ordering a door-to-door service in this case, you will need to pay partly for the enclosed transportation.

All these and some other options to ship a car across the country may have additional features which directly affect the final price of the delivery. For example, the time of the year you want your car to be delivered may have a significant effect - summertime is in more demand which causes slightly higher quotas.

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