In the fall of 2020, somewhere between 14 million and 23 million Americans were planning on relocating to a new region of the United States. One of the reasons why there is an uptick of interest in making big moves is because of the increasingly common arrangement of working remotely. This means that many Americans are no longer as tethered to the area where their office is headquartered, leaving them to dream of moving to greener pastures.
If you’re one of the people who is looking to move across the country, there is a lot of logistical planning involved. While it’s easy enough to figure out how to move your belongings across the country, figuring out how to ship a car across country can feel like a completely different animal entirely.
Actually, though, shipping your car can be a very simple process indeed. Having a professional auto transport service take car of moving your car from one place to another can help save you a lot of time, stress, and headache.
Do you still have a lot of unanswered questions about cross-country car transport? Let’s take a look at everything you need to know!
What Is Cross Country Car Transport?
When you are moving across the country, one of the looming questions hanging over your head is likely how you will transport your car from one place to another. Luckily, there is a service you can purchase that moves you car across state lines, no matter how far away you are relocating.
There are a number of different ways you can move your vehicle from point A to point B.
Of course, you can drive your car across the country. However, this can be expensive when you factor in gas, the opportunity cost of driving rather than dealing with other moving considerations, plus the extra expenses of eating on the road and sleeping in hotels.
On top of that, driving across the country can be impractical when you have all of your other belongings to move. Moving your car is a part of the puzzle of moving your belongings, and it has to be figured out in conjunction with how you are moving your other stuff.
Another option is towing your car behind a rental truck. This can make driving a rental truck more difficult, particularly if you’re going to be doing city driving. While this is a viable option, you’ll want to consider whether it is worth the additional stress and complication.
Some people even might choose to sell their car when they are moving across the country. The logic here is to simply purchase a new car when you get to the new location or to rely on public transportation once you get to your new home. While this could make sense for some people, it is likely not actually the most convenient option unless you are planning on being car-free in your new location.
How Much to Ship a Car Cross Country?
Car shipping costs are going to depend on a number of factors. It can be a good idea to get quotes from a number of different companies to help you find the most cost-effective option.
Let’s take a look at some of the factors that impact car shipping prices.
As you might guess, the most important factor when it comes to the cost to ship a car across the country is the distance.
If you are moving from New York City to Los Angeles, the national average cost for shipping is a car is $1,650. This is a distance of 2,790 miles. If you are shipping your car this distance in an enclosed carrier on a rush it can cost around $2,100, and the same distance with an open carrier and no rush is more like $1,200.
The size of your vehicle is going to have an impact on how much it costs you to ship your car across the country. For example, shipping a light compact car is likely going to cost about half as much as shipping a heavy minivan or an oversize SUV.
There are two primary reasons why the size of your car is so important when it comes to shipping costs. First of all, shipping larger vehicles take up more space on an auto transporter. This means that there is less room for them to ship other cars.
Secondly, shipping larger cars limit the carrier’s total capacity because they weigh more.
Commercial car haulers have a maximum freight limit of 80,000 pounds. This means that they average between five and nine vehicles at any given time.
Where you drop off and pick up your car will also impact how much it costs to ship your car across the country. For example, if you are willing to deliver the car to a central transport location and similarly pick it up on the other side, it won’t cost as much as if you are purchasing a door-to-door delivery service in a place that is very rural.
If you are trying to save money on car shipping prices, you might want to be considerate of the season you order this service. There is typically less demand for shipping services during the winter, so budget-conscious shippers might find this to be a more appealing time to have the job done. That being said, average delivery times might be longer if your car is being shipped through inclement weather.
It often takes weeks for a car to be shipped across the country. However, you can usually order a rush service if time is of the essence. Of course, you can expect this to increase the cost of the service.
How to Transport a Car Across the Country
If you decide that you are going to be shipping your car rather than driving it or selling it, the process is actually quite simple. Frankly, considering that moving is one of the most stressful things that people do, having a reputable company ship your car for a cross-country move is definitely a reasonable choice.
First, you will need to have a grasp of the destination where you are shipping the car to and from. Then you will want to pin down the dates that you want to have the vehicle picked up and dropped off.
Next, you can research a reputable car shipping company that you will work with. If you want to save yourself a lot of time, energy, and frustration during this process, turn to Carship Guru instead.
Using Carship Guru, you don’t have to spend endless hours tracking down and comparing quotes from different companies. This can help you get to the next step of booking your order much sooner.
Once you’ve booked your pick-up time, you’ve done everything you need to do! If you have ordered door-to-door service, the auto transporter will come to you to pick up the vehicle and drop off your vehicle in your new location. Otherwise, you will have to arrange to have your vehicle at the agreed-upon pickup location on the proper day and time.
Is It Cheaper to Drive or Ship a Car Across the Country?
Whether it is cheaper to drive your car or ship your car across the country depends on the different factors we discussed above. That being said, you will typically save a little bit of money driving your own car, though it will likely cost you in time, stress, and other issues. The further you are moving in miles, the more cost-effective shipping your car becomes when compared with driving.
What Are the Costs When You Drive Your Own Car Across the Country?
When you’re figuring out the cheapest way to ship your car across the country, it’s tempting to simply try and figure out how much money you will spend on gas for the trip. When you look at the situation this way, you will likely determine that driving your car is cheaper than shipping it.
However, gas is certainly not the only cost when it comes to driving across the country. Gas prices also fluctuate between states, making it hard to estimate exactly how much it will cost you.
You will also have to factor in the gas miles per gallon your car gets. If you are going to be hauling a trailer or packing your vehicle filled with your belongings, you will likely find that you have to stop to fill up the tank a lot more often than when your vehicle doesn’t have weight in it.
Other expenses to consider are the cost of hotels, food, wear and tear on your vehicle, and time.
Hotels are a major expense if you are going to drive across the country. The average cost of a hotel room in the US is $150 per night, meaning that it can start getting pretty expensive to drive yourself across the country. If you are driving with another person, you can take turns sleeping and driving and save money on hotels, but this can be accumulatively tiring and stressful.
Food is another big road trip expense. You can try and save money by packing appropriate meals ahead of time, but do you really have the energy and headspace to deal with this along with your move at large? If you aren’t able to set up your own food and drinks before you get going, you can expect to spend between $20 and $40 every day on each person in the vehicle.
Wear and tear is another cost. When you drive your car across the country, you are basically just fast-forwarding how soon you will need regular maintenance work done to your car, not to mention wearing down the tires.
Lastly, you’ll want to think about your time. When you’re in the middle of a cross-country move, you’ve got a lot on your plate. There’s a good chance that you are ending one job and beginning another, which likely leaves you with a lot on your mind.
Is it the best use of your time to spend a week on the road? Or would it be more cost-effective in the long run for you to be able to get to your new location sooner and get settled in? Driving across the country can be exhausting in a totally unique way, meaning that you will likely have to recover from the trip when you finally get to your destination.
If it’s important to you that you are able to start getting settled into your new life as soon as possible, shipping your car across the country is likely the better option. To drive coast-to-coast, it takes about 45 hours of driving to make the trip. This means that if you are driving for eight hours a day, you will be on the road for six days.
Going on a road trip can be great fun, but your sense of a good time will likely be dampened by the other stressors of moving. Some people might be able to turn lemons into lemonade in this instance, but chances are you will just be crammed into your car for long days of driving in the effort to get to your new home and start your new life.
When you add up all those factors, is it really cheaper to drive than to ship your car? When you factor in the days that you lost working and getting paid an income and the days that you have to recover from the trip, on top of hotel costs, food costs, and wear and tear to your vehicle, is it really cheaper to drive? This is something only the individual can determine for themselves.
How Long Does It Take to Ship a Car Across the Country?
As you might imagine, how long it takes to ship a car across the country depends on a number of factors, including how far you are shipping your car. Say you are moving to the fastest growing place in the U.S., Myrtle Beach. In this instance, it is going to cost quite a bit more to ship your car from California than it will from Washington, D.C.
Essentially, the window for how long it takes can vary from about six days to four weeks. Things that will have to be factored in include how many vehicles are on a transport truck, traffic conditions, and the hours that drivers are allowed to be on the road each day.
In general, most vehicles typically arrive between 6 and 12 days when you factor in booking, pickup, and delivery.
Is Cross-Country Car Transport Door-to-Door?
As long as the locations that you are moving from and to allow door-to-door cross country car transport, this will be an option that is available to you. Door-to-door shipping is one of the most popular options because it is so convenient.
In some circumstances, door-to-door transport won’t be available. This might be because of narrow streets, residential zoning laws, weight restrictions, and low-hanging trees. In these instances, the transport trucks won’t be able to enter the neighborhood.
Additionally, the car hauler might not be able to safely maneuver to your doorstep if you live in a mountainous area or on a hillside.
If you are wondering whether or not you can have door-to-door delivery, consider whether or not you regularly see tractor-trailer trucks in your neighborhood. If you do, there’s a good chance that a car hauler will be able to travel to you.
When the locations you are looking to have your car shipped to and from can’t have door-to-door service, there is another convenient option. The company you choose will have transport hubs where drop-off and pick-up can occur. It’s also possible that you can agree upon a drop-off and pick-up location that works well for both the service and your needs.
What Is the Cheapest Way to Ship a Car Across the Country?
If you are shipping your car across the country and are wondering what the cheapest option is, you’ll want to look into using an open rather than an enclosed carrier. When you are shopping around for quotes online, you will find that you can save hundreds of dollars by choosing an open carrier rather than an enclosed one.
How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car Across the Country?
Ok, let’s talk numbers. Remembering that the cost can vary based on a long list of factors, it’s time to take a look at the average cost of shipping a car across the country. Take a look at this chart to help you get a sense of the average costs.
The average price per mile gets increasingly less expensive the further you are shipping your car. For example, if you are shipping your car less than 500 miles, the average price per mile is about $0.80. However, if you are shipping your car more than 3000 miles, the average price per mile is $0.33.
What this means is that to ship your car 250 miles, it will cost about $200. To ship your car more than 3000 miles, though, it will cost more like $1122.
How Does Shipping Multiple Cars Across the Country Work?
Whether you have a collection of cars you love or simply have a large number of drivers in your family, you might start to feel overwhelmed trying to figure out how to ship multiple cars across the country. You might assume that this starts to get very expensive, but it can actually save you money.
When you ship several cars at the same time with the same auto transport company, that means that the auto shipper doesn’t have to make as many different stops. Basically, the auto transport company has to spend less time and money on the shipment, which ends up saving you money through what is essentially a bulk purchase of a service.
How Long Does It Take to Ship a Car Across the Country?
You can take a look at this chart to get a sense of the average transit time it takes for cars to be shipped across the country.
If you are only shipping your car a short distance, the whole process will be much quicker. For example, shipping your car less than 200 miles typically means that the average transit time will be between one and two days.
On the other hand, shipping your car more than 2000 miles will obviously lead to a longer transit time. On average, you can expect this to take between seven and nine days.
Ship a Car Across the Country: Car Shipping Is the Way to Go
There is a good chance that your vehicle is the first or second most expensive item you own. For this reason, it can feel really stressful to allow some company to have possession of it and transport it across the country. For this reason, it’s very important that you find a company that is reputable, trustworthy, and going to take great car of your vehicle on the journey.
At Carship Guru, you get the highest level of service, every time. We are here to provide competitive instant cross country car transport quotes from leaders around the industry. You want to make sure that you’re putting your car in the hands of professionals, and we’re here to make sure that your experience is nothing but wonderful.
If you’re going to ship a car across country, click here to get an instant quote!