When you’re making a big move across the country, what’s the best way to bring your car with you? Obviously you can drive it – that’s what they do, after all. But often the better option is to ship it. Shipping your car can save you time, trouble, and risk. Let’s take a look at what to consider when weighing whether shipping your car is worth the cost.

Distance and Vehicle Type

The most important factor to consider when deciding whether to drive your car or ship it is the distance you’re traveling. Shipping a car across the country costs more than driving, but a cross-country drive takes a lot of time, effort, and planning – and it’s not cheap either. In fact, the longer the trip, the more cost-effective shipping a vehicle becomes.

You also have to consider the type of vehicle you’re taking cross-country. The family minivan lives for family road trips; exotic, antique, or classic cars not so much. Not every car can safely handle a long drive. And a gas guzzler or a luxury vehicle that requires expensive maintenance might make the trip fine, but it could still be more expensive than it’s worth when you consider all the other costs of driving.

Wear And Tear

If you’re leaning toward driving, make sure you’re aware of how the distance will affect your type of vehicle. With antique, classic, or luxury vehicles, a long drive might mean you’re putting your vehicle through an odyssey that will significantly depreciate the value or come with a hefty mechanic bill.

(If you do drive - do it right and prepare first! Take your car in for a pre-road trip check-up and oil change, make sure you have paperwork organized, and a plan of action in case anything goes wrong en route. Don’t push it past its limit, and when you’re finished with the trip, take it in again not too long after.)

The greatest thing about shipping is that your car won’t have to deal with the mileage it’s covering.

Time and Convenience

No matter how long it would take to ship your vehicle, it takes much more of your time to drive across the country than to let the professionals do it.

The drive from New York to Los Angeles, for example, takes 40-plus hours – that means it’s your full-time job for a week. Driving eight hours a day is an exhausting way to spend a week, so you might give it more than five days. The corresponding flight takes just six hours, so shipping the car reduces the travel time by four days or more.

Now, if you have the time and inclination, you can turn that 3,000-mile odyssey across America into an epic road trip. But even those of us with the luxury to spend a week or more touring the world’s largest balls of things don’t necessarily want to do all the work behind the wheel.

Even a shorter move follows the same pattern. You can drive some 19 hours from New York to South Florida—or ship the car and take a flight that will get you there for an afternoon tee time.

Safety

Not driving is safer than driving, obviously, but that kind of thinking leads to never having any fun. Still, specific considerations can tip the scales in favor of shipping a car. Hurricanes and other extreme weather in the summertime, snowstorms and icy roads in the winter. A cross-country drive might take you through remote, mountainous, or desert areas where a breakdown can be particularly inconvenient or even dangerous.

You should also consider the safety of the vehicle, as well as your own. You can count on a professional auto shipper like ShipLux to deliver your car to your destination in pristine condition. But a long drive means inevitable wear and tear, especially in extreme heat or cold. Even for short trips it can be worthwhile to ship an antique or exotic car in particular. ShipLux offers customizable enclosed shipping to fit your particular needs.

Cost

Shipping your car when you’re moving or traveling actually has two costs: shipping the car itself, and transporting yourself since you’re not driving your car. Contact ShipLux to get a shipping quote for your specific shipping scenario, then add it to the cost of the other aspects of your travel plans.

Calculating the cost of driving cross-country is more complex. Obviously you’ll spend on gas, based on the distance you’re traveling and the fuel economy of your vehicle. You’ll need to budget for meals and lodging (unless you have the space to deck out your backseat for a car camping adventure!) for the multi-day trip. If you’re making a road trip out of it, factor in the cost of entertainment and attractions along the way. And don’t forget to factor in the value of your time! All this will have to be multiplied if there will be more than one person going along for the ride, (whether or not they’re sharing the driving.)

Even when the cheapest way to get your car from Point A to Point B to drive it, shipping offers so many convenient benefits that it’s worth seriously considering if only for the peace of mind. When choosing between driving and shipping, it’s important to factor in all the costs on both sides, including your energy.

Even when the cheapest way to get your car from Point A to Point B to drive it, shipping offers so many convenient benefits that it’s worth seriously considering if only for the peace of mind. When choosing between driving and shipping, it’s important to factor in all the costs on both sides, including your energy.

Drive It or Ship It

Still Unsure? Ask The Shipping Professionals At ShipLux

A lot goes into the decision of shipping or driving your car cross-country. At ShipLux, we get it. That’s why we promise transparent pricing, so you’ll know exactly what it would cost to ship.

To get help with your particular shipping scenario, and to learn more about the range of shipping services available, contact the automotive shipping experts at ShipLux, available 24/7 to call, text, or chat. We’ll do everything possible to make your move – and your car’s – as easy and worry-free as possible.