Is It Better to Ship Your Car or Drive It When Moving

Deciding on whether to ship your car or drive it when relocating to a new home is a question that plagues even those that have some previous moving experience. We offer a list of relevant factors that may affect the move. Contemplate them carefully and consider your current needs and circumstances to make an educated decision.
Is It Better to Ship Your Car or Drive It When Moving

The Distance to Your New Home

When choosing whether to ship your car or drive it, consider the distance you will have to cross. Get a detailed map that shows the area you will be traveling through. Scrutinize it and take note of the traffic patterns, road infrastructure, roadside amenities, etc. Choose the route you will be taking and figure out the precise mileage that has to be covered. Once the route and driving distance has been decided, it becomes possible to estimate:

  • How much fuel is needed
  • How much money to bring to pay for road tolls, gas, etc.
  • How long it will take to get to the destination

Compare the sum of these estimates to the cost of hiring a professional moving company. This should help you decide whether it’s better to ship your car or drive it to the new home. Sometimes the shortest route is not the fastest or most convenient way to the destination

Travel Time

The time it will take to get to your new home is another key factor in choosing whether to ship your car or drive it. It can take a few days to a week to drive across the country. The time it will take to drive to the new home will be affected by:

  • The Distance

It takes a minimum of four days to drive from coast to coast. If you’re planning to drive to the new destination, it will take anywhere from a few days to a week.

  • Safety Measures 

If you are driving cross country alone, you will need to stop and rest more frequently. Prolonged driving can cause fatigue and might result in an accident. This can be offset by traveling with someone who can take over when you get tired.

  • Outside Interference

Adverse weather conditions and heavy traffic can cause considerable delays during the move.

If you can spare the time, driving to the new home could be a great experience. You can travel at a leisurely pace, sightsee and have fun with the family. But if there is no time to spare, driving is not an option. Avoid driving if you: 

  • have limited time off
  • your partner has limited time off
  • have kids and are moving during the school year
  • Important commitments shortly after moving

The Climate

The time of year has a significant impact on whether you should ship your car or drive it. Moving in winter has an entirely different set of challenges than moving in summer. Especially if you are moving to the northern US, driving cross country in summer will be a mostly pleasant experience except for the heat and heavy traffic. Driving cross country in winter will however be quite difficult. Expect to be delayed by cold winds, icy roads, and heavy snowfall. The harsh winter snow and freezing temperatures will pose severe risks to both the vehicle and driver. 

Each season has its pros and cons, moving in winter is cheaper, moving in summer is safer

Naturally, shipping the vehicle during winter is the safer option. You will avoid all the road problems and travel to the new home quickly and comfortably. The vehicle will be transported in an enclosed carrier, ensuring it will be kept safe from the harsh weather. Shipping the vehicle is much cheaper in winter as the demand for auto shipping services is lower than during summer. 


We know that when planning a long-distance move, the safety of you and the family is a major priority. Driving across the country can be risky. There are a lot of things that can go wrong:

  • the vehicle could break down in the middle of nowhere
  • you could fall asleep at the wheel
  • there might be an accident  
  • car theft

Prepare properly when planning to drive cross countryHiring a trustworthy moving company to ship the vehicle is much safer as it limits the risk of accidents. It will also minimize wear and tear on the vehicle and protect the car from the weather. However, it is important to make sure that you hire a reputable transport firm. To ensure that the moving company is properly licensed and registered, you have to:


The main factor that determines whether you want to ship your car or drive it is how much each option will cost.

The Cost of Shipping the Car

How much it will cost to ship a car to a new home is determined by the weight and size of the vehicle, the shipping distance, fuel costs, and the kind of insurance you want. The price of shipping a sedan across the country is anywhere from six hundred to one thousand dollars. If you are moving in the summer months, expect to pay between two to four hundred dollars. The price will also depend on the auto shipping firm that has been hired, so compare all the offered options and pick the one that is best for you. Unfortunately, auto transport costs aren’t the only moving expenses that will drain the moving budget. Other travel expenses include:

  • the price of plane tickets for the family
  • the cost of transportation to and from the airport
  • The cost of using the moving services of a moving company
  • Vehicle rentals

The Cost of Driving to Your New Home

How much money you will need to drive to the new home is determined by fuel costs and distance. Other expenses that you will have to deal with include:

  • parking fees and road tolls
  • roadside meals and lodgings, if traveling for several days
  • servicing the vehicle to limit the chance of breakdown and accidents

So, should you ship your car or drive it when moving to a new home? As you can see, the answer is not so cut and dry. It depends on the circumstances of the move and your needs and personal preferences. Carefully consider all the advantages and disadvantages of both choices and pick the one that’s best for you. If it’s preferable to hire a moving company, then Flat Price Movers and Auto Transport can provide high-quality moving and auto shipping services. Call us today and let us help you get to the new home.