5 Tips for Moving Your Car Across the Country

December 26, 2022
Ella M
Ella M

If only transporting a vehicle cross-country could be as simple as covering it in a big box and a mountain of bubble wrap. Unfortunately, if you're moving to another part of the world, you'll need something heavier, like a truck, train, plane, or even a ship.

1. Select the Proper Towing Method

Towing your car is a possibility if you have many vehicles or if you're renting a van to transfer your own possessions, but it's not a universal fix. You'll need to assess your options for towing in light of things like:

- The mass of the vehicle

- The car's height above the ground

- The transition's style

- Regardless of whether it has front-, rear-, or all-wheel drive

Usually, rear-wheel-drive vehicles and low-profile vehicles are suitable candidates for a flatbed. For vintage vehicles or other artifacts, it is also the favored choice. A tow bar, on the other hand, enables flat or four-wheel towing and functions best with tiny automobiles. Use a dolly for front-wheel-drive vehicles to save wear and strain on the vehicle.

You must make sure that your towed vehicle is "street legal," so keep that in mind. This certification indicates that your haul is secure enough for you to operate it and for it to travel on the same road as other passenger cars. Some towing options work well for short hauls but not for lengthy journeys. If you're traveling across the country, keep in mind that you'll be going through many states and must abide by various traffic laws; therefore, you should select a towing option that complies with all of them.

No matter which option you pick, a tow hitch is required. These are often simple to attach by yourself, but if you have any worries about how your car is operating, it's always a good idea to speak with an automotive expert. To avoid leaving any valuable items behind, it is best to employ a professional to tie your automobile to the rear of the carrying truck.

2. Select the Most Affordable Shipping Method

Utilizing a car shipping firm to deliver your vehicle to a distant location is an additional choice. However, it will drastically raise your moving budget because, depending on the shipper, kind of car, and final location, auto shipping can range in price from $1,500 to $5,000.

The cost of shipping your automobile is around 60 cents per mile. This cost is based on journeys that are more than 1,000 miles long; for shorter journeys, it will cost more than $1 per mile. These charges are based on ground or sea transportation and do not account for additional fees, such as whether your automobile is being delivered to your driveway or a railway station or airport terminal.

However, not every technique will work in your case. For instance, if you were traveling to Alaska or Hawaii from another region of the contiguous 48 states, you wouldn't need a ship for your automobile. And if you're relocating over a few state lines, you could decide against paying for an airline ticket for your automobile.

Comparing open and enclosed transportation

You must also decide whether you want to transfer your automobile in an open or enclosed vehicle. Stacking 10 or more automobiles on an open truck and leaving them exposed to the weather is known as an open transport carrier, and you've probably seen one on the highway. Your automobile will be kept secure throughout enclosed travel in a covered truck with only a few other vehicles. However, you should be prepared to spend more for the service. Generally speaking, enclosed automobile shipping costs roughly 40% more than open car transport does. Traveling in enclosed transportation will make your automobile safer because it will be contained by four walls the entire time. But you should also anticipate a lengthier trip. However, if you have a luxury or vintage automobile that you do not want to go to its destination on the open road, this is an excellent choice.

3. Inquire about car transport with your moving company

Start by asking your moving company for a price on automobile travel. Working with a company that specializes in long-distance removals is your best option since they have the knowledge and equipment needed to transport your automobile.

Remember that relocating your automobile will cost much more during these months, just as it does for a conventional relocation, which is generally from April to September. You should make your reservation well in advance so the moving company can work out the logistics because relocating a car is more complicated than transferring a bunch of boxes. Working with automobile transport firms might be a smart decision if you have a short moving window and need the greatest scheduling possibilities.

4. Employ a Driver

You may hire someone to take care of your automobile in the same way that you could hire someone to drive you from Point A to Point B. The term "driveaway services" refers to professional services that provide this service, but you may simply ask your loved ones and friends whether they would be open to taking a road trip. Take your car in for a tune-up if you're hiring someone to drive it so you won't have to worry about a potential breakdown on the way. You should also make sure that your automobile is appropriately insured for another driver. If you work with a reputable business, they'll probably take pictures of the car before they leave to document any dents or scrapes, and you should do the same.

5. Use Your Own Vehicle

Okay, so this advice might not involve creative problem-solving. However, there are occasions when the obvious option is the best. Even though traveling across the nation in your automobile takes time and money (hello, high gas costs! ), it can be worthwhile in the end. It could be a good idea to load up the car for a road trip and meet the moving van there if flight is too pricey, you have pets, or you're carrying other belongings with you. Don't forget to account for costs like meals, hotel, petrol, and tolls while making your travel plans.

Is Bringing Your Car to Your New Home Worth It?

Before considering any of the aforementioned choices, there is one more item to think about: Verify if it is worthwhile for you to bring your wheels.

Owning and maintaining a car is expensive, and it will cost you money to transport it across the nation. However, it could be best to sell your automobile if you're relocating to a city where having one is more of a burden than a benefit.

If you plan on using your car to go about, think about whether it's the best automobile for your new home. Fast sports cars may have been good for navigating residential cul-de-sacs, but they are not the best choice for rough, dusty rural roads. Consider selling your car before your major move if you want to swap it out or if you don't have the time or resources to transport it across the nation.