Is an Auto Transport Company Right for You? To Ship or Not to Ship?

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Is an Auto Transport Company Right for You? To Ship or Not to Ship?

Moving has long been considered one of the most stressful things a person can do. So movers, especially those moving great distances, are well-advised to find as many ways to de-stress the situation as possible. One potential stressor might just be getting a car, or cars, from point A to point B. Using an auto transport company is one way to relieve yourself of stress in this stressful time.

What Does an Auto Transport Company Do?

Car shipping services do exactly what the name implies: ship cars. These services can go door to door, meaning they will pick up your car at your current residence and drop it off at your new home so that you can get it there without having to worry about the long-distance wear and tear.

Car shipping services are especially helpful for families with multiple vehicles. While it’s feasible to drive a single car across the country, it becomes much more difficult when you own several cars. If a four-person household has four cars, driving all four cars to a new location of any significant distance can become burdensome and expensive.  An auto transport company can transport multiple cars at once, thus ensuring every car makes it without requiring each member of the family to drive long distances.

Even where an individual car is being transported to a new location, a car shipping service may be able to help. When deciding whether it’s worth it to use such a service, you should evaluate all of the varied factors related to moving, not just the price of the auto transport company service.

  • Other costs. When deciding whether to use a service to move your car, there are many costs you should consider other than the shipping price. For example: gas, hotel costs, food, and wear and tear on the vehicle, including the costs of repairs and maintenance.
  • Time and energy. The cost of moving a car is not only monetary; it also costs time and effort. How stressed does driving make you? How much could you make working in the hours that it took you to drive your vehicle to your new home? How long will it take you to drive there? Will the time be enough to get you settled before starting at a new school or workplace? All of these are questions you should ask yourself when debating using an auto transport company or drive the vehicle yourself.
  • Driving can be dangerous. Cutting down driving time can result in safer travel.

How Much Does an Auto Transport Company Charge?

Determining shipping costs varies by circumstances including what type of car is being shipped, how long the move is, and how many vehicles are being moved. Most shipping services list calculators or quote estimates based off of individual circumstances. Thus, the best way to find an estimate is to visit a few such service providers and enter the particular information relative to your move.

However, to give you an idea of the range of prices you might expect, look at the following examples.

  1. Joe wants to move his 2010 Nissan Maxima from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Detroit, Michigan.
  2. Mike wants to ship his 2014 Bentley GT from New York to San Jose, California.

Using these examples, look at some estimated shipping costs from three moving services to gauge the price you might expect when using an auto transport company. For consistency, all requested quotes used a July 5, 2015 shipping date, were marked as running, and used an open carrier. The quotes themselves likely will change depending on when you make the request, and the quoted estimates were just the first three received from many requested carrier services.

Estimate 1 Estimate 2 Estimate 3
Example 1 $689 $350 $785
Example 2 $1,199 $1,200 $1,250


It is important to price shop for an auto transport company, but it is also important to remember that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If a quoted price is significantly lower than any of its competitors, it might just be because of hidden fees, poor service, or less comprehensive insurance. When looking at quotes, also take into account customer reviews and what is included in the service provided.

A vehicle transportation service might not be right for everyone, but before you make that decision, look around and see how much time and money it could save you. You just might find that it’s just what you need as you begin the process of moving to your new place.

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