6 Reasons Why It's Cheaper to Ship a Car Rather Than to Drive It

Shipping a car across long distances instead of driving isn't as must of a luxury or difficult to arrange as you may think.

So, is it cheaper to ship car than drive it? While driving cross country is an option for your move, in many cases it isn't the best and most economic choice. For example, shipping a car to another state can be far more cost-effective than driving. The cheapest way to get a car shipped across states or across the country is with a shipping company.

This is supported by several factors, from gas prices to the wear and tear on the vehicle to unexpected expenses that can pop up in the middle of a long road trip. Here we will learn some more about the reasons that you might want to give it a go.

No detailed article can leave out all the valid reasons driving can be more expensive. After all, it's easy for you to come here and read this from a professional auto transport company because of course we want your business. So, for that reason, we lay out all the facts regarding driving vs. shipping for you on the table.

If you have been giving some though to which method you are going to pick from, moving your car with an auto shipper won't break the bank. Of course, the convenience factor cannot be overstated. And since shipping a car is a straightforward process, this hassle-free experience is in stark contrast to the planning, driving, and potential issues that come with a long road trip. You hand over your car to the transport or auto shipping company, and then collect it at delivery.

We lay out all the facts regarding both for you on the table. If you are ready to get to know some great reasons that to ship your car instead of having to either drive or ship it, you need to not do more than continue to get all the nit and grit you need right here to make your decision.

Reasons Why It’s Better to Ship a Car Instead of Deciding to Drive It

Shipping your car can be the right solution to handle your move to a new place for so many reasons. You might not want to think about having to pay to have your car moved for you, but there are lots of reasons that you might not be saving money or time when you choose to move your car on your own. Check out these reasons why you might want to go ahead and book that car transport services or company to move your car before you decide that you are ready to start driving to your new home yourself.

miles add up

1 - You Won’t Put Extra Miles and Wear and Tear On Your Car

The first and most obvious reason is the reduction miles and in wear and tear you'll get. Every mile driven adds to the gradual wear of a car's engine, your tires, and a lot more. This not only decreases the total lifespan of your car but very much increases the likelihood of some costly repairs or needed maintenance as time goes by. Shipping the car avoids all this additional costs and mileage along with wear, which in turns preserves it's life in the long run and value.

It's fair to say added mileage might not matter to you if your car has lots of miles on it already, but in that case you do need to be careful with long distances if your car is older. Your car might not be in the best condition for a road trip.

save time dont waste it driving

2 - Shipping Car Rather Than Drive it Will Save Your Time

Time is an often overlooked but it can be heavily consumed by a long drive. Driving long distances is not only tiring but can take up quite a bit of time . This time could be spent more productively or enjoyably. Add up lost time off of work, trying to set deadlines you factor in the cost of your time, especially if taking time off work is required, the expense of long distance driving can significantly outweigh that of shipping. Unless you really love road trips, a long drive to another state and new home isn't going to be number one on your list of fun things to do..

Combine this time with concerns about for your move around the need to drive your car yourself, and other stresses to do with moving and you might have a recipe for a lot of wasted time and stress on your side of the equation.

When you choose to send your car with a shipping and car moving company, you will save a lot of time which can then be used to make sure that your house is packed up and ready to move and that can be devoted to keeping other things that need to be cared for on track while you are getting ready to move. It can take days to travel across the US and you might not have days to spare for this part of the moving process. If you have a hard deadline for your move to keep to, driving might also put a real cramp in your trip plans. It is never wise to try to drive all night and all day just to make it to your new home in time to start work at your new job.

Make sure that you are considering all the factors related to the time that might make the trip unsafe, inconvenient, or impossible. There are many reasons why trying to drive your own car alone to a new place can be prohibitive time-wise, and it is a good idea to consider all of these factors before you embark on the journey.

save money not driving

3 - You Will Save Money in Most Cases by Shipping Your Car Instead of Driving it

It's very easy to get tied up with the number given to you by an auto transport company. When in reality, the money it costs to drive on a long trip is more than just the gas you spend. It's food, finding a place to stay each night you stop for rest, fuel costs.

When you pay a car shipping company for their services, you save almost every on those same costs like, food and lodging. Why? It's split up with the others just like you who also have booked a car transport for the trip to and from nearby areas to both you pick up and delivery locations.

This will then reduce the costs to you quite a bit when you compare how you will paying for your own meals, your gas, and your hotel stays each nigh you need to get some shuteye. Driving across the country yourself has a lot of costs. Make an accurate account of what you are willing and able to spend on the road. Especially if it's driving a cross country trip.

bad driving weather conditions

4 - Bad Weather Can Be a Hazard When Choosing to Drive instead of Using a Shipping Company and Cost You $$$

Severe weather conditions can significantly impact both drivers and their vehicles, especially when choosing to drive long distances instead of shipping a car.

Driving in bad weather increases the risk of accidents due to slippery roads, reduced visibility, and the potential for hydroplaning in wet conditions. These risks are not just for the driver but also for other drivers nearby. Similarly, one of the drivers near you could experiencing the effects of adverse weather and involve you in a road incident.

If you come from a state with favorable weather all year long, it's easy to not be fully prepared for tough conditions you may not be used to when deciding to transport a car cross country yourself. Are you driving and your vehicle up to it? If not, you may risk safety. Even if it did cost less to drive than ship, is safety worth it?

pets kids car long drive

5 - Driving a Car with Pets and Children Can Add a Layer of Risk and Cost

Driving a car over long distances with pets and children can be a challenging experience to say the least. So much can happen along the way.

You may need to make frequent stops for bathroom breaks, especially with young children. Pets also need regular stops to relieve themselves and leave the confines of you car. These stops can significantly extend the duration of your trip by a bit and cost time which for many is money.

The noise level in the car can increase with pets, leading to a potentially chaotic case of the yelping and panting, especially with dogs. This can be distracting you as you drive and may increase stress levels for everyone in the motor vehicle itself. This could lead to a costly accident or fender-bender.

classic valuable car

6 - Classic, High End Vehicle or Exotic? Another Reason a Shipping company is Cheaper

We wrap up our 6th reason with special vehilcles like classic cars and high end / high value cars suych as exotics. Shipping a classic or exotic car instead of driving it can be a wise decision, especially if considering costs.

When you ship your classic or exotic car, you protect it from unnecessary wear and tear. These vehicles are often prized for their condition and mileage, and driving them long distances can affect you both. Shipping helps maintain your car's amazing condition.

By choosing to ship, you safeguard your car from road debris, accidents, or harsh weather conditions. This automatically saves you money if your trip was destined to be involved in an accident or damaged by elements. Exotic and classic cars can be more susceptible to damage, and repairs can be super costly.

Your older classic car might not be as reliable for long-distance travel as a modern car. Shipping eliminates that risk so you won't need to worry about breakdowns, engine failure, or the challenges of finding parts or service for a unique or older car far from anyone that has those parts.

Let's not forget security. Shipping, especially enclosed shipping provides a secure way to transport your classic or exotic. Enclosed transport options offer additional layers for protection from elements and pesky prying eyes, ensuring your car and personal belongings remains safe from being taken from you or vandalized.

Use Methods Available to Save Money With Car Shipping Companies

You might not know it, but saving money on auto shipping across the country can be simple a combination of smart planning, flexibility, and research.

Don't settle for the first quote you receive. Shop around and get quotes from multiple auto shipping companies. This will give you a better idea of the average cost and help you to compare quotes to find the most competitive price.

Open transport is generally cheaper than enclosed transport. Unless you're shipping a classic, exotic, or luxury, car across the country where extra protection is needed, open transport can be your cost-effective option.

If you have flexibility in your shipping dates, you can save money. Some trucks might offer lower rates for off-peak times or have discounts for filling up slots on a transport that's not fully booked because it's slow that week.

While door-to-door shipping is more far more convenient, choosing terminal-to-terminal where available can make your shipping cost cheaper. This means you drop off and pick up your car at designated terminals.

It's not always possible, but if you can avoid shipping your car during peak seasons like summer or the end of the year. Demand is higher during these times, and prices tend to skyrocket.

Discounts and Special Offers: Look for discounts or special offers. Some companies offer discounts to military personnel, students, or for return customers. It doesn't hurt to ask if there are any promotions available.

Negotiate!! Don't be afraid to negotiate with the your shipping company. If you have a lower quote from another provider, see if they can match or beat it!

Final Words

In conclusion, while the initial cost of shipping a car might seem higher than driving it, a comprehensive analysis reveals that it can be a more economical choice. The savings in wear and tear, fuel, time, accommodation, safety, insurance, maintenance, environmental impact, and convenience all add up. These factors make a car shipping service not just a luxury but a practical, cost-effective solution for long-distance vehicle transport.

Carl has a decade of experience in the car shipping industry. He has worked in nearly every aspect of the transport business since 2014, taking charge of various roles in the company such as dispatching, sales, and customer service.

During those years, Carl amassed an invaluable amount of experience which has contributed to his writing of every article and and guide on NX since taking over content in 2015.