Should I Ship My Car or Sell It?

When planning to move out of the state or across the country, you'll decide on what stays and what goes. For most it can depend on all the costs involved in keeping your old car or shipping your car to your new location. Unfortunately, you can't put it inside the moving truck.

For others however, it can simply be a matter of just wanting a new car to go with you new home and start fresh. Instead of taking your old one long distance, you can buy one there.

Factors To Take In To Consideration

There are factors to consider that can decide on whether you should ship your car cross country, or sell your car. Here we go over 11 of them.

If You Just Want To Sell Your Car

Seems obvious, however if you want and can afford a new vehicle instead of shipping your current one, then this is really as far as you need to go.

However, if you are on the fence at the moment and need to know if you should ship your car or sell it.

The Cost Of Shipping a Car Cross Country

Before anything, you need to know what it costs to ship a car. Vehicle shipping costs care calculated on the distance, route, vehicle condition, size, and weight of your vehicle. In many cases after weighing on the factors, shipping your car car makes sense money wise.

This is the first step that will help you decide to sell or use a transportation company. You will notice that the drive cross country is expensive so you'll have to really do research to do research to make sure it's worth it to ship or go driving.

Most people ship a car using open transport. It is the cheapest way to ship a car. It combines the right amount of value, safety. and reliability along with being very cost effective.

If cost is not so much of a factor as safety, enclosed transport is the safest way to ship a car. It is usually 40-60% more than open.

Driving Needs at Your New Location

If you intend to drive your vehicle in the new state you are heading to and it continues to meet your needs, shipping your car with a car shipping company can be very cost effective.

On the other hand, if you have owned your vehicle for a long time and it no longer fits your lifestyle, selling your car may be the best option for you regardless of the shipping cost.

Inconvenience of Selling Your Car

You could have reasons you want to keep your vehicle. If you have a lease, you'll need pay it off to sell your car. If you have it financed, make sure you are not upside down on it.

If you car is older but you love driving it, that could also mean you should ship your car if you don't want to part with it..

Hassles Cause by The Car Buying Process

Finalizing a new vehicle purchase may leave you without one for at least a few weeks, making it inconvenient. In some cases you may also have to come up with a down payment which cuts into your budget.

As mentioned earlier, you also have to sell the old car, unless you trade it in for the new vehicle. In that case, you may opt to get the car transported.

If you car is older but you love driving it, that could also mean you should ship your car if you don't want to part was with it.

How Often You Use Your Car or Extra Vehicle

You may have a vehicle that you use only on weekends, or have kept for a sentimental reason. At this time you would then consider your budget at your new location. Can you afford to register and insure an extra vehicle?

Just like any extra vehicle, like a motorcycle it's up to you and your budget on if you want to sell your car or ship your car with an auto transport company.

Current Vehicle Condition

The condition of your car will have a big impact on whether you should sell it or ship it. Consider using a car shipping company if the vehicle is in excellent condition. New cars or vehicles that are only a few years old may not be worth selling.

Even if you own your vehicle for a while and have added miles, cars made in recent years are more reliable than ever. If you haven't had any problems and have kept up with taking care of it, there's no reason to expect anything to go wrong in the near future.

Repairs or Excess Maintenance

If it needs to be fixed or is very far behind on maintenance it may very well not be worth the time, money, and energy to keep. In that case you may consider selling it instead.

Additionally, trying to make these repairs could take time if parts aren't available. This could end up making it so you postpone your move. If the car doesn't start and you still want to ship your car, you can still ship a disabled or non running vehicle.

The Time of Year / Seasonality

Believe it or not, auto shipping has seasons. In general during the winter season, you may get reasonable costs, but they rise during the summer months. When deliveries are hindered by the cold, car transport services may need a little extra planning time.

For example, if your move is along a snowbird route, you will see widely varying prices in transport costs depending on the direction you are shipping your car on.

If these aren't for you, you may sell your automobile, but it will be advantageous to book a move.

Car Prices

Car prices all across the country have been higher than ever. From dealers charging thousands over MSRP to a used car selling for close or even more to what it was purchased for years before. In these cases, do research.

Start with checking out KBB Values to get a baseline on what you car will sell or trade in for. You can also check out the best places to sell your car online.

Owning Valuable or Classic Vehicles

If vehicle model If you have an antique or classic car, it's difficult to replace these cars. As a result, having your car shipped door-to-door and mostly within an enclosed transport is more beneficial for you.

Deciding On Selling Your Car? Use Shipping as a Selling Point

If it's time to part ways with old faithful, don't limit yourself to selling your car locally. You can use auto shipping services to get the car directly to the right buyer paying the right money for it. You can list used vehicles nationally to get exposure.

You can either help arrange the shipping process for the buyer or you can have them call us to set up the transportation. Past customers have done this with us many times.

Buying A Car and Selling Your Old One? Use Car Shipping to get a Head Start

Another idea you may have not considered is buying the car locally and having it shipped to your new destination. In fact, since we work with dealerships, we can actually ship it through them and they may include it in the financing for you!

This is great way to work with perhaps a dealership you have a relationship with already and may help you get a better deal because you have previously worked with them. In many cases, that can save you more than shipping your car will cost.

How to Ship a Car With National Express

Step 1

Get an instant quote with our cost calculator. If you want to know how we come up with a price, you can see how much it costs to ship a car.

Step 2

Once you pick the type of shipping, you can go ahead and schedule. We will take no money from you until a carrier is committed to pick up. They will do an inspection on a form called the Bill of Lading.

Step 3

You will then meet the truck driver. All shipping is door to door, unless the carrier cannot fit or is not allowed in your area. The carrier will help you plan ahead of time if they need an open area.

Step 4

Your vehicle is on the way to the destination. During this time you can call the carrier with the number provided. In turn, they will call you if they have questions about the delivery location.

Step 5

Then it's delivery time. The carrier will again coordinate to meet you at your door if possible. At this time, the carrier will unload the car, make an inspection again on the BOL, and accept payment. The payment is usually made COD. They will then hand over the keys and be on their way.


Shipping your car (unless you really want to buy a new one) is usually safer, more cost effective, and convenient than selling your car or driving. If you are ready to get started, give us a call at 800-284-7177 and one of our car transport advisors will be glad to help you out.

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.