How to Transport Your Car During a Move

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Most people undergo the stressful, costly, and time-consuming process of relocation at least once in their lifetime. Various reasons like a new job, family ties, lifestyle changes, or the need for more space drive car-owners out of their current residences. This process is already complicated enough without the additional labor of coordinating auto transportation. 


However, that shouldn’t discourage you from making arrangements to have your vehicle transported to your new home. There are plenty of ways to achieve a less-hectic vehicle shipping process, without consuming valuable time and resources. With search engines at your disposal, you can easily shop around for an auto transportation company that aligns with your shipping needs.

Using an auto shipping company

Hiring a professional shipping service is one of the most popular ways to transport a car to your new residence. The shipping method doesn’t add miles to your vehicle and eliminates the roadside hazards associated with long-distance road trips. Several auto transport companies offer excellent services and affordable prices. You can choose a reliable auto transportation company, by requesting referrals from your friends and families or by performing a basic online search.

car moving

Once you settle on a shipping company, you’ll be presented with the option to transport your car using open or enclosed auto transport, with each posing its own advantages and disadvantages. Before landing on a final decision, weigh the pros and cons, and thoroughly assess your options. The popular open-air carriers offer affordable means of transportation, allowing you to track your car’s location during transit by communicating directly with the driver. However, they expose your automobile to outdoor elements and take about 10 to 14 days to arrive. Yet another downside to open-air transport is that several cars are packed together, contributing to a less personalized shipping experience. 


If you decide to go with an enclosed carrier, make sure you are ready for the premium price that corresponds with the premium shipping experience, extensive protective measures, swift deliveries. While some vehicle-owners consider this shipping option as a luxury, while other vehicle owners such as the owners of a classic or luxury car might consider enclosed shipping a necessity.


Before hiring an auto transportation service, make sure you gather all the necessary information about the company, examine its customer service quality, scroll through the online reviews, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You should also contact the Better Business Bureau and other organizations to verify the company has secured membership and to ascertain its track record.

professional movers


It’s vital to choose a company that offers great value for the cost, finalizes the agreement in writing, and reviews the contract before making any commitments. Prior to signing, verify the firm’s license, insurance certificate, and the depth of its policy. Furthermore, find out if the company provides door-to-door delivery or if you’ll have to travel to their local hub for pick-up.

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Companies can either provide door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal services. To save money, you should have your vehicle shipped to the local hub instead of your doorstep. Doing so will free up time for the shipping company.


Pricing should also be part of your research, making sure that you don’t spend a fortune on transportation. Factors like time of the year, distance, operating condition, the model, services offered by the mover, weight and size of the vehicle, and type of transport will determine the shipping costs.

Using a non-professional

Recruiting a reliable and trustworthy individual, student, family member, or friend to drive your car to the new location can save you a lot of money, but it does involve its own set of risks. Before handing the keys to the driver, agree on the costs, ensure that your insurance covers accidents, and hand over payment for the service, upon safe arrival.

semi moving car

Towing the car

Towing is another option of transporting your car during a move to a different state or city. You can choose to use a tow dolly, which partially lifts the vehicle off the road and pulls the car by its rear wheels. You can also opt for a car carrier with built-in wheels that lift the car completely off the ground.


Towing the car may be a cost-efficient method, but the car’s weight and size limit exclude particular models. For example, it’s challenging to load a vehicle with a low-lying front end up on a loading ramp, and tow dollies limit the moving truck’s mobility, especially when reversing. Ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when joining the towing trailer to the moving truck for safety reasons.


Truck-renting companies are stocked with auto trailers that can help tow your vehicle with ease. Besides their wallet-friendly rates, towing allows you to use your car as an additional storage space during your state-to-state or cross-country move. However, with the additional weight of an auto trailer, it may be challenging to navigate the road, particularly narrow streets or any sharp turns. 

Driving your vehicle

If you do not mind driving over long distances, adding your car’s mileage, and raising its susceptibility to damages, this is an excellent car transport method. Additionally, besides allowing you to explore new places while on the road, it also offers extra storage space.

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driving car for move


Before you decide to transport your own car, consider the distance and use a map to analyze the topography, weather and traffic patterns, and the amenities that can be found en route. Additionally, assess the different routes available, and pick the most convenient, the safest, and/or most accessible one. When comparing and contrasting different routes, calculate the exact mileage, and don’t automatically side with the shortest route.


After calculating the distance and choosing the most appropriate route, you’ll need to estimate the quantity of fuel your vehicle will consume during the journey, by factoring in the vehicle’s miles per gallon rate. You should also calculate the number of hours per day you’ll have to travel to reach your destination on time, accounting for possible stops and speed limits. Additionally, estimate the amount of money you’ll use on gas, considering that some areas may charge more than the country’s average.

Weather conditions

Remember, driving long distances will be more favorable during particular months than others, so your moving month will, undoubtedly, influence your decision to personally drive or ship your car. Note that it will be challenging to drive during the winter months due to ice-filled roads, chilly winds, and snowfalls which may cause delays, threaten your safety, and increase the risk of damaging your car. If you don’t find yourself trapped in a snowstorm and/or stuck in the vehicle waiting for help to arrive, it can adversely affect your health and potentially ruin personal items stored in your vehicle.


Paying attention to the weather is increasingly essential if you’re planning to move to the country’s northern areas that are known for their freezing winters. The warm months offer better weather for driving your vehicle during a move. Months between April and October make for pleasant and less-troublesome long-distance travel, ensuring an excellent road trip. During these more temperate months, keep in mind that you’ll, likely, have to deal with heavy traffic. Due to popular demand, shipping in summer will also be met with higher costs. Whatever route you decide to take, weigh the pros and cons, and don’t overlook the seasonal weather conditions of both your current state and your final destination.

Final thoughts

There are so many factors to consider when deciding the best method of transportation for your vehicle: urgency, costs, convenience, preferences, and safety on top of the list. Making crucial decisions pertaining to the transportation of your vehicle is entirely your responsibility, so pick what suits your needs and the needs of your family best.