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5 reasons to ship your car

Profile picture of Jessica Render
by Jessica Render ConsumerAffairs Research Team
eShip, Sherpa Auto Transport and Montway Auto Transport
auto transport truck shipping vehicles on the highway

Car shipping comes in handy when you need to get somewhere quickly or want to avoid driving long distances to protect your car and yourself. It’s a relatively simple process that can help whether you just bought a car in a different state or you’re moving across the country. It’s also good if you're showing a classic car and don’t want to put extra miles on it.

Regardless of why you want to ship your car, you’re going to get some benefits from hiring an auto transport company to get your car from point A to point B:

  • Less damage from time on the road
  • No loss of value from increased mileage
  • No time wasted behind the wheel
  • Reduced stress from not handling it yourself
  • Savings on fuel, repairs and maintenance

Now that you know the benefits of shipping a car, the main question is — why? Here are some common reasons you may need an auto transporter.

1. You’ve bought a car out of state

When the car you want is far away, having it delivered to you is a simple way to get it home. Otherwise, you may have to convince someone to accompany you for the pickup.

“The biggest thing for me is I was able to communicate with the carrier throughout transit. I was able to pinpoint a timeline," A satisfied Montway reviewer in Ohio stated in a review on our site. "Just being able to communicate with the driver, especially when shipping a car, together with the value, that's peace of mind. The whole reason I didn't want to use the dealership’s broker is because I wasn't able to talk to the driver.”

If you still feel nervous about trusting a shipping company with your new or new-to-you car, look for one that offers GPS tracking so you can track your car's progress.

2. You’re relocating a long distance

If you’re moving to a new state, shipping your car can save you time and money as long as you factor it into your moving budget. If you’re using a moving company to deliver your possessions to your new home, ask if it can ship your car as well. Many moving companies offer auto transport along with their cross-country moving services.

Snowbirds who split their time between homes to avoid long winters often ship their cars back and forth. For example, a Sherpa Auto Transport reviewer in Florida stated in a review that they use a car shipping service to get their vehicle to and from Connecticut each year.

Even if you don't mind driving to your destination, you may need to move more than one vehicle. In that case, car shipping can help you get your other car(s) to your new home without the hassle of driving separately from your family or having to make several trips.

Quick and easy. Get matched with an Auto Transport partner.

    3. You’re showing a classic car far away

    Most cars are shipped via open-air transport.

    When putting miles on your car isn't an option, a shipping company can help. While 97% of cars are shipped via open-air transport, enclosed transport may be a better option for show cars.

    Open-air transport is less expensive, but the chances of chipped paint or cracked glass are higher when you choose to expose your vehicle to road hazards. If your classic car is especially rare or expensive, a single car enclosed trailer may provide the protection you need. For more, read about how to find the best classic car transport services.

    4. You need to arrive at your destination quickly

    If you need to be somewhere ASAP, consider flying there and having your car delivered separately. It's faster to fly than drive, and shipping a car lets you avoid spending extra days on the road. While it probably won’t be there when you land, your car may arrive surprisingly fast.

    One eShip reviewer in South Carolina said they shipped their car from Oregon on a Friday and got the car that Sunday — in perfect shape. Another reviewer in California said their car was delivered across the country in less than five days.

    5. You want to protect your vehicle and yourself

    Driving long distances can add thousands of miles to your odometer, and it isn't everyone's idea of a good time. Heavy traffic, long days on the road and inclement weather can make driving risky, and your chances of being involved in an accident go up with every mile you drive. Even minor accidents can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your vehicle.

    Auto transport lets you largely avoid road hazards, keeping you and your vehicle safer. If you’re not a confident driver or you have a medical condition that makes it difficult to sit behind the wheel for extended periods, shipping your car might be a good option.

    Bottom line

    If one of the above situations applies to you, consider hiring an auto transporter, but research your options before you choose one. Make sure that your shipping company has plenty of experience with the distance and type of shipping you require.

    Read reviews from past customers to identify any potential red flags. Talk with yourcar insurance agent and make sure your policy covers your car in transit. Then, check with the Department of Transportation’s website to make sure the company is legit.

    Next, think about the total cost of having your car shipped. The cost to ship your vehicle depends on the number of miles it must travel, the size of the car, the urgency of the situation and the type of transport you choose. For example, single-car enclosed shipping costs about twice as much as open trailer shipping.

    If you’re still shopping for a car, read about how to find the best online car buying sites.

    If you can’t afford to hire a professional auto transporter, consider investing in an extended auto warranty to protect yourself financially should you break down on the road. These policies generally cover the major mechanical breakdowns that can happen in high mileage and older vehicles.

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    Profile picture of Jessica Render
    by Jessica Render ConsumerAffairs Research Team

    As a member of the ConsumerAffairs research team, Jessica Render is dedicated to providing well-researched, valuable content designed to help consumers make informed purchase decisions they can feel confident making. She holds a degree in journalism from Oral Roberts University.