If you’re planning a cross-country move in the near future, you may be having visions of redecorating, exploring your new town, and all the wonderful opportunities that come with a fresh start. But how will you get yourself from point A to point B? Well, there’s that car… We’ve explained all the factors involved in driving vs. shipping your car across the country so you can make the most informed decision possible. Road trip or not, you decide.
There are a number of factors that can influence your ultimate decision. How much time do you have to make the move? Where, exactly, are you moving — and how far is it from where you live now? Do you have a budget that could potentially limit your choices? Once you answer these three questions, you’re ready to move on.
Start by calculating the factors that go into driving
Once you know how far you’ll need to drive, Calculate your car’s average miles per gallon to figure out about how much fuel you’ll be using and how much you’ll have to buy along the way at current gas rates. Add a little buffer to account for areas where gas is more expensive than the average.
Then: what is your road trip style? Will you do mega-long days with high mileage, meaning fewer stops that will require a place to sleep? Will you stay with friends along the way, camp, or rent a hotel room? You’ll need to stop for food, too, so budget that into your time. Will you be driving alone or with a companion? This will determine how many miles you can realistically cover in one day if it’s a multi-day trip.
What is the opportunity cost of taking the time off from work to drive? If you’re moving from Maine to California, it may mean over a week that you won’t be able to work. Is that possible for you, financially and logistically? If the time allows, you might just consider it a vacation adventure. If not, the drive might end up feeling rushed.
Then calculate what would go into shipping your car
Your quote from the shippers should include everything that would go into the actual shipping, but what about the other factors? If you aren’t driving, you’ll probably need to fly or take a train. How much is a plane or train ticket? You’ll need transportation to and from the airport or train station, whether friends, shuttle, or taxi. You’ll also need to feed yourself on travel day, and then most likely rent a car upon arrival to cover your transportation needs until your vehicle arrives.
Want to know more about the nitty-gritty? Check out our tips for shipping your car to find out what sort of options you may have as well as the pros and cons for each.
Pulling off a cross-country move smoothly takes one smart and well-considered step at a time. Now that you’re fully informed, how will your vehicle make the trip?