Shipping Your Car Across the Country: Special Considerations for Long-Distance Moves

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When moving across the country, you’ve got to think about how you’re going to get your family — and all your belongings — to your new home. One thing that may not initially come to mind is moving your vehicles. While you can drive your car, tow it with a trailer yourself or even sell it and purchase a new one once you’ve moved, each of these options has unique challenges.  

Driving your own vehicle may be difficult, especially if you have multiple in your household. Do you have two or three experienced drivers in your group? And can they each afford to be off of work for several days to drive the long distance safely? Don’t forget to include the cost of gas, lodging and meals along the way. For example, a cross country trip of 3,000 miles will require approximately nine tanks of gas, three or four nights in a hotel and perhaps a dozen meals. That could quickly top $1,000. Remember, you’ll also need a driver or two for the moving truck if you’re handling your own move.

And although towing your own car sounds simple, you could damage your car unless you have the proper equipment and expertise. 

Finally, you could sell your vehicle and purchase a new one once you reach your destination, but chances are you prefer to keep your car. Plus, selling and buying a car in a hurry doesn’t yield the best prices. Add the extra time and hassle of the sales and purchase process and this option may not make sense. 

Shipping a car removes the stress of getting your automobile to its destination while giving you confidence that it will arrive safely. This is especially helpful for long-distance moves.

Benefits of Cross-Country Car Shipping

Shipping your vehicle rather than driving or towing it yourself provides a number of advantages, including:

  • Valuable time savings
  • Convenience and hassle-free
  • Less wear and tear on your car
  • Door-to-door delivery available for most locations
  • Opportunity to ship multiple vehicles if needed

What to Consider When You Ship Your Car Across the Country

While it provides many benefits, there are various things to keep in mind when using an auto transport company to move your car. 

Details About Your Vehicle

You’ll need to know the year, make and model of your vehicle to get an accurate quote. If you drive a small or compact car or a motorcycle, the cost may be less. For larger or heavier vehicles, modified cars or RVs, the quote may vary as these will require special equipment and extra care to ensure full protection. 

Open vs. Enclosed Transport

You may have to decide between an open or enclosed trailer. With an open trailer, your vehicle will be loaded with others — similar to what you see on the road where multiple cars are stacked and being pulled behind a large truck. With this option, your car is exposed to weather and road debris. 

Alternatively, enclosed trailers (both soft-sided and hard-sided) are completely covered, providing extra shelter from the elements, dirt, dust and road debris. Regardless of distance, if you have a high-end vehicle, low clearance sports car or exotic collector car, an enclosed trailer is recommended or even necessary depending on your car’s specifications. 

Timeline and Locations

The distance between your destinations as well as the type of areas the vehicle is being picked up from and delivered to will impact your quote. Rural to rural, major city to rural, major city to major city, etc., all have different costs. 

Depending on road conditions, traffic and weather, even shorter distances take a few days or more to complete. Another influencing factor on the timeline is the number of vehicles on the truck and where they’re going. For example, nine cars and nine different locations equals many stops. Nine cars dropped at four locations means less stops. 


Read the fine print when it comes to insurance coverage. The truck could get into an accident while in transit—which is rare, but it can happen. 

Check out the complete guide to shipping a car across the country to learn even more about best practices and available shipping solutions.

Choose the Best Company for Cross-Country Car Transport

The most important decision you’ll make when shipping your vehicle is choosing the right company. Montway Auto Transport offers long-distance car shipping solutions for vehicle owners across the United States. We only work with licensed and insured carriers to provide our customers with the protection and peace of mind they deserve. Call us today at (888) 666-8929 or get an instant quote at We look forward to working with you!

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