So you’re moving, and road tripping from your old state to your new one sounds like a fun way to get your family and your car where they need to go. In theory, you’re right. The pleasures of the open road – from the burger joints to the roadside attractions – are numerous. But the choice to drive your car across the country yourself is also a risky one.
Did you know that some of the most dangerous roads in the United States are large interstates that stretch across the country? Or that the wear and tear from your cross-country road trip can lead to costly future repairs? And on a less dire note, your dreams of seeing the country with your kids can actually end up being a nightmare of car sickness and boredom-fueled bad behaviour. Plus, do you really want to have to handle the planning logistics of an epic road trip when you’re in the middle of handling the workload of a cross-country move?
Clearly, taking a road trip is not the ideal way to transport a car across the country when you’re in the process of relocating. Remember, you can always take that epic road trip later on when you’re all settled into your new neighbourhood. Hiring an auto transport company is a much better bet for right now because it will not only save you time and money, but may also save your car! Here’s what you need to know about choosing between car transport companies, why shipping your car is safer, and the best way to transport your car across the country on a carrier.
The Ins and Outs of choosing a transport company
When you hire a company to transport your car across the country, what you’re paying for is a safe, hassle-free experience. Your vehicle gets from point A to point B while you focus on other things, like getting your new home set up. What you’ll discover as you begin to research car transport companies and read car transport reviews is, as simple as the process of shipping is, there are still some decisions you’ll need to make. The most important decision will be choosing the transport company. Most importantly, make sure the transporters you’re considering are licensed and insured.
From there, you’ll need to pick dates and your drop-off and pickup locations. Are you okay with picking your vehicle up at a local hub? And do you want your car to make the journey on an open-air carrier? Or perhaps your vehicle is a valuable one, and you’d prefer enclosed transport. There’s a lot to think about!
At Montway, our goal is to make the process as simple as possible and so when you talk to one of our car-shipping experts, they’ll walk you through all of your options so you feel 100% comfortable transporting your car across the country. We’ve even created a step-by-step checklist to help you work through the logistics of shipping your car faster and more efficiently.
Using an auto transport company is a matter of safety
We love to drive in the United States and cars are a huge part of our culture, so most of us feel comfortable driving long distances. But the reality is that cross-country driving is actually less safe than we think. Is driving inherently dangerous? No, but as the miles add up, so does the likelihood that you’ll encounter reckless drivers, wildlife too startled to get off the road, treacherous weather conditions, tire-busting potholes, and other pitfalls that can lead to accidents.
Transporting your car across the country is statistically the safer option for you, your family, and your vehicle. You avoid the possibility that you’ll get into an accident and your car avoids the kind of wear and tear that can lead to breakdowns later on.
It’s also a matter of time
Fifteen hundred miles as the crow flies is one thing. Fifteen hundred miles of twisting highway, bathroom breaks, gassing up, and endless choruses of “I’m bored” is another matter entirely. Most people start out planning their road trips with an idealism that borders on fantasy. Even assuming you’re going to make good time is a leap of faith. If you’re still kicking around the idea of road tripping as part of your relocation plans, just remember that timing matters.
When you’re transporting your car across the country, you can be almost positive that your vehicle will get to your new city when you need it. Driving it yourself, on the other hand, puts you at the mercy of traffic, flat tires, and the weather. The best case scenario is that you pull up to your new home half a day later than planned and it’s an inconvenience. Worst case scenario, you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere waiting on a repair for so long that you miss your first day at your new job.
And even if you could be absolutely certain that the road conditions would be ideal, your car would survive the journey unscathed, and your children would be remarkably well-behaved, is taking a road trip really the best use of your time at this point in your life? Wouldn’t it make more sense to use your available time to get unpacked, get the kids settled in, and get acquainted with your new neighbourhood? You’ll have plenty of time to do all that and more when you ship your car across the country. If you’re worried you won’t have your vehicle when you need it, you can pay a little more for expedited shipping and a guaranteed delivery date and time.
Transporting a car across the country can cost less than driving it
Maybe you’re worried about the cost to ship a car. Many people assume that transporting a car across the country will be very expensive and that driving it will be the more affordable option. But the reality is often quite different. Think of all the expenses associated with an epic road trip – especially when you’re bringing kids along for the ride.
The most obvious expenses are the gas it takes to get where you’re going and the inevitable snacks and drinks that are purchased when you fuel up. You’ll need somewhere to stay on the road, and depending on how comfortable you want your accommodations to be you may be spending $100 or more per night. You have to eat meals and three squares per day on the road per person will add up quickly. Add a flat tire or a battery issue to your total plus an oil change and maybe even a tune-up when you arrive at your destination, and you’re looking at one expensive drive!
When you get quotes from car transport companies, on the other hand, you get an all-inclusive, one-time price and you don’t have to factor in future costs that are due to wear and tear. There are a lot of factors that go into determining the price of shipping a car across the country, from the vehicle make and model to its condition to the type of carrier and the distance to the destination. You can ship a sedan from Boston to Los Angeles for about $1,400. Road-tripping the same route with a family of four? Will almost definitely cost you more.
But will my car arrive safely?
When you’ve finally decided that you’ll be transporting your car across the country instead of driving, you may still be pretty stressed out. After all, putting your vehicle into the hands of a stranger and then hoping for the best can seem like a whole other kind of unsafe decision! It’s totally normal to feel this way, but what you need to keep in mind is that companies like Montway move hundreds of cars per day without incident.
The auto transport industry is incredibly well regulated to ensure the safety of the cars being moved and the drivers doing the hauling. Car transporters limit the number of hours drivers can be on the road to prevent fatigue. Trucks and carriers undergo regular safety checks and maintenance to ensure that all equipment is not just operational, but safe. The U.S. Department of Transportation conducts its own safety inspections, too. And all auto transport companies are required by the USDOT to hold full coverage insurance on every car they ship.
Should I choose Open or Enclosed auto transport
It should be obvious that when it comes to transporting a car across the country, enclosed auto transport will be the safer option for a vehicle simply because there is a barrier between the car and the elements. That means that the cars being transported are protected from road debris, the weather, or curious people. That said, most auto transport companies move vehicles on secure open trailers and these cars get to their destination looking and driving exactly like they did when they were picked up. Open-air shipping is typically much less expensive and you’ll have more flexibility in terms of your shipping date.
Here’s the bottom line: For most cross-country moves, open air transport is a very safe choice. The caveat is that if your car is super valuable, an antique, or highly unusual, you may feel better about shipping it in a fully-enclosed trailer where it will be protected from the grime of the road and from prying eyes. The choice is yours.