9 reasons why shipping a car across country is better than driving

9 reasons why shipping a car across country is better than driving

A cross country move is bound to bring a lot of excitement, possibly some anxiety too. You’ve got a new life to look forward to in a new location full of opportunities and adventures. Yet, you’re also venturing into the unknown and will be facing countless challenges, the first of which is the actual relocation. 

Before you settle down in your new home, explore your new area, and take advantage of everything it offers, you first have to get there. You have to plan your relocation, find the right movers, pack your items for shipment, and deal with the necessary paperwork. Last of all, you’ve got to find a way to get to your new city. Should you drive, ride the train, or fly to your far off new home? 

The decision is going to be a tough one. You’ve got to choose between driving to your new home or shipping your car across country and taking a flight or catching the train or bus. There are pros and cons for both options, and in this article, we’re going to look at them all. Only when you’ve got all the information can you consider them carefully and make the right decision.  

Driving distance

Cross country long distance driving

One of the first things to consider is the distance you’ve got to cover. We’re not referring to the straight line distance, but the actual road miles between your current home and your new one. 

It’s a good idea to look at the route you’ll be traveling carefully. Examine the topography of the regions you’ll be crossing, and the infrastructure of the roads. Find out about typical traffic patterns and roadside amenities that are available along the way. 

With all this information available, you can decide on the best route to take. Ideally, you want a route that is the safest, easiest, or most convenient to get to your new home. You’ll then be able to calculate the exact mileage you’ll have to drive.

Once you know the exact distance, you’ll be able to estimate how much fuel you’ll need, how much you’ll have to pay for gas, and how long it will take you to drive to your new city. 

Choose to ship a car across country, and you can save all this bother. A cross country car shipping company like SGT Auto Transport, will handle all the logistics of shipping your car. All you’ll have to worry about is getting to your new home. You might decide to fly, take a train or bus. Whichever mode of transportation you choose, it’ll be relaxing and stress-free. When you arrive at your new home you’ll be ready to take delivery of your car.   

Seasonal considerations

The time of year you decide to travel is a crucial factor. Driving across country in January will be completely different from taking a road trip in May or June. The time of year has an even bigger impact if you’re moving to more northern states. 

Adverse winter weather conditions, such as chilly winds, heavy snowfalls, and icy roads, can make driving quite a challenge. The weather can cause a lot of trouble, lead to considerable delays, and the icy roads pose a substantial risk to the vehicle and your family’s safety. 

If you’re driving in freezing temperatures for long periods, it’s also going to have a harmful effect on your health and any sensitive items you’re transporting in your car.

On the other hand, cross country car shipping is a more convenient and much safer option during the cold season. You’ll avoid any potential problems caused by bad road conditions and be able to travel quickly and comfortably to your new home. 

With cross country vehicle shipping, your vehicle is safe and secure. If you choose enclosed auto transport, it’s also completely protected from the elements. The cost will also be lower, particularly during the winter months.

But what about the summer months we hear you cry? Driving long distances during the heat of the summer can be just as difficult and challenging.  

Time concerns

Ship your car across country to save time

How much time you’ve got to spare is another decisive factor when it comes to the driving vs. shipping a car dilemma. Drive your car across country, and you’ll need to allow plenty of time. Can you afford to spend several days or weeks on the road? Fly to your new location, and you can be back at work within 24 hours after your move. 

How long does it take to drive across the country? A road trip across several states could take anything from a few days to a couple of weeks. The exact timeframe depends on the distance to your new city, the weather and road conditions, the traffic you encounter along the way, how you drive, and whether you’re driving alone or with a companion who can share the driving. 

A trip from Philadelphia to Sacramento, for example, involves a distance of almost 3,000 miles. A journey of this magnitude means you’ll be on the road for a minimum of four days. If you’ve no one to share the driving with, it’ll be considerably longer. 

If you decide to drive across country on your own, you’ll have to stop more frequently to rest in order to make the trip safely. Heavy traffic and bad weather conditions could potentially delay your journey even further. 

There are benefits to driving. You’ll be able to travel at your own pace, stop whenever you want to, visit places of interest along the way, enjoy the countryside, and have fun with your family. 

The big downside is that you need to allow plenty of time, which is often not an option. You might need to get back to work as soon as possible. The kids will need to get back to school. Important commitments might also stand in the way of choosing to drive.    

Cost efficiency

Is it cheaper to ship a car or drive? For many people, this is the deciding factor. 

How much does it cost to ship a car across country?

The cost of shipping a car across country depends on several things. For example, the size and weight of the vehicle, the actual shipping distance, the current cost of fuel, and the route taken during the transportation.

The type of shipping service also makes a difference. Shipping services such as enclosed auto transport, express car shipping, or guaranteed pick up will cost more than the standard open car transport. Demand also has a part to play in determining the price. If more vehicles are shipped on a particular route, the price goes up. 

You also have to bear in mind that the cost of shipping is not the only expense you have to consider. Other factors to include:

  • The cost of airplane tickets, train or bus tickets for you and your family
  • The cost of getting to and from the airport or bus station
  • The cost of shipping all your household goods and personal belongings. This cost, however, has to be factored in even if you choose to drive yourself.

How much does it cost to drive a car across country?

The cost of driving across country depends on the distance to your new home and the current fuel costs. However, filling up your gas tank is not the only expense you’ll have to cover along the way. Other expenses include:

  • Parking fees and road tolls
  • Accommodation and meals along the way. You’re going to spend several days on the road and will need something to ear and somewhere to rest and sleep
  • Vehicle servicing: Before undertaking such a long road trip, you should have your car serviced before the trip. There’s also a risk that something might happen along the way, such as a flat tire, an accident, or you might require towing. 

You should also take the cost of wear and tear on your vehicle into account. A few thousand extra miles of the odometer will put a lot of extra strain on your car.

If you’re taking time off work for your once in a lifetime road trip, whether it’s paid or unpaid leave could be a deciding factor. 


When you’re considering a cross country move, the personal safety of yourself and your family members, and the safety of your vehicle will be primary concerns. 

You’re risking a lot if you decide to drive across country. Here are a few examples:

  • Your car might break down in the middle of nowhere
  • You fall asleep at the wheel
  • There may be an accident
  • The extra mileage puts a lot of wear and tear on your vehicle
  • The effects of the weather could be really harsh
  • Your car will be susceptible to several threats and security risks, such as auto thefts and road accidents

Shipping a car across country is a much safer way to transport a car. Use a trustworthy car shipping company, and it will limit the wear and tear on your vehicle, minimize the risk of accidents, and protect your vehicle against unfavorable weather conditions. If you want to benefit from maximum security, consider booking an enclosed auto transport carrier. 

Ship a car across country, and you’re also reducing the risk of damage to your vehicle together with potential safety hazards to you and your family. When you ship a car across country, you’ll need to take a train or fly to your new city. Both these options are considered much safer than road travel.  


Convenience of cross country car shipping

Safety and price are going to be top priorities if you want to transport your car across country. However, convenience is also going to feature high on the list. Moving house is difficult enough without the stress of worrying about transporting your car. 

A road trip is going to take a lot of planning. You’ve got to decide on the best route and book hotel stays along the way. There are elements of the trip that could be lots of fun. You’ll be able to stop when you want, which is very convenient if you’ve got kids or pets. There might also be attractions, places of interest, or historical sites along the way. 

Another advantage of a road trip is that you’ll be able to take some essentials and valuables with you, as long as you’ve got room in your car. This might include non-allowable items such as car batteries and scuba diving tanks.

A car shipping company, on the other hand, takes care of transporting your vehicle (...and up to 100lbs of personal items) from the beginning to the end. Your only responsibility will be to prepare your vehicle for shipping, be present for the pre-shipment inspection, and be available to accept delivery of your vehicle.

The car shipping company will deliver your vehicle in the same condition as it was before the move, and there will be no extras miles on the clock. There are plenty of other things you won’t have to worry about, such as road conditions, car failures, traffic problems, hotel stays, taking time off work, or spending hours sat behind the wheel. 

You’ll be able to travel to your new home without any stress, and when you get there, you’ll have the time and energy to unpack, get settled in, and explore the neighborhood.   


You can ask Google for some help with this question. There are lots of dependable car transport companies, SGT Auto Transport included. You might know a friend or family member who has experience shipping their car.

Read lots of online reviews, and check the car shipping company’s credentials through the Better Business Bureau. Make sure the company is registered with the Department of Transport, and they are properly licensed. 

Wear and tear

Each part of your car, from the engine to the tires, has a limited number of miles it can drive before it becomes unreliable, and you need to replace it. If your car has a lot of miles logged on its odometer when you try to sell it or trade it in, it won’t be worth as much. 

These are important factors to into consideration when deciding whether to drive or ship your car across country. 

On average, an American puts 1,000 miles on their car every month. Therefore, if you drive several thousand miles in just a few days when you move to a new state, you’re lowering the car’s resale value and taking a few months off its life expectancy. 

Special vehicles

There are certain types of vehicle you’re not going to want to drive across country. Are you, for example, the proud owner of a classic, antique, custom, unique, luxury, or modified vehicle? 

For this type of car, you should book enclosed auto transport with a car shipping company. They will transport your vehicle in a trailer that is enclosed on all sides. This means it’s totally protected from the elements, road, and traffic grime. It’s not on show for all to see. 

As you now appreciate, there are pros and cons to shipping and driving your vehicle. However, on balance, in the majority of cases, shipping a car across country is an easier, cheaper, quicker, more convenient, safer, and more secure option.

If you want to ship a car across country now or in the future, get in touch with our shipping advisors, and they’ll make the arrangements for you. Call (864) 546-5038 or use our Live Chat option. 

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