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Top 3 Cheap Ways to Ship a Car Cross Country


Shipping a car across the country can be a daunting task, especially when trying to minimize costs. 

Whether you’re relocating for a new job, sending a vehicle to a family member, or purchasing from afar, choosing the right shipping method is crucial. This article explores the three cheapest ways to ship a car across country. 

We'll delve into the popular and budget-friendly Open Transport, the personalized service of Driveaway, and the less commonly used but efficient Train Shipping. Each method offers unique advantages and considerations, ensuring you can make the best choice for your circumstances and budget.

Open Transport

Open transport is a popular and widely used method for transporting vehicles. In this method, multiple cars are loaded onto a large, open-air trailer, which means they are exposed to the elements during transit. These carriers are commonly seen on highways, typically two levels high, and can hold anywhere from five to ten vehicles at a time. The open structure of these carriers makes them an efficient way to move numerous cars simultaneously. It’s considered the best way to ship a car across country for both individuals and businesses alike.

Cost Benefits

One of the primary advantages of open transport is its affordability. Compared to enclosed transport, which offers added protection but at a higher cost, open transport is much more budget-friendly. The lower cost is due to the increased capacity of open carriers, allowing for more vehicles to be transported in a single trip. The efficiency in loading and transporting multiple cars helps to reduce the overall expense, making it an economical choice for many customers.


Open transport carriers are widely available, making it convenient for customers across various regions. The high demand for this type of service means there’s a vast network of open transport carriers ready to meet your needs. Whether you’re moving a single vehicle or multiple cars, you’re likely to find an open transport service that can accommodate your schedule and location requirements with ease. 


While open transport offers several benefits, it’s important to consider some potential downsides. The primary concern is the exposure of vehicles to weather conditions and road debris. Since the cars are not enclosed, they can be affected by rain, snow, dust, and other small objects that might strike the vehicle during transit. However, these instances are relatively rare, and the majority of vehicles arrive at their destinations without any significant issues. 

SGT Auto Transport and Open Transport Services

SGT Auto Transport is proud to offer reliable and efficient open transport services to meet your vehicle shipping needs. With a commitment to providing top-notch customer service, we ensure that your car is handled with care throughout the entire process. Our extensive network of vetted open transport carriers guarantees that we can offer flexible scheduling and competitive pricing.

Whether you’re relocating, purchasing a new vehicle, or need to ship a car for any other reason, SGT Auto Transport has the expertise and resources to provide you with a smooth and cost-effective transportation experience. Check out our latest deals and choose SGT Auto Transport for your open transport needs and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with working with a trusted industry leader.    

Driveaway Services

Driveaway services offer a unique and practical solution for transporting your vehicle by hiring someone to drive it to the desired destination. This method involves entrusting your car to a professional driver or a vetted individual who will personally drive it from point A to point B. It’s a straightforward approach that can be particularly useful for those looking for a personalized touch.

Cost Efficiency

When considering the costs associated with driveaway services, they are often lower than traditional professional shipping methods. This makes driveaway services one of the cheapest ways to move a car across the country. 

The cost savings come from eliminating the need for specialized equipment and carriers, as well as reducing the logistical expenses associated with loading and unloading vehicles. Additionally, you may save on shipping costs if you can find a driver who is already planning to travel in the same direction. 


Driveaway services are particularly suitable for specific scenarios. For example, they are ideal for shorter distances where the cost and complexity of shipping might not be justified. They also work well when you need to move personal belongings along with your car, as the driver can transport these items directly inside the vehicle. 

This service is especially convenient for relocations, where you can synchronize the transport of your car with your own travel plans, ensuring your vehicle is ready for use upon your arrival. 

Risks and Insurance

While driveaway services offer several benefits, it’s important to consider the associated risks and ensure proper insurance coverage and liability protections. Before entrusting your vehicle to a driver, it’s crucial to thoroughly vet their credentials, driving history, and reliability. 

Reputable driveaway service providers typically offer insurance coverage to protect against potential damages or accidents during transit. However, it’s advisable to verify the extent of this coverage and understand the terms and conditions. By taking these precautions, you can minimize the risks and ensure a smooth and secure transport experience.  

Shipping by Train

Shipping cars by train offers an alternative to traditional road transport, providing a reliable and efficient method to move vehicles across long distances. This service involves loading cars onto specialized rail cars designed to safely transport vehicles to their destination.

The cars are securely fastened within these rail cars to prevent movement and damage during transit. This method is particularly useful for shipping multiple vehicles at once.

Comparative Costs

When comparing the costs of train transport to road transport, shipping by train can offer significant savings. Rail transport is often more cost-effective, especially for long-distance moves, due to the efficiency of moving large numbers of vehicles simultaneously.

While road transport involves expenses related to fuel, tolls, and driver costs, train transport benefits from the economies of scale. This makes it one of the cheapest ways to move a car across the country, particularly for those shipping multiple vehicles or looking for a budget-friendly option. 

Geographical Limitations

Despite its advantages, shipping by train does come with geographical limitations. Not all regions have access to rail transport services, and the availability of this option is typically limited to major rail routes and urban centers.

Customers in remote or less accessible areas might find it challenging to utilize train transport, as it requires proximity to both a departure and arrival rail terminal. Therefore, it’s essential to consider the location and availability of rail services when planning your vehicle’s transport.


One of the key advantages of shipping by train is its environmental benefit. Rail transport is generally more fuel-efficient and produces lower emissions compared to road transport, making it a greener option for vehicle shipping.

Additionally, transporting your car by train reduces the mileage and wear and tear on the vehicle, preserving its condition and value. This method also provides a higher level of security against road hazards and potential accidents, ensuring your car arrives in pristine condition.  

Final Thoughts

In this guide, we’ve explored three of the cheapest ways to move a car across country: open transport, driveaway services, and shipping by train. Each method offers unique advantages and cost benefits, making them viable options for different situations. 

Selecting the best method for your vehicle transport needs depends on several factors, including budget. But be mindful of the risks of basing your decision on cost alone

Navigating the options for vehicle transport can be overwhelming, but SGT Auto Transport is here to help. Our team of shipping experts can guide you in choosing the most suitable and cost-effective way to ship a car cross country based on your specific needs and circumstances.

Contact SGT Auto Transport today to discuss your options and ensure a smooth, cost-effective vehicle shipping experience. 

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