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Automobile Transport Guide for Long Distance Moving

Automobile Transport Guide for Long Distance Moving
September 2, 2018

If there’s a long distance move in your future you’ve got more to think about than just your household items, you’ve got to figure out the automobile transport situation too.

How do you get your car to the new location? What are your options with your cross state move? What makes the most sense, financially? Don’t worry – you’re not the only one who has ever faced this conundrum.

Here’s what you need to know about automobile transport during a long-distance move.

3 Automobile Transport Options for Your Big Move

Here are the three most common options when it comes to transporting their vehicle for a move:

Option 1. Driving Your Car

If you’re only moving a few hours away, driving your car yourself has its benefits. However, if you’re moving across the country it becomes a much more involved project. Although this is one of the least expensive and most straightforward options, we’ll give you the heads up on a few things to consider:

For one, driving your car to your new destination requires you to pay for gas, chart your route, and sleep and eat on the road. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that a long-distance move usually coincides with other stressful life events such as:

  • Selling/Purchasing a Home
  • Starting a New Job/Career/Or School
  • Family growth or Moving in with Family

When you consider factors like starting a new job, a lengthy cross-country road trip will likely compound your stress-level. Additionally, young children will have some difficulty with boredom, but we do have that covered in our Road Trip Like a Boss blog.

Pro-Tip: If you and your family prefer to fly (or don’t have the time to spend on the road,) consider hiring someone else to drive your car, such as a friend who loves the road. However, you’ll have to compare one-way flights to see if this makes financial sense for you.

Option 2. Shipping Your Car

The second option for automobile transport is to ship it. Don’t let the name fool you though, shipping your car involves transporting it on a large truck. The rates vary depending on a few factors:

Distance: As a general rule, shipping a car around two hundred miles or less averages around $2.50/ mile, and longer distances charge $0.75/mile.

Duration: Just like with mail deliveries, the faster you want your vehicle transported, the more expensive it gets.

Type of Trailer: You can choose an open or enclosed trailer. Enclosed trailers provide more security against damage from the elements, but are not as economical.

While shipping may not be in the budget for everyone, it’s an investment for anyone who has a vintage or rare car, or who needs their vehicle ASAP. In general, the average cost of shipping a car within the continental U.S. is between about $700 and $1,200.

Option 3. Bundling into Moving Services

Did you know you can bundle your automobile transport with your household move? Many moving companies today offer vehicle transport services, which is a convenient option if you’re looking for a hassle-free method of transport.

These car shipping services are designed to be streamlined part of service and take most of the responsibility of moving the automobile off of your hands.

In most cases, the moving company you choose to work with will offer a shipping coordinator to help you deal with paperwork, schedule the move, and pay for it. Bundling your vehicle transport with a household move is a simple and secure option for clients who are booking household goods moving services.

Choosing a Moving Company for Automobile Transport

If you’ve never transported a vehicle before, here are a few things you should consider when choosing a company:

Do: Read Reviews Before you Choose a Company

Shipping your car is a large investment and can be a risky process if it’s executed by amateurs. When it comes to auto transport, reading reviews is a helpful, proactive approach that will assist you in finding the right automobile transport company.

Therefore, it’s important to take the time to ensure you’ll get a quality team of movers who have helped many other customers achieve good results in the past. Never skimp on time when it comes to choosing the right moving company for you!

Don’t: Base a Decision on Price Alone

When it comes to automobile transport, use caution when basing your decision on price point alone. While you want to get a company you can afford, the price is not the only thing you should be looking at for auto transport companies. Consider:

  • insurance policies of the company
  • skill and experience of the movers
  • types and levels of services offered
  • their professional approach to auto transport

Pro-tip: A professional company will be willing to take the time to educate you on the entire process, including the paperwork, the procedure and anything else you don’t quite understand.

Your Automobile Transport To-Do List

Your Automobile Transport To-Do List

1. Clean Your Car

While washing your car won’t prevent damage, it does remove dirt and dust that can hide dings, scratches, and dents. When you wash your car before you move it, it’s easier to keep tabs on what damage (if any) was there before the move, and what’s new since the movers took charge.

2. Disable Your Alarm

Can you imagine transporting a vehicle with a horn blaring randomly throughout the move? Do your friendly movers a favor and ensure the alarm is off as you hand over the keys.

3. Mind Your Gas Tank

Regardless of how you’re shipping or transporting your vehicle, the tank should be only ¼ full for safest transport.

Automobile Transport Made Simple

Automobile transport doesn’t have to be a challenging, difficult experience. By following these tips, you can get your car from point A to point B without the process becoming a headache.

Wondering about auto transport or home moves? Contact the team here at Colonial Van Lines for more information!


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