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Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page

While downsizing or packing for a move, we surely put on our evaluating hats to decide if the item needs to be moved further or probably left behind. It’s easier to make a decision about your clothes, books, accessories, dinner sets, and other miscellaneous items. But when it comes to selling or shipping your car, the decision might just not be so direct. On one hand, you have car shipping costs burning down a hole in your pockets; while on the other you’ll need resources to invest in a new vehicle.

If you’re trying to find a way out of this dilemma, you’ve reached the right spot. Listing the pros and cons of both selling and shipping a car, we’ve also looked at the factors that could influence your decision and the ideal scenario for choosing one over the other. Just read along to figure out if selling or rather shipping a car is the right choice for you.

Selling Your Car – Upsides And Downsides

While selling your car might not always be your first option, it is definitely a practical choice in a number of scenarios. Let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons of selling your car, so you can decide if it’s a worthwhile choice for you.

Upsides Of Selling Your Car

  • One of the best aspects of selling your car is that you get some extra cash at hand. The entire moving process is already an expensive affair, so if you sell your car and get some cash, you can also use it to manage some other moving-related expenses. As a bonus, you also end up saving on your car shipping costs.
  • Selling your car gives you an opportunity to upgrade and get yourself a new vehicle. You can even consider buying another used vehicle if your current one does not function well. If you’ve been planning to buy a new car after you’ve got your promotion, then selling your current car now would probably give you the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
  • When relocating to a new space, there are already a dozen things to take care of. Right from packing all your belongings to safely getting them unloaded at your new house. In this scenario, if you also have to handle and keep a track of shipping your vehicle, it could be an added task on your never-ending checklist. You don’t have to worry about any of this when you decide to sell off your car.

Downsides Of Selling Your Car

  • Having to navigate your way around your new house without a car can be a little tricky, especially when you have to make the first few initial rounds to the grocery store. And figuring out car shopping just after you’ve finished a hectic move can be another daunting task for you. You won’t have to stress about this if you’re getting your car shipped to your new location.
  • The process of selling your car cannot be completed in a jiffy. You need to find a buyer who agrees with your quote and is willing to pick up the car from you soon. If you’re planning a move at the last minute or are bound to a tight schedule, shipping will definitely be more convenient as well as a faster process to handle.
  • Though you do get some cash at hand when you sell your car, it is still going to be an expensive affair if you plan on buying a new car. Purchasing a new vehicle will almost always be more expensive than shipping your old car to your new location. To add to it, you’ll also have to account for extra expenses like insurance and registration if you intend to sell your old car and buy a new one.

Shipping Your Car – Upsides And Downsides

Trusting a stranger with your car might not be easy for a lot of people. But when you’re moving and you need to get your car transported to your new location, shipping it will probably be your best bet, especially when driving isn’t a feasible option. Let’s have a look at some other benefits of shipping your car as well as a few drawbacks to the process.

Upsides Of Shipping Your Car

  • When you compare the costs, shipping a car is almost always a cheaper bet than selling and buying a new car. Do keep in mind that this would only apply to vehicles that are functioning properly, because if you ship an inoperable vehicle and then plan on selling it at your new location, you’ll end up spending double and wasting your money. Even when you’re moving long distances, shipping your car will be more cost-effective than driving it across the country.
  • Using the services of an auto shipping company ensures that your car is transported safely to its new location. You don’t have to worry about harsh road conditions or getting into accidents when hiring professionals to ship your car. In addition to that, your car remains safe from wear and tear and you also save up on the miles of your vehicle.
  • Shipping your car is a rather convenient and hassle-free process. Once you get in touch with an auto transport company, they can easily take care of the entire process for you and you can get your car delivered right at the doorstep of your new location. You can concentrate on other moving errands instead of worrying about getting your car transported.

See also: Vehicle Shipping Costs | Best Car Shipping Companies

Downsides Of Shipping Your Car

  • Though rare, there’s still some possibility of damage to your car when you decide to ship it. Using an enclosed transport carrier can protect your car from wear and tear as well as extreme weather conditions but it can easily burn a hole in your pockets. We suggest reaching out to reputable auto shipping companies that provide additional insurance coverage as well.
  • There’s also a risk of late delivery when shipping your car to your new place. A number of auto shipping companies give a large delivery window which can cause inconvenience if you’ve reached your new location and your car’s delivery is delayed.
  • Even though shipping a car is a convenient process, it can be rather expensive when you’re moving long distance or overseas. The cost of shipping a car to a remote place or to a new country altogether will empty your pockets sooner than you might have imagined. In some cases, it might even mount higher than the cost of a new car. That is when selling your car would probably be a better option than shipping it.

Selling vs Shipping A Car – Factors To Consider

Now that you’ve got some idea about the pluses and minuses of both selling and shipping a car, you should also take a look at the factors that would influence your decision. You can analyze your choice based on these factors to figure out if that’s the right way going forward. Let’s have a quick look at what these factors could be.

The Specifications Of Your Vehicle

You could consider the type, size, and model of your car to make a choice between the options. For instance, if you have a standard car, an SUV, or a common minivan, selling could be an option for you in case your car does not function well. But if you own a classic or an antique car, you would prefer shipping it because finding a replacement or making another investment will both be a costly affair in case you decide to sell it. These vintage cars could also have a sentimental value for you, which could make selling them even more difficult.

Cost Comparison

Depending on factors like the distance, time, and type of your vehicle, the quotes that you receive from car shipping companies could be heavy on your pockets. But when you compare these costs to the price of a new vehicle, shipping will most definitely be cheaper amongst the two. Along with the actual cost of purchasing a new vehicle, you’ll also have to shell out additional bucks for sales tax, registration, and title fee, as well as a higher insurance premium, if applicable.

When you add all these costs together and compare them to the shipping costs, the latter is likely to be a cheaper option in most cases. Selling a vehicle would only make sense when your car is non-functional or if you’re buying a less expensive vehicle after selling your previous one.


Distance is an important determinant of your shipping costs. If you’re moving across the country or over a distance greater than 2,000 miles, you’ll definitely incur high shipping costs. In this scenario, selling your car could be an option for you to consider. However, if you’re moving short distances, shipping your car could be an economical solution.

Time Of The Year

Demand for auto transport is higher during peak seasons and during all major holidays. Naturally, the shipping costs will see a surge then. At the same time, you can also get a good deal for your car if you’re planning to sell it during spring. If you’re moving during winters or in the off-season, shipping your car will again be a more practical choice.

Vehicle Condition And Usage

Like we’ve mentioned before, your vehicle model can help you make a choice between selling or shipping your vehicle. But along with that, you should also consider the condition of your vehicle. Auto shipping companies will charge you a higher amount for transporting a vehicle that isn’t running. So, if your vehicle is nearing its life, you can consider selling it rather than spending extra on the shipping costs.

Another aspect to look at is the functionality and usage of your car. If you only own one car and use it on a regular basis, you might prefer shipping it to your new location as well. However, if your car is barely functional and you aren’t sure of its usage in the coming future, selling it would be a more sensible choice.


Selling a car adds a few responsibilities to your shoulders, especially when you’re moving on a tight schedule. On the other hand, a number of auto companies out there are ready to take care of the entire shipping process for you. They also offer door-to-door services which make the shipping process a lot more convenient. So, if your car is well maintained and functional, shipping it to your new location will be a lot more convenient than selling it and looking for a new one.


Before you make a choice between selling and shipping your car, we suggest you get an evaluation for both options. We’ve spoken about the favorable conditions for both these options but along with that, you should evaluate the life and maintenance of your car, weigh it with the costs you would be incurring either way, and then make a decision based on what suits you the best.


Is It Worth Shipping A Car?

When you’re traveling long distances, shipping a car will definitely be worth it. By using an open trailer, you’ll not only save on your shipping costs but also get your car transported in a convenient and hassle-free manner. However, if you’re only covering a distance of fewer than 500 miles, you can also consider driving your vehicle to save on those shipping costs.

Is It Cheaper To Drive Or Ship A Car Across Country?

If you’re covering a distance less than 500 miles, then driving a car will be cheaper in most cases. And if you’re moving a longer distance, shipping a car will not only be cost-effective but also a much more convenient process. When moving across the country, shipping a car will be a good choice to consider.

What Does It Cost To Ship A Car Across Country?

You would approximately be paying between $700 to $1,050 to ship a car in an open trailer across the country. If you plan on using an enclosed trailer transport, the costs would increase by 30% - 50% and be somewhere between $1,200 to $1,750. The distance, time of the year, and make and model of your car would also be some factors influencing the cost to ship a car across the country.

What Is The Cheapest Way To Ship A Car Across Country?

Using an open air carrier for shipping is the cheapest way to transport a car from one location to the other. Alternatively, shipping your car by train or driving your car over a short distance can also help you save on those shipping costs.

How expensive is it to ship a car?

The price of shipping a car varies depending on the distance and size. The best way would be to get quotes from several different companies for their range and choose one based on what fits your budget best! Many factors can affect the final price, including how busy they are at any given time during transport or if you have an oversized vehicle.

Can I pay someone to drive my car across the country?

For those seeking some assistance and looking for the convenience of having their car driven cross-country, they have many options, including hiring Professional Drivers who will take care of everything from pickup to destination delivery while companies such as IDriveYourCar takes care of all logistics such as arranging insurance coverage on your behalf so that there's nothing left at risk but worry-free driving in America!

What is the best company to ship a car?

Ship A Car Direct is one of the best car shipping companies around.

Is it cheaper to ship a car by train or a truck?

Shipping a car by rail is the cheapest option. The second most affordable route would be an open truck, followed closely by enclosed transport for third place. Expedited trucking can take you to fourth, and plane shipping comes out on top as the priciest of all options in this context.

See also: Montway Auto Transport Review | AmeriFreight Review | Do Car Shipping Companies provide GPS Tracking