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Drive or Ship a Car Acrros the country

When moving long distances, the question arises of whether to drive the car or ship it. Car shipping companies are known for their competitive prices and efficient transportation, but it is sometimes more cost-effective to move your car yourself.

It is easiest to decide whether you should drive or ship your car by looking at the average cost, wear and tear of your vehicle, and time required to move. You can often get car shipping quotes on the internet to help you decide which method is best for your cross country trip.

What Is Cheaper, to Drive or Ship a Car Across the Country?

It may be time to plan a road trip if your decision on whether to drive or ship your car is based on the cheapest option. Even though it is inconvenient for you to drive all day, you will likely save money when compared with the cost of using an auto shipping provider. Costs tend to accumulate on long-distance trips, and you may end up with unexpected expenses.

Costs of Travel

Drivers must also pay for food, lodging, and possible stops in coffee shops. This is in addition to the high cost of gas. You may also get your car damaged, such as a windshield chip or blown tire when driving across the country. The cost of sightseeing stops can be added to your fuel, food, and hotel costs.

Budgeting properly can help you keep the cost of driving low. The cost difference between shipping and driving a vehicle may be lower than you expect after you finish the trip.

Wear and Tear From Driving Cross-Country

Expect your car to show signs of wear and tear during a long-distance trip. Life on the road is often a challenge.

Depending on your route and the time of year, you may encounter severe weather and ripped-up roads during a cross-country trip. If your car breaks down or is damaged while on the road, you’ll be faced with unexpected costs and stress.

Even if you don’t encounter any problems, the hundreds or thousands of miles that your vehicle has traveled will harm it. Even if you ship or drive a vehicle, parts will start to fail eventually. However, cross-country road trips may accelerate that process.

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cars in a port terminal

Cross Country Driving Safety

It is easy to decide whether you want to drive or ship your car if safety is of primary concern. Road trips can be dangerous, whether it’s because of unsafe road conditions or reckless drivers. Your car is also at greater risk of being smashed into pieces in parking lots at rest areas or motels.

Fatigue can also be caused by long journeys. Some drivers are less aware behind the wheel when they travel long distances, increasing their risk of an accident. You may decide to ship your car if you find long distance drives difficult.

Driving Long Distance Tips

To stay safe, it’s best to take a family member with you to share the driving. Follow these tips to remain alert if you must drive alone.

  • Prepare your vehicle for the road. Long distance driving is hard on cars, especially those older models or with high mileage. Have your vehicle’s oil changed and fluids topped up before you leave.
  • Sleep well. You’ll have a much higher chance of being involved in an accident if you are driving with a lack of sleep. Get eight hours of sleep each night on your road trip.
  • Drive a reasonable amount of distance every day. Although it may be tempting, pushing yourself beyond your limits to avoid an additional hotel stay is not worth the risk. Most drivers can’t drive safely for more than 9 hours, or 500 miles, per day. Even if you drive for that long, it’s recommended to take breaks every two hours.
  • Breaks are important.  Drivers need to take breaks. No one can drive for 10 hours straight. Spending 20 minutes every two hours off the road is a smart idea to allow your body to rest and prepare for the following leg.
  • Respect speed limits. Speed limits are there for a good reason. You may want to reach your destination as quickly as possible. You could end up paying a heavy fine or causing an accident if you exceed the speed limit.
  • Avoid distractions. It’s not OK to drive while distracted, even on long road trips. Never text, look for things in the backseat, or use headphones when driving.
  • Skip the drive if you are in doubt. Shipping costs can be a deciding factor, but safety is more important. Ship your car if a long distance drive is too risky.

There’s a chance that something can go wrong, even though most drivers won’t. To decide if you’re able to safely complete a long drive, you will need to weigh your risks.


Whether you should drive or ship your car across the country depends on different things like how much time you have, how much money you can spend, what you like, and how good your car is. Driving lets you see cool stuff along the way, but it takes a lot of time and money for gas, hotels, and maybe fixing your car. Shipping is easier if you’re short on time or don’t want to drive far, but it costs money too, and you need to plan it out. So, think about these things to decide what’s best for you when moving your car across the country.

Call us at (305) 916-9608