Is shipping a car worth it?

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We are facing so many choices these days… Where to go for summer vacation or what career path to choose are some of the big decisions. And what about the type of cereal you buy for your kids… or the kind of mineral water you drink?

Right there, somewhere between the big life choices and the small daily dilemmas, the question of auto transport may turn up. Just like the questionable need of that fancy cereal brand or the purpose of that exotic travel destination, the value in car shipping becomes uncertain. So you wonder: Is shipping a car really worth it?

The real value of auto transport

To help you decide for yourself, we will guide you through the concepts that determine the worth of a process like shipping a car. Let’s break down the topic of “worth” into several sub-categories. Today, something is worth it when:

  • It saves time
  • It saves money
  • It saves nerves

So here are the questions that will give you objective answers about the worth of shipping a car.

Is it worth your time?

Shipping your car is not as time-consuming as it may sound. After all, you won’t be the one actually shipping it. Yet, before the actual shipment happens, it still requires some time. Most of it would go into the research phase.

We advise you to put extra effort in selecting the right auto transport company. Spend some time browsing for information on vehicle shippers – it will give you the bigger picture of the market. Then select a few and look at them carefully to choose the one you’ll trust with your car.

After you’ve selected the auto transport company, give yourself some time to plan ahead. If you want your car on a specific date, you have to give enough time for the shipping company to find a carrier.

Since most companies work with sub-contractors, they are dependent on the availability of trucks for the route you have selected. As a whole, this means you need to be done with the choice of a car shipping company at least two weeks prior to your desired shipping date.

Take a look at our transit times to get a general idea of how long it takes to deliver a vehicle based on distance only.

The exact door-to-door time varies based on the exact pick-up and delivery locations, as well as the road, weather, and traffic conditions. A trustworthy company will always give you an estimated delivery date and will keep you informed of any changes.

How auto transport can save you time

In reality, auto transport often saves you time. Especially, if you are moving a car across the country. Driving will literally take days. A thousand miles might not seem so bad on the map, but once you hit the road there will be mountains, deserts, and maybe even seas to cross.

Moreover, when you start adding in the time for food and rest stops, a whole new time frame builds up. Let’s not even mention the unfortunate likelihood of getting a flat tire. This will not only slow you down but will turn your road trip into a nightmare. The time will be your last concern in that case.

But as Benjamin Franklin once said, “Time is money”. And wasted time means wasted money. So another important question follows.

Is shipping a car worth the money?

Just like all other important questions, this one gets the same important answer: Depends. Shipping a car may seem like a huge expense in some cases. If you want to travel downstate to visit relatives but you don’t feel like driving, auto transport might be a luxury. Yet, if you want to go from Florida to Massachusetts for the summer, shipping your car might be your cheapest option.

It also depends on what type of vehicle you ship. Auto transport is a good investment if you want to ship a car of high value. For example, a classic vehicle or a luxury sports car. In these cases, the cost of the shipping process is negligent in comparison to the total value of the car.

If you don’t transport such a car in an enclosed carrier, you risk having it damaged by weather or road elements. And repairing high-value cars may turn out to be much more expensive than investing in hiring a shipping company to avoid this. In such cases, you should always ask yourself: Can I handle a scratch on this shiny surface?

If you are okay dealing with the aftermath of such damage on your classy 1941 Lincoln or sporty McLaren, you can go without an auto transport company. Yet, if your vehicle holds high value for you, shipping it will always be worth it.

And keep in mind that auto transport companies can arrange for both open and enclosed trailers to match your budget and desired level of security.

How much does auto transport cost?

Auto transport cost depends on several factors such as distance, make and model of your vehicle, its condition, and type of transport carrier among others. To know the exact price of shipping your car, always ask the company’s representatives.

Prices may change daily due to fluctuations in supply and demand. Many companies do not account for this factor in their quotes because they use car shipping quote calculators which automate the pricing process. Thus, it is always better to call, ask questions, and request a current market price.

Corsia Logistics agents manually track daily supply and demand fluctuations, so we can offer you the most current market price with no hidden fees.

You may still think that shipping a car is expensive, and that is alright. You may be tempted more than ever to drive your car all the way across the country when you see a drop in gas prices. But filling up the gas tank of your four-wheeler is not going to be your only expense. Factor in the cost of meals, hotels, tolls, the occasional speeding ticket or towing fee to see the potential expense of driving your car to the final destination.

Is it worth the nerves?

If you are not in a hurry and money is not a real issue, this is probably the most important question for you. We use it as the final criteria for whether you should do something yourself or have someone else do it for you. Our mantra on this topic: if it doesn’t bring pleasure or entertainment, leave it to the pros.

The process of transporting a car is hardly a passionate activity. Even if you are a racer who loves driving 24/7, moving your own vehicle long distance may not be that exciting. Why?

Because there are such things as traffic, weather, and other people on the roads who don’t like driving as much as you do. And they could really ruin the experience for you. Especially if you are on the road for more than a couple of hours.

If you are moving more than 300 miles away, then we highly recommend hiring an auto transport company. Driving is feasible for most people when it is around 200 miles at a maximum and the car is relatively new. If the distance is long or the vehicle is a bit older then you are better off shipping it.

Avoid scams and befriend documents

One thing to be cautious about – the auto transport company itself. Watch out for scams. To be honest, if you spend enough time researching your options, you won’t have to worry about scams.

If you know your shipping company well and have read and understood your contract, you should be alright. If you forgo reading the terms of service, you end up keeping yourself in the dark about your rights and responsibilities until something goes wrong. Hence, it’s really important you understand everything before you enter into a legally binding agreement.

The Bill of Lading is another important document you shouldn’t ignore. It’s not only a receipt but also a pick up and delivery inspection report which tracks the condition of your car prior and post shipping. Being conscious about it will guarantee you peace of mind that in case of damages you will receive compensation.

This might sound complicated now but the whole process is set in a way to keep you calm and your car safe during the actual transportation. After all, the alternative to hiring an auto transport company is to have a friend drive your car.

And sometimes this might bring even more trouble. Only you know how willing you are to let someone else drive your car. If you choose auto shipping, the only time someone will be behind the wheel of your vehicle is during loading and unloading.

Corsia Logistics only works with experienced drivers to guarantee that even the tiniest details go smoothly and you won’t have to worry about a thing.

Should you sell your car instead of shipping it?

Sometimes it might seem easier to just leave your car behind or sell it. The people who think of selling their vehicle as the easier option right away are often wrong. Both shipping and selling your vehicle require time and money. Don’t forget that selling is a process, too. And the sale itself is just the last phase of this process.

Selling your vehicle may take up a lot of your time. You have to think of how you can sell the car – whether you want to contact a second-hand dealer or you want to sell it online. Then you have to think about what photos and descriptions of the vehicle you want to put in the ad itself.

If you have little experience in business management or marketing, this could be quite frustrating. And we haven’t even mentioned the process of inspecting the car. When selling your vehicle, you have to be aware of its condition. This means a number of maintenance check-ups to get a precise diagnostics. These steps will help you determine the value of your car and thus the most accurate price for the sale.

Yet, they will also slow you down if you’re looking for a quick sale. And if you have never sold a vehicle before, the process can be an experience in itself. It is time-consuming and requires you to interact with all kinds of people along the way.

If you are moving on short notice, you may have no other choice but to ship your car. This short notice means less than a month, which translates into not enough time to advertise a sale and find the right buyer. It is better to sell than ship your old car if you are moving across the country. If the shipping distance is great it may cost you more to transport your car than sell it.

In conclusion:

Shipping a car is worth it when you:

  • Need to move across the country
  • Need to traverse over 300 miles
  • Dislike driving for days
  • Consider your car high-value
  • Need to transport a classic car
  • Want to ship a sports car
  • Don’t want to sell or leave it behind

Yet, shipping a car won’t be worth it in any of these cases when you don’t have the right partner to aid you with the process. Remember: consult and ask questions. Read other customers’ reviews to get a glimpse at the experience. Get to know the people behind the company. After all, your car has a soul too and you don’t want to leave it with complete strangers, right?


About the Author:

Dilyana Dobrinova is a nature & travel enthusiast. With a heart for books, scarves and vintage. She runs a brand consulting agency, while also running 10Ks between meetings. Dilyana holds an M.A. in International Marketing Management from the Berlin School of Economics and Law in Germany, and two B.As. in Journalism & Mass Communication and in Business Administration from AUBG.

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