The Pros + Cons of Car Shipping Vs. Driving March 14, 2020
Car shipping is a common solution to many logistical challenges. Whether you are buying a car that is located far away from your home or moving out of state for a new job, you'll have vehicles to get from point A to point B. If you are on the fence, however, about whether to take advantage of the convenience of car shipping versus doing the driving yourself, this guide will help you make your final determination. Check out everything you need to know before you decide between car shipping and doing the work yourself.
Drive yourself or ship your car?
The Pros of Car Shipping
Convenience - If you are moving, you have a long list of things to do. By choosing car shipping, you are gaining the ability to focus on the other things that you have to do. Leave the driving to the car shipping company and you're free up to take care of all the other things that need to be handled.
Safety - Unfamiliar roads and long drives can be dangerous to navigate. Leaving the driving to the professional driver can help you avoid the potential danger that you might face out on the highways and byways. On top of the potential of getting lost or getting into an accident, you also face unpredictable weather conditions, possible flat tires or breakdowns in some unlucky cases and ergonomic discomfort that can impact the back, legs, and neck from sitting for long periods.
Free time - Of course, car shipping comes with a price tag but so does your time. As you weigh the pros and cons that naturally includes the financial investment, be sure to factor in how valuable your own time is. Driving your car, truck, SUV or motorcycle across a long distance can take up hours of that precious and valuable time. In fact, you may not realize just how many hours it takes to move from one home to another, so here's a frame of reference from ApartmentGuide.com:
* Studio or one-bedroom moves take about 2-3 hours.
* Two-bedroom moves take about 3-5 hours.
* Three to four-bedroom moves take up to 7 hours.
* Five or more bedroom moves can take 8 to 10 hours.
You might also begin to calculate the cost of your time. Of course, all of our time spent on a task has a certain monetary value. Just like the old saying goes, time is money. We've all heard that but we may not have applied it to our personal lives outside of work. But if you calculate an hourly rate for your time then work out how long your driving time is, you might learn that driving the car yourself is more expensive (in terms of opportunity costs) than car shipping.
Protection - Your vehicle can be protected from the elements, from wear and tear as well as from potential theft during the car shipping process. Many different carriers are available to get your vehicle to its final destination including closed carriers that offer protection and temperature control as well as heightened levels of security.
The Cons of Car Shipping
Costs - Of course, you have to consider your budget as it relates to the cost of car shipping. In fact, this is usually the number one consideration. Most consumers would likely go for the convenient option of car shipping if they could wrap their minds around the spend. But, the truth is, once you weigh out the pros and factor in the cost of gas as well as your own time, you might find that the cost of car shipping is not as high as you might have perceived. Let's crunch some numbers:
Driving versus Shipping in the real world
Do it yourself route from Miami to Atlanta - So to do this math you start with looking at gas costs.
* Fuel - Round trip cost would be $129.38 with a gas consumption of approximately 26.5 gallons of gas.
* Accommodation - The drive time from Miami to Atlanta (without any traffic jams) is approximately ten hours, which could be challenging to accomplish in one day, so an overnight stay along the route might be required which could run in the range 0f $150-$300 based on your choice of accommodation.
* Tolls - Depending on the route that you choose, you may also face tolls in the range of $30-$50.
Assuming you take the lower end of the overnight option and tolls are present on your route, you'll be out of pocket minimally $309. This, of course, does not factor in the cost of two days of your time, food stops along the way and any additional unexpected costs that may arise during the road trip.
* Time - As the expression goes, time is money. What is one or two days of your time worth when it comes to missing work or making arrangements for a loved ones you may look after on a daily basis? The dollar amount may not be the same for everyone but the consideration is important when we factor time and convenience into our equation.
Car shipping price estimate from Miami to Atlanta - For an average size small SUV transported in an open carrier with door to door service and insurance included, you'd be looking at in the ballpark of $609 - $629.
Learning Curve - If you've never used a car shipping service before, you feel perplexed about where to start. This learning curve, however, is easy to overcome. It's as simple as mapping out your route, setting the date and letting the car shipping company know what kind of car you have. Typically, this is all you need to get a quote.
You'll also want to note a few other key details to ensure you are working with a quality and reputable car shipping company, such as:
* Insurance - Make sure that the car shipping company you are working with has insurance to cover your vehicle while it's en route to its destination.
* Drivers - Make sure the drivers are thoroughly-vetted and experienced.
* Hidden costs - When you get your price quote, be sure that you see the whole picture and that there are no hidden costs due upon delivery.
* Customer service - Check out the availability of the customer service team, the company's online reviews and their Better Business Bureau rating.
Your car shipping learning curve, actually, just got easier. Direct Connect Auto Transport has been the leader in car shipping since 2001 and comes with affordable pricing and all the quality controls you should be looking for in a car transport service. It's a simple 10-second process to get an online quote and our customer service agents are always standing by to help if you have questions.
Photo credit: AJH.RAW