Every move involves hundreds of decisions on what you will bring with you and what you will leave behind. One of those decisions is a bit bigger than deciding whether to toss or keep an old shirt or set of plates. That’s deciding whether to ship a car or sell it.

For some people, the benefits of keeping an older vehicle, one that you may already have paid off, far outweigh the cost of shipping it. For others, they might want a new car to go with their new life in their new home. It’s especially a big decision for those making long moves, such as New York to California or Chicago to Florida.

Whatever the case, it’s best to take emotion out of the equation and try to reach a well-reasoned decision on whether to ship a car or sell it. The following looks at some of the important factors to consider.

Tips For Deciding on Whether to Ship or Sell a Car

All the factors below are based on the idea that you’re undecided about whether to ship a car or sell it. For those who know they want a new vehicle, little will change their mind. The following are for those still on the fence.

The Cost of Shipping

For most people, cost is the first factor to consider. The cost of shipping a vehicle depends on a variety of factors, including the distance, route, size, and weight of the vehicle, and condition of a vehicle (of course, you also want to avoid bad auto transport companies that try to overcharge

Make sure to check into open transport and enclosed transport. Open transport offers the least expensive option, but many people who ship a car choose the protection offered by enclosed transport, especially for classic cars.

Payments Still Owed on the Car

If you still are making payments on a car, it might prove inconvenient to try and sell it. The same applies if you’re currently locked into a long lease. To end the lease, you’ll need to pay it off. To sell it, you’ll need to make sure you are not upside down on the car – otherwise known as negative equity, meaning you owe more on the car than it is worth.

The Cost of Buying a New Car

Buying a new car – or a used one that is new to you – will take money out of your moving budget. Even with a trade-in, it’s advisable to put some cash down to lower the monthly payments for the car, which will cut into the amount of cash available for your move. There’s also the time consideration – it can take a few days to finalize everything with a car purchase, including getting the proper license and tags.

The Cost of Keeping the Car

On the other hand, moving with a car can lead to costs, as well, especially if you’re moving to a new state. You’ll have to get new plates and tags for the car. Some states also require vehicle inspections to obtain a license. If it’s an older car that isn’t used much, then it might make sense to sell it rather than ship it. In this same area, it’s also important to consider the costs of maintenance when keeping a car.

Car Prices

A smart move anytime you’re buying a car – but especially when moving – is to research the price for the vehicle you are interested in buying. In some cases, seeing the price is a dose of reality that will shift people toward shipping rather than selling a car. For others, they might find themselves happily surprised that the car of their dreams is within their financial reach.

Using Car Shipping Services Whether You Sell or Ship

If you decide to part with your car, that doesn’t mean you don’t need auto shipping services. If you list your car for sale, widen the pool of buyers by advertising your car to ship to the right buyer who is offering the right price. Odds are you will sell the car much more quickly. 

If you decide to ship a car rather than sell it, choose the right company to get your car safely shipped to your new home. Either way, you’re placing your car into the care of professionals.