Money Saving Tips for the Cheapest Way to Ship a Car 

When you are shipping a car, there are many different factors that make an impact on the price of the transportation. There are a few reasons as to why one would have a need to ship a car; purchase of a car out of state, to visit another state, or to move. If you are required to get a car to another state and you don’t want the stress on you or your car, there are a few different options that you could choose from, all with varying price points. Each of these options offer advantages and disadvantages, and will be outlined within this article.

Methods of Car Shipping

Before covering the moving costs, one has to understand the various options available. Each of these options offer their own advantages and disadvantages, and come with a different price tag for each option.

  1. Do it Yourself
  2. Tow Truck
  3. Train
  4. Auto Carrier

Moving it Yourself

In today’s day and age, there are many people who are firm believers of “DIY – or do it yourself”. This option is typically going to be the cheapest option you could choose from depending on the items you already have or don’t have. If you already have a trailer to put the car on, you would not have to worry about adding mileage to your car or any damages that could occur from driving the car across the country. However, if you have to rent a trailer or pay to have a hitch put on your vehicle, the upfront costs could be quite expensive without even bringing the price of gas into consideration. Along with the price of the trailers, gas, and the hard work of moving it yourself, some people tend to look for different options to move their car.

Tow Truck

An alternative to moving the car yourself would be to hire a tow truck to make the transport. This would be a step up in the price range from the DIY option, but there are a few advantages and disadvantages. The advantage would be that you wouldn’t have to put any miles on the odometer, or too much wear and tear on your vehicle. Obviously the back wheels will have some wear and tear during the travel, but it is still less wear and tear when compared to moving it yourself.


While this option is not commonly done, it is still available for consumers. As this option is not commonly done, the demand is not very high, nor is the supply, so the price for this option is relatively high. The majority of people who choose this option are those who are actually traveling on the train themselves and want to have their car at their final destination. This option is only available on Amtrak.

Professional Transporting Company

If the stress of driving long distances seems daunting to you, professional transporting companies will take all the stresses away from you. Shipping your car professionally offers you a peace of mind that your car won’t be damaged during the transport, and may not be as expensive as you think, especially when you compare how much it could be if you drive it yourself.

Typically, the professional transport company will transport your car through an open car hauling. This way the cars are suspended on the double decker trailers, protecting the wheels and suspension from incurring any damage during the travel. However, there is always the option of shipping in an enclosed unit, which offers protection from flying debris and inclement weather. One must remember that the enclosed unit will be much more expensive than the open unit will.

There are a few tips that could help lower the cost of shipping with a carrier if this option seems like the best one to you. First of all, book earlier rather than later as there will be more slots available and you will have more options to choose from. With more options available means more trucking services will be bidding for your contract, which could lower your cost. Another tip would be to ship during the off season if you are flexible on your dates. Typically, the spring and fall time would be your best bet for the cheapest option, except for September as that is when students are moving to college. Winter is going to be on the expensive side as the daylight hours are short, weather is conditional, there are multiple holidays throughout this season, and this is the snowbird season so the demand will be high. Summer would be the most expensive season as kids are out of school, so families are more likely to move around over the summer.

Another tip for lowering the cost of shipping would be to avoid using expedited shipping for your needs. Most companies’ offer economy, standard, and expedited shipping – each step up will raise the price of shipping. If you are not in a rush to have your car reach the destination, you are able to lower costs by choosing economy or standard shipping. Furthermore, picking highly populated metropolitan areas to start and end the trip will decrease costs drastically as the driver will not have to go out of their way to have the car at its final destination. Finally, make sure you request a quote from multiple companies to compare for the lowest cost.

Steps to Ship the Car
  1. Pick a car shipping pickup location and destination
  2. Choose your dates for pickup and delivery
  3. Find a top auto shipping company to work with
  4. Secure a car shipping quote
  5. Prepare your vehicle for shipment to maximize efficiency
  6. Establish plans to drop your car off and pick it up
Choose the Right Company

When you are searching for a company to ship your car, it is important to do a thorough research for what is available. There are multiple companies that will offer their services to you, it is important to thoroughly research each company, and pick the one that is right for you. Throughout the research process, here are a few important deciding factors that you should consider before making your decision. First of all, the company you choose should be a reputable company that has been in business for a long period of time. Another factor that is important to consider is the company’s insurance policy that will cover your car throughout the move. Most companies will have an excellent insurance policy, but some may differ in the wording and how quickly you could get your claim. An obvious area that you would need to look into is the timing of your shipment. Most people want their goods shipped quickly, so that could be a deciding factor in which company you use. The final area to compare between companies are the quotes that they send to you, which could be the determining factor. However, when shipping a car, the cost should not play a major influence on determining which company you decide to choose, it should be the company you feel will deliver your vehicle with no damage and no headaches on your end.


If you are visiting another state across the country, moving to a new area, or purchasing a car from a great distance, there are few options available to get your car to the destination. There is the obvious “DIY” option, where you just drive it there yourself, coming with some obvious drawbacks of driving yourself and the wear and tear on your vehicle. You could go with a tow truck, offering a slightly more expensive option, and still have some wear and tear on your vehicle. The train option may be the most expensive option, the only benefit is if you are on the train yourself as well. Finally, the auto transport industry could offer many advantages and disadvantages, it may not be cheaper than doing it yourself, but there are multiple tactics you could do to lower your bill.