Whether you’re planning a big cross country move or you’re simply a “snowbird” headed down south for the winter, transporting your vehicle across the country can be a big stressor and can seem like a daunting challenge. It is however a a necessary part of your relocation process. While driving the car yourself is always a valid option, you may not have the time or energy to hit the road for a 700-mile drive across the country.
Get Your Car From Point A to Point B Without Breaking the Bank
Although, getting your car across the country is going to cost some money regardless, it may not make as much of a hole in your wallet as you may expect. There are several good options you have at your disposal for getting your beloved car, truck, SUV, or other vehicle from Point A to Point B that won’t break the bank, but will nevertheless make your moving and transportation experience much easier to handle. Below are your best (and cheapest) options for transporting your car across the country with ease.
1. Hire Someone to Drive Your Car For You
One great way to deal with the transportation of your vehicle is to hire a driver to transport it for you. Hiring a driver will not only save time but can also take an incredible weight off of your shoulders. Although the idea of handing your keys over to a total stranger can be a bit unsettling, there are ways to minimize the risk of the situation. There are many intermediaries available that specialize in this kind of transportation, and each of them has a number of potential drivers at their disposal. Companies such as these screen their drivers thoroughly prior to the task at hand, so you can rest assured your car will be in worthy hands. These companies often require deposits from prospective drivers as well, as an added security measure. These precautions work to make sure that your car will be in good hands once you’ve handed your keys over to a driver.
With this method, the driver will usually pay for gas, lodging, and food, while the vehicle’s owner will pay for the car insurance. Many people are looking for a way to get across the country on the cheap and as such, summer rates can often be considerably cheaper. The biggest drawback to hiring a driver however, is that it will put extra miles and wear and tear on the vehicle. Many vehicle owners will prefer methods that transport the vehicle without adding extra miles onto the car.
Of course, you can also choose to cut out one of these middleman companies and hire someone yourself. If you know a trustworthy college student or a friend that is looking to make a little extra cash and go on a cross-country vacation, you may consider asking them. You may be surprised to find that they would love to help you out and are completely up for the challenge of driving on a long road trip while seeing a bit of the countryside.
2. Let a Semi-Truck Haul Your Car
One of the more popular methods of transporting a car cross country is to ship it on the trailer of a semi-truck. The cost of truck transportation can vary greatly and depends on a number of factors such as the season, the type of car, its condition, and the distance. In addition to these factors, the starting and ending locations also play a factor. For example, well-traveled routes to larger cities and more-visited areas will be cheaper, whereas rural and lesser-traveled areas will be more expensive to reach.
Also, be sure to check any company you’re considering hiring on the Better Business Bureau so that you can read customer complaints and reviews. The Better Business Bureau is a great resource that will help you to know exactly what you’re getting into before putting your car into a company’s hands, and to read other customers’ experiences with a company. You can also try researching the company on other online review sites as well. Transport Reviews specializes in reviews of auto transport companies, and may prove to be an excellent resource for you on your search.
3. Let Your Car Ride the Rails
A third option for getting your vehicle from Point A to Point B is to have it loaded up on a train for transport by rail. If you’re the environmentally conscious type, this may be your preferred option since transport by train won’t result in carbon emissions. Although not always the case, transport by rail can often be cheaper than shipping your car on a truck. Rates can be found for less than $1000. Particularly when planning transport for longer distances, rail transport will likely end up being the more budget-friendly choice compared to one of the other options
There are of course limitations to train travel as well, so be sure to consider what is right for you and your specific needs. Options and routes available can be far more limited than the options available with road and truck transportation options. Since you’ll be limited to pre-determined train routes and railways, many routes won’t be available to you.
A combination of bus and train travel may end up being a viable and useful option for you as well. Depending on your needs, you may consider transporting your vehicle by train for the majority of the distance and continue to the final destination by truck transportation.
Although, there are several great options at your disposal for getting your vehicle from its current location to its intended destination, there is no wrong answer. You can (and should) consider each method at your disposal and pick the option that works best for you and your specific requirements. Depending on the numerous factors such as the time of year, the current and final destinations, the amount of wear and tear on your vehicle, any option could work or not work for you. Take time to consider the options and pick what works best for you and your own individual needs.