You’re Moving, but Should You Ship Your Vehicle?

At the beginning stages of planning your move when you begin listing all of the items to transport, your household goods certainly make the list cut. However, in addition to your furniture, entertainment media, and decorations, consideration should be made for more difficult items such as your lawn equipment and automobiles.

For local moves, driving vehicles from origin to destination is a no-brainer. However, when you move over a greater distance on a tighter schedule, or need to navigate complex details, you may realize that a road trip isn’t the best option for your moving plans.

Coming to this realization leaves you with a few options. You can sell your vehicle then replace it, store the vehicle, or have your mover ship your car to your destination.

Below, we list several factors you should consider as you decide whether or not shipping is the best way to transport your vehicle through your relocation.

Will it Fit Your Budget?

Perhaps the first factor that springs to mind is your budget. As is the case with most moving expense, the exact cost of shipping a vehicle varies greatly depending on your circumstances.

However, you can generally expect shipping to include: a one-time cost that may be included as part of your other moving costs, storage to require multiple payments over time, and resale to provide your budget with a short-term boost until you need to go car shopping.

Weigh these costs against each other carefully. For example, if you know that you’ll be able to pick your car up and drive it to your new home within a short time frame, storage may be more cost-effective than shipping. However, if putting your car in storage requires you to pay for a rental vehicle during that time, shipping may be a less expensive and better option.

Pickup and Delivery Policies

Vehicle pickup and/or delivery policies for shipment vary depending on the mover you choose. Some transport companies will load your vehicle onto a trailer at your home, while others require you to drive the vehicle to a specified location for drop-off.

Similarly, some companies will bring the car to your new home while others will give you access to your vehicle in a specified storage lot. Regardless of what services are offered, you will likely need to be present to sign paperwork at both origin and destination.

Check with the representative of your prospective company to ensure that these policies work with your moving plans in an attempt to avoid any miscommunication or delays.

Your Schedule

When you book a flight, the airline or travel company provides you with a fairly accurate idea of what time you will arrive at your final destination. However, not all forms of transport have that degree of accuracy. When you transport a vehicle, you should expect a delivery window of at least three days but potentially as many as five to seven.

If you need the vehicle at a particular time, especially on short notice, you may want to adjust your plans or consider an option other than shipping. In this case, selling your car and buying a new one or even putting your car into storage and using a rental in the short term may prove more effective and less of a stress headache.

Service Offerings

Deciding which services to utilize for your vehicle from your available options is one of the most important considerations to make. For example, if no local movers handle automotive transport but you don’t want to sell, storage may be your only option.

If you already plan to work with professional movers, look for a company that can either provide storage or shipping for your vehicle or that can put you in touch with a third-party company to service your needs. Remember, often times when you can bundle packing, moving, and vehicle shipping costs, you will likely save money overall!

State Requirements for Vehicles

When you are deciding between shipping and selling your vehicle, it helps to consider the state-related costs on either end of the move. Research what steps you may need to take as a seller, such as scheduling an inspection, emissions tests, and so on.

Additionally, look into how much the associated costs are for transferring the registration if you decided to ship, as well as what the state requirements are for vehicle testing and inspections when you arrive.

Take all of the factors listed above into consideration as you make the decision on what action to take with your vehicle. If you have already started working with a moving company that handles vehicle shipping, you may also want to meet with a representative to discuss your vehicle shipping options and needs. Stevens Worldwide Van Lines partners with excellent auto relocation companies who can get your vehicle where you want it to go on time. Head on over to our website and request your free, in-home estimate today. Be sure to communicate your vehicle shipping needs to your Stevens Representative during your survey!