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Should You Ship Your Car When You Move? 5 Factors to Consider

May 7, 2018 | Moving Guides & Tips

When you begin to list all of the items to transport during an upcoming move, your household belongings likely make the list first. However, in addition to your indoor furnishings, personal electronics, and decor, you must also consider more difficult items such as your yard equipment and vehicle. Do you need to ship your car?

In a short-distance move, driving your car from your current house to your new home is an obvious choice. However, when you move over a greater distance, have a tighter timeline, or need to work around a complex schedule, you may realize that a road trip does not fit into your moving plans.

This realization leaves you with three primary options. You can either sell and replace your vehicle, put the vehicle in storage, or have a moving company ship your car to your final destination.

In this blog, we list five factors you may want to consider as you decide if you think shipping could be the best way to account for your vehicle during your next relocation.

  1. Budget

Perhaps the first factor that comes to mind when you consider what to do with your car during your upcoming move is your budget. The exact cost of each vehicle option varies widely 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 road trip it out to your new home within a couple of months, storage may be more cost-effective than shipping. However, if putting your car in storage means you will need to pay for a rental during that time, choosing to ship your car may actually cost you less.

  1. Pickup and Delivery Policies

Automotive pickup and/or delivery policies for shipment vary depending on the exact company you choose for the job. Some transport companies will come to your property and load the car onto a trailer there, while others require you to drive the car to a drop-off point.

Similarly, some companies will bring the car to your new home while others will give you access to a storage lot. Regardless of whether the company offers on-site services, you will likely need to be present to sign paperwork at both ends when you ship your car.

Check with the representative of your prospective shipping company to ensure that these pickup and delivery policies work with the rest of your moving plans to avoid any miscommunication or delays.

  1. Schedule

When you book a flight, you have a fairly accurate idea of what time you will arrive at your final destination barring any extreme circumstances. However, not all forms of transport are so precise. When you have a car transported, for example, you should expect a delivery window of at least three days but potentially as many as five to seven.

If you need the car at a particular time, especially on short notice, you may want to adjust your plans. 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 than deciding to ship your car.

  1. Services Offered

One of the most important considerations as you decide what to do with your car is which services you have access to within your time frame. 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 connect you to a third-party company to provide the service. Remember, when you can bundle packing, moving, and car shipping costs, you will likely save money overall.

  1. State Vehicle Requirements

When you try to decide between shipping and selling your car, it can help to consider the state related costs on either end. Research what steps you may need to take as a seller, such as scheduling an inspection, emissions test, and so on.

Additionally, check how much transferring the registration will cost if you 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 to sell, store, or ship your personal vehicle. If you have already begun to work with a moving company that handles automotive transport, you may also want to meet with a representative to discuss your car shipping options.

For comprehensive moving options, including vehicle storage and shipment, trust the experienced team at Bekins Van Lines, Inc.

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