There are a few key factors that determine whether vehicle transportation or driving yourself is the more affordable option Vehicle Shipping.
This article will explore these factors in depth and provide examples of when shipping by carrier may save you money over a long drive.
Distance is a Major Factor
One of the biggest determinants of affordability is the total distance of your trip. Driving long distances involves significant costs for gas, food, lodging, and your own time. Vehicle carriers, on the other hand, have lower per-mile rates the farther you ship.
As a general rule, shipping is more affordable than driving yourself for trips over 500-1,000 miles, depending on factors like vehicle value and cargo capacity. The chart below shows approximate break-even distances based on vehicle size:
|Approx. Break-Even Distance
As you can see, the bigger the vehicle, the longer the distance needed before shipping becomes more affordable than driving yourself.
This is because large vehicles use more gas and require bigger rental vehicles/hotel rooms if driving. Carriers can transport them long distances relatively efficiently using enclosed trucks.
Another important factor is the time required to complete the trip. Driving 1,000 miles could easily take two full days of continuous driving with short breaks, whereas vehicle transport services can deliver coast-to-coast within a week.
For many people, the time savings of shipping outweigh any potential small cost benefits to driving themselves, especially if it allows them to arrive sooner and resume work or participate in events. This is particularly true for longer trips across multiple states.
Multiple Vehicles Involved
Transporting a single vehicle long-distance is often more affordable via carrier services. However, driving yourself becomes more reasonable if you have a family with multiple cars making the same trip.
The marginal costs per additional car driven yourself are relatively low compared to paying shipping fees for each one. It only takes one or two extra cars to offset the initial carrier shipping costs in many situations. Coordinating shipping schedules for multiple vehicles can also be a logistical challenge.
More expensive vehicles typically make better financial candidates for professional transport. The percentage of carrier fees compared to the total vehicle value is lower for high-end cars.
For example, a $2,000 shipping quote may seem steep for a $10,000 vehicle, but is a tiny fraction of total value for a $50,000 luxury model.
With more at risk in terms of breakdowns or accidents, many owners of collectible classics and high-value exotic models only feelsafe having them delivered professionally.
Vehicle Shipping – Additional Destination Services
Beyond simple vehicle delivery, many transport providers offer value-added services like check-in/check-out, temporary storage, photography/inspections, and weekend delivery options. These extras ensure your vehicle arrives properly maintained and ready to use with no hassle.
For long-distance corporate relocations, bundled relocation services including vehicle shipping,real estate assistance,packing andunloading are commonly more cost effective than doing everything separately and missing workdays in transit. Carriers work directly with companies to streamline theprocess.
Vehicle Shipping – Parting Words:
Vehicle transportation becomes increasingly affordable relative to driving yourself as trip distances grow longer. Property value, logistics of transporting multiple vehicles or assets, desired delivery timeframe, and need for auxiliary services also factor into the cost comparison.
Speaking to a reputable carrier can help you understand all your options for specific origin-destination routes. With the right circumstances, shipping doors provide time savings, convenience benefits, and may cost less than fuel,tolls and accommodations for multi-day road trips.