How to Move Your Car Cross Country
By Julie Homsey
Sep 27, 2019
Moving cross country has a lot of challenges, how to move your car is one of them. Learn more about how and what you can do to transport your vehicle for the long trip.
Moving is stressful enough, even if you’re just moving across the street. Moving across the country comes with more challenges as everything from finding a new place to getting all your stuff there becomes more difficult. Among the things you have to deal with is your car: how are you going to get it across the country to your new home?
One option is simply to pack up the car and drive it yourself. But what if you have more than one car and not enough people to drive them all? Or you have more stuff than fits in your car, as most of us do these days? The last thing you want to do when moving cross country is make multiple trips back and forth to get all your stuff. The fact is the classic story of packing up your car and driving across the country just isn’t practical anymore.
If you happen to know that driving your car to your new home yourself isn’t an option, the other option is shipping your car the same way you would ship anything else: you can hire North American Van Lines, a professional vehicle transport service to get your car to your new home for you. Here are three things you need to know about that process:
- Open Carriers vs Enclosed carriers
The most common option is an open carrier, in which your car is loaded onto an open carrier along with 7-9 other vehicles and driven to your new home.
Enclosed carriers protect your car from the elements, but they’re much more expensive and harder to schedule than open carriers. Because open carriers are most often used for transporting cars between lots and from the manufacturer to the dealer, and from dealer to the new owner’s home, it’s much easier (and more cost effective) to book an open carrier.
If you have a rare or exotic car you want protected from the elements, it might make sense for you to pay the higher price of an enclosed carrier, but most of the time, the open carrier is your best option.
- Can I Pack My Car Before Shipping It?
Since you’re not driving the car yourself and it has all that empty space in it, it might be tempting to load up your car with belongings before shipping it to your new home. After all, space is precious when you’re moving, but we don’t recommend leaving any personal or valuable items in your car, since you run the risk they’ll get damaged or go missing in transit.
The car itself can (and should) be insured during transportation, but nothing inside the vehicle that is not attached to the vehicle can be insured, so we always recommend that you empty out your car before having it shipped and packing up those items with your other things.
- How Long Does It Take to Ship My Car?
Depending on how far you’re moving and the shipper’s schedule, shipping your car to your new home can take up to fourteen days depending on how far and where it is going. Some remote locations add time due to limited car haulers. If you can’t afford to be without a car for that long, you might need to rent one until the vehicle transportation company can get your car to your new home, so make plans for that ahead of time if necessary.
Need help with a move? Our staff is comprised of experienced professionals who can help you move your life from your old home to your new home, so get your free quote now.