Should You Ship Your Car or Sell it and Buy Another?

You need to get a car across the country.

Naturally, you start getting car shipping quotes.


With quotes going into the thousands of dollars, you start to wonder if it’s even worth it at all.

The next logical question is:

Should I ship the car or sell it and buy another at the destination?

Shipping a car might seem expensive at first, but once you factor in the cost of driving the car across the country or the time, it takes to sell and buy a new one, shipping it actually becomes the most practical option.

Especially when you work with an experienced car shipping company.

In this article, we will go into this and explain exactly why it’s true.

Let’s get to it.

Pros & Cons of Shipping Your Car

It might be a bit scary to ship your car when you’re moving cross country. However, it’s likely the right option if you cannot drive it yourself.

Pros of Shipping Your Car

You’ll gain plenty of advantages when you decide to ship your car instead of selling it and buying a new one. Some of the advantages of shipping your car when moving include:

  • Very Convenient – It’s one less thing you have to worry about. You won’t have to figure out how to drive your car and your moving truck. Even if you’re using professional movers, you can fly to your new home and arrive much sooner by shipping your car.
  • Very Safe – Instead of driving your vehicle cross-country, you’ll have a professional moving your vehicle for you. Professional auto transportation companies use professional drivers, which means you don’t have to worry about your vehicle breaking down, getting into an accident, or dealing with harsh road conditions.
  • Save the Miles – You won’t have to put the miles on your vehicle, which will help keep the wear and tear to a minimum.
  • Cheaper Option – Compared to selling your vehicle and buying a new one, shipping your car will be a more affordable option. In many cases, compared to driving your car cross country, it will be cheaper or a similar price to ship it.
  • Saves You Time – Shipping your vehicle will save you time as you won’t have to drive. The time savings become greater the longer the move.

There are several benefits to shipping your car compared to driving it or selling it and buying another.

Cons of Shipping Your Car

Of course, there are some disadvantages of shipping your car. Some of these cons may not impact you, and the benefits outweigh most.

  • Potential Late Delivery – If you choose the wrong car shipping company, you could end up with late delivery. This could make it hard to get to work when you arrive at your new home, or it could cause other inconveniences. Since some companies give a large window for delivery, especially on longer moves, shipping your car may cause some inconveniences if it’s delivered late.
  • Possible Damage – It’s more likely damage will happen if you drive your car cross-country compared to shipping it. However, there’s still the possibility of damage. It’s a good idea to choose a shipping company offering auto transport insurance.
  • Potential Scams – Yes, just like most industries, car shipping scams do happen. When you choose a company based solely on the rate, and it seems too good to be true, it could be a scam. It’s best to ensure you choose a reputable car shipping company with plenty of good online reviews from past customers.
  • You Can’t Use it for Packing – If you planned to pack your vehicle with things you want to move, you could not do this if you ship it. You will have to drive your car as it’s dangerous to ship a vehicle with personal items in the vehicle. Some car shipping companies won’t allow any personal items in vehicles they ship.

There aren’t many cons to shipping your vehicle, especially when you’re moving cross country.

Pros & Cons of Selling Your Car & Buying Another

It may seem like a good idea to sell your car and just buy a new one when you arrive. In some circumstances, this idea makes sense. However, for most cross-country moves, it makes more sense to ship your car.

Pros of Selling Your Car & Buying Another

  • Opportunity to Upgrade – If you were already planning on getting a new vehicle soon, it could be a good idea to sell your current vehicle. You’ll have the opportunity to upgrade once you reach your new home.
  • No Need to Pay for Car Shipping – If you sell your car with plans to buy a new one, you won’t need to foot the bill for car shipping.
  • No Need to Drive Cross Country – Maybe you don’t like the idea of driving cross-country. If you sell your car, you won’t have to worry about it.
  • Cash in Your Pocket – The proceeds from selling your car can help you if your finances are tight when moving. If you own your car outright, you can sell it and use the money to help you move. Just make sure you leave some of it aside for a down payment on a new car.

Cons of Selling Your Car & Buying Another

While there are a few benefits to selling your car and buying another, for most, it makes more sense to ship your car. The cons are usually deal-breakers for most people when they move.

  • You’ll Need to Shop for a Car – Who wants to go car shopping right after moving? Not only do you have to figure out how to get to the dealerships, but you also have to find a new vehicle to fit your specific needs.
  • Very Inconvenient – Without a vehicle, you’ll have to arrange transportation in your new home until you find a suitable vehicle. Unless you already have a vehicle lined up, this can be a huge headache.
  • Expensive – Selling your current vehicle and buying another will likely cost you far more than shipping your car.
  • You have to Find a Buyer – Sometimes, selling a vehicle takes time. You have to go through the process of listing your car and finding a buyer. Then, you have to negotiate a deal you’re happy with. If you start to run out of time, you could get desperate and sell for less than you should.
  • You Could End Up With a Worse Vehicle – If you sell your current vehicle and buy a used vehicle in your new home, you could end up with a car that has issues. Even with an inspection, you could have car problems sooner than you would have if you ship your current vehicle.

Shipping Your Car vs. Selling and Buying a New One: A Cost Comparison

Before you choose between shipping your car and selling it, make sure you understand what you’ll be dealing with financially. The cost of shipping a vehicle from Omaha, NE to Buffalo, NY, will range from about $900 to $1,400, depending on the vehicle. This might seem like quite a bit of money, but selling your vehicle to buy another will likely cost you more.

When you look up your vehicle’s value, consider what you can get for your vehicle and what another vehicle in your new location will cost. If you plan to buy a new vehicle, you’ll likely have to start over with payments and financing.

Along with the actual cost of buying a vehicle, there will be hidden costs you need to consider, including:

  • Sales Tax – The cost of sales tax for your vehicle could be more than the cost to ship your current vehicle cross-country
  • Financing Charges – If you finance a vehicle, you’ll have to pay interest and other financing charges.
  • Registration and Title Fees – You’ll have to pay registration regardless, but with a vehicle purchase, you’ll also have to pay a title fee.
  • Dealer Fees – If you buy a vehicle from a dealer, you might have to pay a dealer fee.
  • Higher Insurance Costs – Depending on the vehicle you own now and the one you buy, you could end up paying a higher insurance premium.

Before you decide to ship your car or sell it with plans to buy another, make sure you consider all the costs. It will likely cost less to ship your car than buying another once you arrive in your new home.

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