Is Shipping a Car Cheaper?

Advertisements for car shipping services try to catch the attention of people getting ready for a move. These services do offer something of value to those facing a dilemma. That dilemma involves figuring out what to do with a car when moving. A coast-to-coast trip certain brings up these types of questions. Even shorter-distance trips lead to car owner to compare the costs of shipping the car to driving it to the new location. A move requires spending a lot of money. Some of that spending can be cut down. The $1,200 estimate for shipping may seem enormous. Would it not be cheaper to drive the car? That depends.

Gasoline and Other Expenses

With a long-distance move, a car owner has to think about all the expenses that come up with driving the vehicle. Gasoline becomes the first and most obvious expense to factor into the move. Estimating the cost of fuel makes sense. However, don’t make the mistake of only figuring out fuel. Look at all the costs associated with the move. If not, you may discover your decision to drive the car turns out to be far more expensive than planned. Before looking at all the other costs, be sure you are estimating gasoline expenses correctly. Here are things to estimate:

  • The correct distance

Every mile you drive the car costs you money in gasoline expenses. Do not make any rough estimations about the distance. Figure out the exact distance based on the most appropriate route. Underestimating the number of miles to where you need to go also means you come up with the wrong cost.

  • Delays in the trip

You probably won’t dramatically underestimate distance, but coming up with too positive a picture of how long the trip takes is a different matter. Far too many problems can arise when traveling. Significant amounts of traffic can add hours and hours to the arrival time. Five hours per day turn into seven. A four-day trip becomes a six-day adventure. Driving the car more means consuming more fuel. That drives up your costs.

  • Fluctuating prices in fuel

The price of fuel varies in different areas. You might discover yourself paying more than you initially planned once you cross into a new state. The price of oil further factors into fuel expenses. If it spikes up, so does your gasoline bill.

Fuel expenses can make a trip a budget-buster. Fuel alone, however, won’t be forcing you to reach for that debit card.

Hotel Expenses

Driving 24/7 won’t be in the cards. Most people can’t even handle a 12-hour drive. Checking into a motel allows you to give the body much needed rest. Obviously, motels require paying nightly rent. All those hotel costs must factor into the overall price of the drive. As with gasoline, you run the risk of underestimating your costs. What if you can’t find a budget motel? Checking into an $80-per-night place becomes the only option. Now, your spending double than what you thought you would. This issue could repeat itself again during the trip.

Food Expenses

You have to eat. And you have to pay for what you eat. Buying from supermarkets packing food in the car would be cheaper than eating in restaurants. Cheaper doesn’t mean free though. And they’ll be days when you must eat in a diner and pay premium costs on your meals. Food isn’t always inexpensive on the road as you soon may discover.

Wear and Tear on the Car

A lot of things can happen to a car while driving. Flat tires, for example, could be completely unexpected incidents that lead you to pay a lot of money. Really, you don’t know what can happen to a car during the trip. The trip, itself, might contribute to costly car problems. A $700 repair bill absolutely creates a major shock to a planned out budget.

Choose Carefully and Wisely

Avoid rushing into any decisions about shipping a car vs. driving it yourself. Look at all the costs associated with driving it. Seek several estimates from a number of shipping services. Being deliberate reduces the chances of making the wrong decision and spending more than necessary.

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