Selling Or Shipping A Car? Which Is Cheaper?

The short answer is that; it is almost usually more budget-friendly to transport your car than sell it – especially if you hire one of the best car shipping companies in the country. If you are relocating and crossing state borders and own a car, you may ask “should I sell or ship my car?”

Selling Or Shipping A Car? Which Is Cheaper?

Shipping a car might first seem expensive, but immediately you consider the cost of driving a car to another part of the country or the time it takes to sell and purchase a new one, shipping then becomes the only practical option.

In this article

Well, the two options present both their benefits and limitations. However, it all comes down to your plans for the car and many other factors.

Choosing to ship or sell a car all comes down to its actual costs. Particularly, you want to find out the cost to sell your car, ship it, and buy a new one. Shipping cars can cost so much, but also buying can leave a huge hole in your pocket.

So, in such a case, what action do you take? We’ll assist you here. As you endeavor to decide, check these points that we’ve put together for you to help you decide right.

What are the Pros and Cons of Shipping or Selling a Car during a Move?

Shipping Selling
Pros Cheaper than purchasing a new car No payment for shipping
Often less stressful than hiring a car dealership You can upgrade
It’s safer A smoother journey
Saves time and miles
Cons Not perfect for cars with low resale value Cost of a replacement car
Insurance and registration fees for your new car
Finding a buyer

Selling or Shipping a car? Factors to consider

Before you make your decision, you would want to check out these factors to further simplify the process:

  • Vehicle specifics: Your car’s size and model, in particular, play a vital role in assisting you to make the best decision. For example, if your car is vintage or luxurious, these are difficult to replace. So you would rather have it shipped to your destination, usually in an enclosed carrier. However, if you own an SUV, a sedan, or a minivan, they all have different shipment quotes. Hipping is better if you are not in the best position to buy a new car. If you have an old, non-functional car, sell it.
  • Distance: Famous or difficult route costs more. In addition, longer distance also attracts higher shipping costs. So like this, selling the car may be more reasonable, but shipping it is perfect if the distance is between 500 – 100 miles.
  • Time of the year: For shipping, the season is an important factor to consider. You may receive better rates in winters, but these increase during summers. Where winters may reduce the delivery time, summers may need boking with car shipping services. If you are ok with this, you can sell your car, but scheduling shipping would be practical.
  • Convenience: Not often do cars keep a monetary value. They also may hold a sentimental attachment, or your lease could still have few years left. Also, the stress of finalizing a new vehicle will likely leave you with no car for a minimum of few weeks, which makes it so hard, especially when you just moved to a new place. In a case like that, ship the car instead.
  • Usage: If the car in question is your main car and you also want to drive it in the new hometown, it is better to ship it in the coming years. But if the car is not functional and is only there for some reason, sell it.
  • Repairs: Your vehicle’s condition majorly dictates whether you should sell or ship it. If it is somewhat new or deserves fixing without spending beyond budget, have car shipping services come for it. If it however requires fixing that will take more time, effort, future, and money, sell it.
  • Plans: There are times when car owners don’t use it now but may have some plans for it. They might be keeping it for a child or plan to fix it. If your plans relate to this, ship your car instead. But if you don’t have such plans, put it up for sale.

Selling or Shipping a Car: Comparing Costs

Before you pick between selling or shipping it, ensure you know what you will be facing as regards finance. The cost of transporting a car to Buffalo, NY, from Omaha, NE, will start from around $900 – $1,400, based on the car. This might seem like a lot of money, but selling your car to purchase another will possibly cost more.

When you check the value of your car, consider the things you can get for your car and what other cars in your new location will cost. If you plan to buy a new car, you will possibly have to begin with payments and financing. Together with the exact cost of purchasing a new car, there will also be hidden costs you need to factor, such as:

  • Sales tax: Your car’s sales tax cost could be higher than the cost to transport your current car to a long distance.
  • Financing charges: If you finance a car, you will be required to pay interest as well as other financing charges.
  • Registration and Title files: You will be required to pay registration no matter what, but when buying a car, you will also pay a title fee.
  • Dealer fees: If you purchase a car from a dealer, you might be charged a dealer fee.
  • Higher insurance costs: Based on the car you own as well as the one you later buy; you could be paying more insurance premiums.

Read How Much does it Cost to Ship a Car?

Tips for Shipping your Car when Moving

Before you begin with the auto shipping process, there are some things that you need to know:

  • Reserve your shipment as early as possible:Booking your shipment as soon as possible adds to the possibility that you will get the exact pickup and drop-off timeframes that you desire. It also elevates the possibilities of savings a bit since the closer you reserve your shipment to the exact shipping date the costlier car shipping could be.
  • Wash the car:When your shipping drivers arrive, they will do a thorough survey for pre-existing damage. If the car is not clean, this check will take most of your time.
  • Talk about the pickup and drop-off points with a car shipping agent:There are times that local streets can be excessively narrow for vehicle carriers to drive on, or there might be local restrictions that prevent them from driving down a street. So, make sure that you mention this with your shipping rep and even your exact driver before you figure out the actual pickup and drop-off points for your car shipping.
  • Remove your goods:When you transport a car, if you have personal items in there and got lost or damaged, they will not be paid for or repaired by the vehicle transport insurance. You should rather take these items out of your vehicle before the driver picks them up for shipping. This includes items like CDs, sunglasses, jewelry, and so on.
  • Book shipment after receiving your quote: As pointed out before, the price of your car shipping will increase the longer you wait to book.  If you think you already have a reasonable quote for the shipping, book straight up.

FAQ about Shipping or Selling a Car

Can the shipping company move my furniture as well?

Some companies can take care of auto shipments together with standard moving services. Many of our favorite national moving companies are offering everything concerning moving:

However, not all relocation companies perform car shipment, so you should find out in advance if you need this service.

What car shipping company is the best?

The best car shipping company given on our network is Montway Auto Transport. The vehicle shipping service is affordable, offers both open and enclosed transport, and provides cross-country shipping (check cross country movers) in all 50 states.

How much will an enclosed carrier cost when shipping?

The cost of shipping in an enclosed carrier is roughly $1,500, as found on Enclosed shipping prices change based on the size of the car, delivery distance, and shipping company.

Which method of shipping should I consider for my Tesla?

Lots of auto transport companies recommend the enclosed shipping method for your Tesla. While the vehicle shipping cost is around 40% costlier than the open car carrier, the most safety is achievable when you ship in an enclosed carrier.

What is the cost of shipping for a motorcycle?

The price of shipping a bike is roughly $600. Price change based on the distance you are sending it, the size of your bike, and the auto shipping company you use.


Selling and shipping your car come with each of their benefits and downsides as the two can be budget-friendly and also save time. However, your plan with your vehicle will determine how it will be. Is it functional? Will you purchase a new one if you sell it? Do you have enough time to drive it?

You must provide an answer to all these questions before you can conclude your next line of action. You will understand if shipping or selling your car will work right after you know your plan.

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