Pros & Cons Of Car Movings Methods

An overview of methods for auto transport, including the pros and cons of each option.

There are many considerations when transporting your car: distance, cost, time and potential wear on the vehicle, just to name a few. The biggest question, however, is what method to use. Should you just drive it yourself? Hire someone else to drive it? Tow it? Hire a professional? 


These are all valid questions, but the answer really depends on your budget, time and comfort level. Below, we’ll take a deeper look at the benefits and drawbacks of each auto moving option, from the do-it-yourself method to hiring a professional. 


Do It Yourself Options For Auto Transport


Drive It


Driving it yourself is often the first option that occurs to those who need a car relocated. After all, it’s what we do with cars and, as long as it’s in working condition, why wouldn’t you drive it? Depending on how far you’re going, it might not be advisable. Consider this information from AAA about the true cost of driving, which indicates that it costs around 80 cents per mile to drive an average sized sedan (think Honda Accord or Toyota Camry). It may seem like that 500 mile trip just requires a day of your time and the cost of a tank of gas, but the true cost is closer to your time plus $400.


Pros: Less planning required, you’re in control of the process

Cons: Future repair costs, your own time, wear and tear on vehicle


Tow It


Another popular choice is to rent a trailer and tow your car. Assuming you have a vehicle that can properly tow a trailer, this can be an affordable method since you only have to pay for gas and the trailer rental. Towing also prevents mileage from racking up like it would if you drove it yourself. The disadvantage to towing as an auto transport option is that it’s time consuming and has plenty of potential for damage when not done by a professional. Additionally, your auto insurance may not cover your vehicle while it’s being privately towed. 


Pros: Typically lower cost than a pro, less demanding on your vehicle

Cons: Still requires your time & potential risk of damage/malfunction


Hiring A Professional To Move Your Car


Ship it


Hiring a transport company to move your car does cost more up front, but it comes with the benefit of a trained professional, insurance coverage, storage options and saves you the time and potential wear of driving it yourself. Most car moving companies have several service options, including open and enclosed transport, and offer free quotes to any customers interested in their services. (For an example, see, a popular national auto shipper.)


Pros: Options, insurance, professional experience, convenient, no miles

Cons: Higher out of pocket cost than do-it-yourself methods


Drive Away Service


Drive away service entails hiring someone to drive your car for you. This can be affordable since these services match up people that are “headed that way” to drive your car for your. The downside is that they are not experienced professionals and there is little oversight or accountability from companies that operate these services. 


Pros: Affordability and convenience

Cons: Not always reliable, no professional oversight, mileage still adds up

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