How to Move a Car Across the Country: 3 Effective Ways

by Dusty Rhodes on Jul 25, 2017  in 
  • Long Distance Move
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Updated on 12/1/23

Moving to a new city can be stressful enough but when you are moving across the country it can become quite daunting. In addition to moving all of your clothes, housewares, and personal belongings you also have to figure out how to move your car as well. It might seem simple enough…if you want to move your car just hop in and drive it. However, when you are moving a long distance you might want to consider some other options. Thankfully, you have a few great options for safely transporting your vehicle across the country.

Haul Your Car

Hauling your vehicle behind a moving truck or van is a cost-effective and flexible solution, especially for drivers looking for more control of the transportation process. However, car owners must weigh the benefits and risks of long-distance moves for vehicles, as discussed below.


  • Cost-effective: Hauling or towing your vehicle behind a truck or van is more budget-friendly than contracting an auto shipping company or hiring a professional driver.

  • Convenience: Hauling your car gives you more control over the route and timing of the move, making it easier to align with your moving schedule.

  • Access to belonging: You have immediate access to your car and all belongings inside it during pit stops because the vehicle is always with you.


  • Wear and tear: Hauling your vehicle across states may not add mileage to your odometer, but it does add wear and tear to tires and other components. The car owner must consider this if transporting a valuable vehicle or if it has limited mileage.

  • Exposure to elements: Car towing also exposes the vehicle to weather elements that may be a particularly significant concern when transporting a vintage, luxury or rare model.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost of hauling a car depends on several factors, including the distance, condition of the car and personal driving preferences. Contact SMARTBOX for a more detailed estimate for hauling your car cross-country.

Shipping Your Car

Utilizing a professional car shipping service is a more compelling option if the logistics of hauling the vehicle seem impractical or you prefer a more hands-off approach. Entrusting your car to a professional auto transport company is invaluable and offers peace of mind, knowing it will be handled with care throughout the trip.


  • Reduced wear and tear: Using a shipping company minimizes the wear and tear associated with driving the vehicle across the country.

  • Convenience: The car owner can focus on other aspects of the move while professional auto movers handle the vehicle's transportation.

  • Insurance coverage: Reputable auto shipping companies provide vehicle insurance during transit, giving the car owner peace of mind, knowing they will get their car in one piece.


  • Cost: Using a shipping company to transport your car is relatively more expensive than other transportation methods, especially enclosed transportation.

  • Scheduling challenges: There may be delays in pick-up or delivery, impacting the car owner's overall moving timeline.

How Much Does It Cost?

It's almost impossible to state an actual price tag on this service because of the various factors involved in long-distance auto transport. These include:

  • Type of vehicle

  • Time of year

  • Condition of the vehicle

  • Type of auto transport service required (open or enclosed)

  • If it's a pick-up or express car shipping

  • Current fuel price

Hire a Professional Driver

Drivers who prefer a more personalized approach can consider hiring an independent driver for the move. This transportation option lets the vehicle owner negotiate terms directly with the driver, allowing flexibility and potentially lowering costs.


  • Personal service: Professional drivers will give the task their full attention, allowing them to complete the vehicle transportation within the set deadlines.

  • Specialized insurance: Professional drivers also carry sufficient insurance to cover any damages that may occur during transit.

  • Fast service: There's no loading or unloading time, making the service quicker.


  • Costly: Hiring a professional driver to drive your vehicle across the country may be costlier than using auto transport companies, depending on the terms set with the river.

  • Wear and tear: Long-distance moves expose the car to weather elements and wear and tear that the car owner must factor into the moving process.

  • Finding a reputable driver: This can be challenging, especially for car owners who've never used this service before and don't know what to look for.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost of hiring a professional driver can also vary significantly depending on the terms set with the driver. Other influential factors may include the distance covered and additional services the car owner may require. Compare quotes from different providers before choosing the best one for the job.

Whenever you are planning a cross country move, be sure and speak with a moving company to find the best deal for transporting your vehicle. It is important to consider your budget, convenience, and safety when choosing which method to use for transporting your car.

Dusty Rhodes