Like most elements of your move, there are a number of different ways to move your car to your new location. Selecting the best option for you will largely depend on how far your move is and how much value you place on your car.

To help with your shipping decision, this article presents three options:

  1. Drive your car yourself,
  2. Hire someone to drive your car, or
  3. Ship your car.

An important caveat – if you are relocating to another country you will need to look into a few other details before considering shipping options.  First, contact your vehicle manufacturer to be sure your vehicle meets the new country’s safety and emissions regulations.  You may also find these details on the local government websites.   Second, you will want to consider import taxes, these can significantly add to the cost of shipping.  Lastly, if your car is leased, check with your leasing company for restrictions on relocating your car.  It is very difficult to relocate a leased vehicle across borders.

Drive your car yourself

The first and most obvious option is to drive your car to your new location.  Here are some points to consider when pondering this option:

  • Distance – this is probably the greatest factor to consider.  In a typical day, the average driver can expect to cover between 600 and 800 kilometres per day.
  • Fuel and lodging costs as compared to flying.
  • Time off work costs.  If you are having to take additional time off of work, this is an indirect cost to you.
  • Weather too can be an important factor too especially if you are travelling during winter or through mountains.
  • The condition of your vehicle should also be considered.  Do you want to put the additional mileage on your car?

If you are moving your furniture using a rental truck, they might have an option of renting a trailer or dolly to tow your vehicle.  However, you need to be skilled at backing a truck and trailer up if you choose this option as this can be extremely challenging.  Be sure to find out what your liability is with your insurer and with the truck rental company to ensure your vehicle is covered against collision or damage.

Hire someone to drive your car

If you consider hiring someone to drive your car, you will need to consider the same points covered above plus the additional expense of hiring someone to drive your car.  However, this option may be the right one if you have to take additional time off work.  Your salary offset by the costs of a driver may be worth it.

Ship your car

If hiring a mover to move your personal belongings, they may also ship your vehicle.  You can also search for a car transport service.

Before requesting quotes, make a list of the questions to ask.  These should include:

  • How long will the shipment take.
  • What is their track record for on-time delivery.
  • Will the vehicle be transported in an open or closed transport trailer.
  • Does the vehicle need to be empty or can personal belongings be in the vehicle.
  • Does the vehicle need to have fuel in it when dropped-off for shipment.
  • Are there any other optional services available.
  • Do they charge a premium for larger vehicles such as vans, pick up trucks and SUV’s.
  • In the unlikely event of vehicle damage, how will it be handled.

When you bring your car to the car transport service, be sure to thoroughly clean it inside and out and remove all items from the car including the trunk and glove box.  Also, you will want to make a detailed list of all body damage with a representative from the car transport service.  Most moving companies will provide a form with a picture of a vehicle for you to note damages.  This will be invaluable if you need to file a claim after transport.  Ensure you complete a vehicle condition report at your new location also.  If the vehicle is delivered dirty, have them clean it before signing that it is delivered free of any damages.