For many of us, the process of moving comes with a lot of challenges, and the biggest among them is figuring out what to do with items we don’t need anymore. Take a couch, for example, your new home might have much more space for a bigger couch, but it also has an outside sitting area where the old couch could go. So what do you do, do you sell it or do you ship it to your new place?
While a similar dilemma might come to mind when you have a car, it’s for different reasons, the biggest being cost. Shipping cars can be expensive, but so can buying a new one if you sell it. So, in such a scenario, what do you do?

We’ll help you out here. As you try to make a decision, look at the following points that we’ve compiled for you which will make the process easier!

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Infographic - Selling vs Shipping a Car
Infographic – Selling vs Shipping a Car

Selling Your Car

Selling your car might seem like an extremely daunting and irresponsible concept, after all, you’ve had it for a while and it must be in working condition. But selling a car does have its own benefits, so let’s take a look at those first!

Pros of selling your car

1. Some Extra Cash At Hand

Who doesn’t like some extra cash at hand? We sure do! We’ve already discussed this, and we’re sure you already know, but selling your car can be a way to let go of that big payment you’ll be required to make if you want to ship your car.

While moving, you will incur a number of expenses that you may or may not have budgeted for. So, a little extra money can definitely go a long way for you. In the process, you can use the extra cash for other necessities that you might have to pay for.

2. You Can Upgrade

If you have an old car that has a new mechanical problem every other day, then the best thing to do might be to sell it. Trying to ship a car that has been used well and has problems of its own is like dumping all that money down the drain!

You’d rather sell your car and use the money you get as a down payment to buying a better car that will suit your present needs. You can also get a used car that’s way more affordable and will work much better than the one you have! The possibilities are endless and worth considering, so give it a thought.

3. A Smoother Journey

Once you’ve sold your car, you don’t have to worry about such a large and valuable item being shipped cross country. While auto transport companies take care of everything for you, what you do have to realize is that the process of finding the right company can be challenging amidst so much moving work.

Add to that the responsibility of tracking your car when it’s in transit. With so much on your plate already, do you worry about all the ten thousand things that come with moving, or do you worry about your car? On the other hand, if you have to drive it cross country to your new place, that brings a whole set of planning and prep to take into account.

Selling your car lets you concentrate on things that need your full attention. So, as we said, if your car is hanging by the hinges, sell it and use the time to make your move smoother!

Cons of selling your car

1. Finding A Buyer

Selling a car is easier said than done. While you can find multiple dealerships that will agree to buy your car, you might not necessarily be happy with the quoted price. Even listing your car and talking to multiple buyers takes both time and effort. In a rush to get your car sold, there’s even a possibility that you might end up selling it for way lower than it was worth.
So while selling your car can be the best thing to do before you move, you must factor in the time and effort it will take from your side to finalize a buyer. If you’re not able to give either of those, then the process might become complicated.

2. Expensive

If you’re selling to save your wallet from the blows of what auto shipping companies might charge you, it’s all well and good. However, if you’re looking to buy a new car once you’re at your new place, the money you pay to buy it will cost you much more than if you would have just shipped your old car.

So, while you consider selling your car, we suggest that you properly weigh how much your car is worth and how much utility it has left.

Also Read: How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Car Across The Country

3. Insurance and Registration for New Car

Didn’t think of this? Well, it’s important too! If you end up buying a new car, you will have to pay additional money for registering your new car and its insurance. Also, don’t forget about the time you’ll have to spend on the same, so make your decision wisely.

When should you consider selling your car?

You might not know this, but the period from March to August is the best to sell used cars since car prices go up during spring.

Is it difficult to sell a car privately?

Yes, trying to sell your car privately can prove to be much more tedious than you’d imagine. Not only are you responsible for listing it online after taking pictures, but you also have to contact buyers, negotiate deals, and take care of documentation. So, it’s best if you do the same via a dealership if you do not have the time.

Will CarMax buy any car?

Yes! No matter the make or model, CarMax will take your car. The offer will be made to you which can either be a trade-in or a purchase.

Shipping Your Car

Now that you’ve looked at the pros and cons of selling your car, let’s take a look at the other option, and that’s shipping your car. When you talk of moving,

Pros of shipping your car

1. It’s Cheaper

Yes, you read that right, shipping your car will be more cost-effective than if you sell your car. But, this only applies to you if you don’t want to buy another car once you move. Like we’ve mentioned before, selling and buying another car only makes sense if your old car is not in the best shape. Otherwise, you’re just spending a large amount of extra money for nothing.

If you actually sit down and start budgeting, you’ll realize that the cost you’ll pay to ship your car won’t be much higher than what you’d spend if you had to drive cross country. After all, when you drive, gas, food and accommodation are large costs to factor in. And, don’t forget the multiple tolls and other unnecessary charges you’ll incur as you drive!

See also: How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Car

2. It’s Safer

It’s obvious, but important enough to mention – shipping your car instead of something hypothetically cheaper as driving it is safer. Not only will it keep you away from the risk of accidents, but you will also be relaxed knowing that your car is in professional hands. Drivers of auto transport companies have the expertise, and there’s no match for that. They know how to work around obstacles that might come up, and they know every single detail there is to know about the auto moving process!

Also Read: Car Safety in Auto Transport

3. Saves Time And Miles

There’s no doubt that selling your car will give you a nice load of money to use for other purposes. But, it doesn’t save you time, in fact, it takes more than you bargained for! Selling a car is a complex process if done independently, and that’s something you won’t have to work through if you’re shipping your car. Since auto transport companies handle everything in their door-to-door service, you won’t have to spend too much time figuring the logistics out!

Shipping your car also ensures that your car does not run for too many miles. This can save your car from further wear and tear, especially if there’s a chance that you can continue to use it for a few more years.

THE SMART WAY TO BUDGETHow much will it cost to ship my car?

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Cons of shipping your car

1. Rising Costs for Overseas Shipping

Even though we believe shipping is costlier than selling your car, this statement holds true especially when you’re moving overseas. The cost of shipping your cars to another country comes at a much higher price. In this scenario, you also have to factor in the costs that you’ll incur for the insurance and registration for your car at the new place of residence. So, compared to shipping your car overseas, selling it becomes a better option.

2. Risk of Damages

While this isn’t something new, it’s worth mentioning that when you ship your car, you will risk damaging it. We know it’s extremely rare, but with sudden climatic changes taking over swiftly, a risk is always involved. While your insurance will cover major damages, your car might still experience minor damages like paint chips. So, if you have a vintage or classic car, it’s best to go with enclosed transport, which is again, more expensive.

Did you know: The Auto Shipping Company AmeriFreight offers a gap damage coverage insurance called AFta which covers such minor damages that your carrier’s insurance will not cover!

See also: Best Classic Car Transport Companies

3. Risk of Late Delivery

Late deliveries are always a risk when something is being shipped to you, no matter how big or small the item. But a car is an essential item for many of us, so a late delivery might pose several challenges. Maybe you want to use it for work in your new place or to explore the neighborhood. Maybe you do not have the time later on to get it registered in your new state. The problems that a delay can cause are endless, and while they are an unlikely scenario, with auto shipping, it might happen.

Can you ship a car through FedEx?

Yes, you absolutely can. You can ship your car via air or road using FedEx’s white-glove custom car shipping service which is also called FedEx Custom Critical.

Must Read: Best Car Shipping Companies in the U.S.

What’s the cheapest way to ship a car cross country?

Shipping your car through an open transport carrier is the cheapest way possible to ship your car. While you can also scout for discounts, as a service, open transport is provided by almost all auto shipping companies.

See also: How Do I Transport my Car Cross Country

How Do I Prepare My Car For Shipping?

  1. If you’ve decided to ship your car, here are a few things you can do prior to the pickup date:
  2. Gather all your important documents like your car’s insurance and licenses.
  3. Remove personal items and accessories that were bought after you purchased the car. If your car shipping company allows you to keep a bag of belongings in the car, put it in the boot.
  4. Wash your car, and once you’re done, make a note of the tiny damages that your car’s external body has. While this will be done when the driver inspects your car, it’s best for you to take a look at it yourself!
  5. Check that all essential systems like your engine, steering wheel, and the door and window on the driver’s side of the car are functioning. Also, check for any sort of leaks, if there are big ones, get them repaired.
  6. Fill a quarter of your tank with gas.

THE SMART WAY TO BUDGETHow much will it cost to ship my car?

Get an instant free moving quote for transporting your vehicle!

Should I sell car before moving?

Selling a car before moving is always risky, but it can be the best option for those with long-distance moves. However, if you’re planning on a short drive or not too far from home – don’t sell your car!

Can you ship a financed car?

You can usually ship a vehicle with an auto loan on it, provided that the paperwork is in order. In most situations, you may take it anywhere in the United States. However, if you’re shipping to Hawaii, Alaska, things may be different. So make a hasty call to your lienholder/bank to double-check.

What is the best company to ship a car?

Montway Auto Transport is one of the most trusted names in the industry. Montway Auto Transport has years of experience shipping vehicles all over the country and around the world.


Both selling and shipping your car have their own perks, both can be cost-effective and both can save time. But, it all depends on what your plan with your car is going to be like. Is it in a bad state now? If you sell it, will you buy a new one? If not, do you have the time to drive it? You have to first answer all these questions to then come to a conclusion on what your plan of action will be. Only once you know your plan can you understand if selling or shipping will work for you.