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January 8, 2024

Move Your Car Cross-Country


Move Your Car Cross-Country
A long-distance move can be more involved than a short one, and the question of how to get your vehicle from your old home to your new one is a great example of why. 

There are plenty of options for transporting your vehicle to its new garage or parking place, and it is important to understand the benefits of each before you decide which one is best for you.

How Can You Move Your Car or Truck Without Driving It? 

The most direct way to bring along your car or truck, at least at first glance, is to drive it to your destination. However, much planning and mentally tiring work goes into such a drive, and it becomes more complicated over longer distances.

While a few hundred miles is an easily managed day trip, a few thousand on the nation's highways requires planning many stops along the way to eat, sleep, rest, and refuel - and spending additional money on those needs. 

If you have more than one vehicle or add up the costs and realize driving across the country is too expensive, there is a solution. Prestigious moving companies like Atlas Van Lines are happy to offer an effective and efficient way to bring your car to your new home: auto transport. 

Shipping Your Car is Easy with Atlas

The best moving companies offer their customers a wide variety of services, including transporting cars and trucks to the driveway or parking garage where they will reside. When you let us handle the heavy lifting, you benefit in a variety of ways, including:
  • Eliminating the need to create detailed plans and timetables.
  • No worries about accidents, mechanical troubles, and other problems while on the road.
  • No additional wear and tear on your vehicle from a trip covering thousands of miles.
Atlas uses the same thorough best practices for secure vehicle transport developed by automobile manufacturers. We can even load your vehicle into the same trailer as the rest of your belongings. 

That means easy delivery of all your possessions at one time, with no worrying about your car having to arrive separately from the rest of the load.

If you are not ready for your vehicle yet, you can even store your car or truck at many Atlas warehouses across the country. These benefits go for a variety of other vehicles, too - we can safely deliver jet skis, dune buggies, classic cars, and campers to your new home - just ask!

Shipping Vehicles During Your Move: 4 Factors to Consider 

If you are gearing up for a long-distance move, there is probably one question you are turning over in your head. Should you ship your car or drive it to your new home?
When you move, shipping your car can be more convenient than driving, especially if you have more than one vehicle. Here are four factors to consider when you are deciding whether to ship your car for a long-distance move.

1. Timing

It takes about 42 hours of straight driving to get from Los Angeles to New York City. Depending on how far you are moving, you could be spending days at a time on the road if you drive your car yourself.

Your move comes with some predetermined parameters regarding move-in and move-out dates. So, can you afford the time it will take you to drive your car the full distance of your move? Will you need to take additional days off from work to drive?

Every situation will be different, but we all know that last-minute moves are not uncommon. Consider your schedule carefully before you opt to drive your car.

2. What Risk is Involved?

If you are traveling hundreds or thousands of miles on a long-distance move, there are several risk factors to evaluate when transporting your vehicle yourself. 

You may traverse large mountain ranges like the Rockies or the Appalachian Mountains. You will drive through a wide range of weather systems during that time, depending on the season. Racking up a massive number of miles on your car is highly likely as well.

Your mileage may vary depending on the specifics of your move, but it is worth considering whether you will be doing some severe driving and deciding if the risk is worth it for you, your cargo, and your vehicle.

3. Cost

This consideration might seem obvious initially, but as with anything, the hidden costs can start to pile up quickly.

Think again about the miles you might rack up on your car and the potential damage to the vehicle that could result from the long drive. Do these risks significantly impact the value of your car? 

You should also factor food and lodging into the total price tag. If you will have to take uncompensated time off work, include that amount as well. Factor in gas, too, and add in some extra fuel expenses if you are using your personal vehicle to haul extra items for the move.

Of course, shipping your vehicle is not free, and transportation will cost you no matter what you do. However, these numbers are relatively stable one-time expenses, and they will be easy to use as a comparison point when you are crunching the numbers above.

4. Convenience

This is the big question, and in some ways, it sums up all the other points.
It gets a little bit trickier when the whole family is moving. That means you do not have just your schedule to worry about but everybody else who is taking the trip, too. 

Would the convenience of traveling together and aligning schedules outweigh the costs associated with transporting your vehicle?

The Top Things to Remember When Moving Your Vehicle

Summertime is the busy season in the moving industry, which is a great time to share some helpful tips and reminders for transferees moving their vehicles.


Moving your vehicle is different from moving your personal items (household goods). The entire process is different. 

With household goods, the truck may hold only a few families’ personal items at a time, and the mover is hired based on your origin and destination. 

While your vehicle is also transported on a truck, it is most often one of eight or nine, and the car carrier is open-air versus contained. The impact is two-fold, with the biggest difference being the pick-up and delivery timing. 

When you are one of two shipments on a moving truck, the travel time and delivery spread are compressed. Car carriers often travel to and from a variety of cities to load and unload, which extends the travel, pick-up, and delivery times. 

Packing Items in the Vehicle

Unfortunately, you cannot ship anything in the car during transport. It is recommended that all personal items be removed before pick-up. These items may include:
  • Golf clubs and other sporting goods
  • Sunglasses
  • Transponders/EZ Pass
  • Items that may be left in the vehicle include:
  • Un-needed child safety seats
  • Registration
  • Proof of insurance
If you will be renting a car and need the child seat at your destination, then it should be removed and shipped with your household goods. Any items left in the vehicle are not covered under insurance. 


You should not cancel your insurance. Your vehicle is covered by transportation insurance. However, an active standard automotive policy is required to cover ”Acts of God” and glass.

Car Condition

You should leave between one-fourth and one-half of a tank of gas in your vehicle for transport. Notify your Relocation Coordinator in advance if your vehicle is not running or has mechanical issues so they can notify the driver and make necessary accommodations.

Is Your Car Ready for a Cross-Country Move?  

If you are making a long-distance move and own a car, you want to be sure you can count on your vehicle safely making the trip. 

Whether you plan on relocating your car yourself or having experts take care of this task, it is important to be prepared.

Let us look at some important tips for each option.

Driving Cross-Country Yourself

Driving to your new home can easily be looked at as a one-way road trip. In this context, there is plenty of practical advice out there for lowering the odds of complications on the way and keeping you and your car safe for the duration.

The first thing you should do is bring your car to your regular mechanic for a check-up. Allstate suggested a basic review of fluids, hoses, belts, and coolant, along with tires, brakes, and batteries. 

You will avoid a potential problem quickly turning into an expensive job in unfamiliar territory while on the road - not to mention delaying your carefully planned move.
You should also make sure your spare tire and jack are in good shape, as well as have an emergency kit containing the supplies suggested by the National Safety Council.

Beyond making sure your car is in tip-top shape for the drive, you should also make the trip as comfortable as possible. Clean your car ahead of time, bring a small bag for trash, and stock up on water and snacks. 

If you are covering especially long distances, find lodging and places to eat ahead of time, if necessary. You should also set aside space for the items that movers cannot transport in their vehicles as well as basics like clean clothes and toiletries. 

Letting the Experts Transport Your Vehicle 

Whether you have more cars than people to drive them or want to fly to your new home, dependable auto transport movers are more than happy to transport your car carefully. 

Atlas agents across the country move cars, motorcycles, and boats, offering not only the ability to do so but also relevant experience from similar efforts in the past.

The obvious advantage of this approach is there is no need to plan for a long trip in your car or spend many tedious hours behind the wheel. Travel preferences aside, if you are short on time, you simply may not have the luxury of making the drive. 

No matter why you need Atlas to bring your car along for the ride, Atlas is ready to do the heavy lifting for you. To learn more, get in touch with an Atlas moving expert today!