Should I Ship or Drive a New Vehicle That I Bought From an Out of State Dealership?

You’ve finally found the car of your dreams. That beautiful mechanical masterpiece would look amazing on your drive or in your garage. Even now, you can picture yourself driving it.

There’s just one problem.

The car is at an out-of-state dealership. That means you’ve got to figure out how to get it from the dealer to your driveway.

You have two options.

You could pick up the car yourself and drive it back home. Alternatively, you could hire a vehicle shipping company, like https://www.a1autotransport.com, to do the job for you.

Which do you choose?

It would help if you had some advice before you get your new car on the road. Let’s look at the key considerations when choosing whether to drive or ship your vehicle from an out-of-state dealership.

Consideration No. 1 – The Cost

Shipping a car costs more money than driving it yourself. There’s no getting around the fact. According to Forbes, you’re likely to spend upwards of $900 per 1,000 miles when using a car shipping country.

Of course, those prices vary depending on the company and shipping method. For example, you’ll pay more for enclosed transport than open transport. That’s because enclosed transport protects your vehicle from roadside detritus and the elements.

Still, there’s a benefit to working with an auto shipping company.

You know the cost upfront.

They’ll tell you how much you’re going to spend in your quote. When you’re driving yourself, you have to account for several costs that can quickly mount up and are more difficult to track.

That’s right, driving yourself isn’t free. You have to consider accommodation, gas, and food. The longer the trip, the more those costs mount up. You’ll still pay less when driving. But don’t make the mistake of thinking you won’t pay anything at all.

Consideration No. 2 – Wear and Tear

The impact wear and tear has on your decision depends on how you’ll use the car. If you’re going to drive it regularly, a little wear and tear incurred from driving from the dealership may not be a big deal.

But what if you’re buying a display car? Alternatively, you may want the car to arrive in pristine condition, ready for you to take it for a spin without any complications.

In those cases, shipping the car is often the better option. However, there are wear and tear issues to consider when shipping, too. We mentioned the open vs. enclosed transport issue. If you opt for open transport, your car is exposed to weather, dust, dirt, and anything else the road has to offer. If you’re looking for as little wear and tear as possible, shipping via enclosed transport is the way to go.

Consideration No. 3 – Safety

Every drive you make carries an element of risk. You have to be on top of your game while paying attention to what other road users do. The longer the journey, the greater the risk. If you drive the car from the dealership, you’re assuming that risk yourself.

Furthermore, it’s a two-way trip. You’re taking on risk to get to the dealership, as well as the risk of getting back. How comfortable you are with long journeys will factor into your decision.

Using a shipping company takes all of that risk off your plate and onto the carrier’s plate. You don’t have to worry about safety, be that of yourself or the vehicle.

Consideration No. 4 – The Car’s Condition

If you’re buying a brand-new car, you can feel pretty confident that it will arrive in perfect driving condition. The dealership may even offer a guarantee, which makes you even more confident.

But what if you’re buying a used car from out of state?

Ideally, you’ll want to test and examine the car before committing to the purchase. If you use a shipping company, you won’t be able to do this yourself unless you’re in the state when you buy and head home later. You’ll have to rely on a mechanic. Finding someone you can trust in an unfamiliar state may be a challenge.

If you drive the car yourself, you can get to grips with everything it does and doesn’t offer. Plus, you’ll have a chance to kick the tires, check the engine, and quiz the dealership personally.

Consideration No. 5 – The Convenience Factor

You’re a busy person. Driving a car between states is a long process. You may have to take time off work, potentially losing money, if you opt to drive it yourself. Again, your appetite for this inconvenience depends on you. If you have the freedom and desire to travel such a long distance, a little inconvenience won’t mean much.

But if you want things to be as easy as possible, a shipping company is the way to go. They can handle the pick-up, transit, and drop-off, meaning you can sit at home and wait for the car to arrive.

As a side note, the convenience issue links to the cost consideration. We mentioned having to take time off work to drive the car yourself. If your job doesn’t offer paid time off (PTO), that’s another cost to consider on top of gas, food, and accommodation. In some cases, the money you lose from taking time off mounts up so high that using a shipping company becomes the cheaper option.

Driving or Shipping – Make Your Choice

Both driving and shipping a car from out of state come with pros and cons.

For driving, the obvious pros are the lower costs and getting the chance to feel out the vehicle before you buy. Plus, you may relish the thought of a long road trip, which makes driving yourself an even better option. However, the car will go through wear and tear during the journey, which may not be desirable for antique, classic, or collector’s cars.

Shipping the car usually costs more money. But it also gives you peace of mind. The car isn’t driven from state to state, meaning it arrives with less wear and tear. There’s also much lower risk involved, both to yourself and the car. Good shipping companies also offer insurance, which covers you if the car is damaged on the road.

Ultimately, the choice comes down to you. By understanding the pros and cons of each option, you’ll be in a better position to make the right decision. 

Buying a new car out of state

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