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Why Vehicle Shipment Beats Driving Every Time

Subscribe November 27, 2014
Auto Transport | Car shipping process

Do you need to move a passenger vehicle across the country?

Perhaps you’re about to move your whole family and household across the country. Maybe your youngest is in college and moving off-campus. After some deliberation, you’ve decided to let them drive the old wagon. It’s either that or they have to ride their bike to classes.

There are many other reasons that you might need to get a vehicle from one side of the country to the other – maybe you sold a classic car through an online auction site. It could be that you’re moving South for the winter and want to have your Airstream travel trailer plugged in and hooked up, waiting for you, when the airport shuttle drops you off at the Camp-a-Lot.

In any case, whether it has two wheels, four, or many more, as in the case of motorhomes, you might be thinking to yourself, “Maybe I should just drive it there myself.”

You certainly could, but here are a few considerations for your own safety and wellbeing.

Before your great American road trip, think about:

1. Cost

Gas prices flux seasonally, but do you remember the last time that unleaded was under $3.00 per gallon? You probably know your vehicle’s average miles per gallon. Do a quick calculation based on the distance you need to go. Be as conservative as you like and multiply miles by some presumed average fuel cost.

To that, add the cost of motel rooms for each night you anticipate being on the road. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers are only allowed to drive eleven hours in a fourteen-hour period. And, that’s following a rest period of no less than ten consecutive hours.

To figure out how many nights you’ll be on the road, you might look at your route on Google Maps. They suggest a handful of routes from your start point to your destination. The accompanying time estimates are fairly accurate, based on posted speed limits and known construction zones. Divide that estimate by 11 to anticipate number of nights on the road. Depending on your preferences for motel quality and amenities, roadside room rates range from $30 per night to $130 per night. Besides cost, how well do you sleep in strange beds?

In the event that you’ll be leaving the vehicle there, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of getting yourself home. Remember, hitchhiking went out of vogue about fifty years ago. And “riding the rails,” almost a hundred years ago. So, it’s planes or Greyhound for you.

2. Time and Opportunity Cost

Can you spare the time? Does your boss concur? Even if you work for yourself or are retired, is driving across the country the most effective and fruitful use of your free time?

Will you be missing client work? Networking luncheons? Or beach time?

A word to the wise from experienced over-the-road drivers: don’t expect to catch up with work or correspondence from the road or from the motel’s wifi. It’s a common intention that rarely pans out.

3. Health and Fitness

How’s your lower back? If, like many Americans, you experience chronic lumbar pain, then a cross-country driving adventure is not for you. It might be for your chiropractor, but not you.

What’s more, if you enjoy a healthy diet and an active, non-sedentary lifestyle, then your body may rebel at being cooped up in a steel-and-fiberglass cage for several days. A word about finding fresh fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious food on the road: you won’t unless you pack it with you.

4. Training and Safety

Lastly, and most importantly, as we hinted above, unless you’re a card-carrying CMV operator, you simply don’t have the tens of thousands of miles and hours of training that professional drivers have. No doubt, you are a very safe driver around your neighborhood and in the city where you live. Safely driving the interstate system, in all road, traffic, and weather conditions, requires a level of sustained mental alertness that you cannot be accustomed to without practice.

It is for these reasons that the auto transport industry as a whole suggests that you arrange professional vehicle shipment. DAS is a premium auto transporter. If you would like to partner with us for your upcoming move, please complete the quick quote request form on this page to get started.

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