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Moving Tips — Shipping Your Car (Podcast)

Moving Tips — Shipping Your Car (Podcast)

Mike Scenna, Sales Manager at Preowned Auto Logistics, sits down with John Maher to discuss moving tips. In this podcast, he explains how to get your vehicle to your new home during a long distance move when it’s not feasible to drive your car, and they look at the advantages of shipping your car compared to driving it to the new location.

John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher and I’m here today with Mike Scenna, Sales Manager at Preowned Auto Logistics, a car shipping and auto transport and logistics company in Massachusetts. Today our topic is moving tips, shipping your car. Welcome Mike.

Mike Scenna: Hey John. Thanks for having me.

Why Shipping Your Vehicle Is Better Than Driving

John: Sure. So Mike, when you’re moving, why is shipping your car generally better than just getting in it and driving your car to your destination?

Mike: Sure. So this is obviously a question I get asked a lot and there are tons of reasons why shipping your car is better than driving it. For starters, it’s kind of an exhausting journey, depending on how far you’re going to drive a car. If it’s across the country, you’re talking about several days on the road, several hours on the road a day, staying at hotels, navigating through places that you’re not necessarily familiar with, which comes with planning the trip.

So aside from just the time you’re spending on the road, there’s time prior to get ready, to just kind of plan out your route, decide where you’re going to stay at night, and where are you going to eat. There’s a lot that goes into it. It takes up quite a bit of your time. It takes a lot less time to just get on a plane and fly somewhere and have your car waiting for you on the other end.

Also, it’s a really common misconception that it’s cheaper to drive. People want to just hop in their car and drive somewhere because they think it’s going to cost too much money to ship the car, which is really not true. If you take the time to break down the cost of how much you’re going to spend on gas, the depreciation of the vehicle from adding those miles to it, the hotel costs, the food, the time off of work, these things add up quickly. And we usually find that it ends up costing you more money to drive somewhere than it does to ship your car. So, I mean, yeah, time and money, you’re saving on both of them by shipping rather than driving.

Shipping Vehicles Helps Avoid Long, Tiring Drives

John: Right. And I think you can’t underestimate the exhaustion of making those types of trips, especially if it’s a long way and you have to do it over two or three days. I know that the most that I like to drive in the car in a day is maybe about 10 hours or so. I think I’ve done as much as about 15, but that’s like a killer long day for one person to drive. How long have you driven in one car in one day?

Mike: Yeah. And like you said, that’s a lot. Me personally, my max is about 10 that I’ve done and that’s about the most I want to do. And I only did it one time. So that’s the other part of it. It sounds like you have some experience with long drives and I’ve done it once before, but most people don’t and if you haven’t done a road trip or driven across the country, chances are the most you’ve ever driven is really two or three hours.

So you go to plan a trip and you’re five, six hours into your drive and you say to yourself, wow, this is not something I want to do. I’ve never done it before and I did not think it was going to be like this. I was not ready for this.

John: Right and now you’re stuck. You’re eight or 10 hours away from home and you’ve got the prospect of two more days ahead of you of doing the same thing. And you’re like, why did I ever do this?

Mike: Right. And that was my experience. It was out to Austin, Texas and yet my car ended up on a truck shipped back and I was on a plane.

How Far in Advance to Book Car Shipping

John: Right, right. So how far in advance should you plan for your car shipping? If you do decide, you know what? Driving is probably not for me. I am going to ship it. How much warning does a car shipping company need?

Mike: Sure. There are lots of companies out there that are able to accommodate a last minute request. Personally, here we can usually help people out pretty last minute, like a day before a couple of days before. But I always tell people if you want to be prepared and make sure things go exactly the way you’re looking for them to go, it’s good to reach out about six weeks prior to the move.

Logistics of Shipping a Vehicle During a Move

John: Okay. Yeah. Good information. And then if I’m moving, but I can’t arrange for my moving company that’s coming and packing up my house, all the boxes and putting them in a truck and moving, and I’ve also contacted a car shipping company to come and ship my car. But I can’t manage to arrange for both of those things to happen on the same day, what are some of the logistical issues with this? Maybe they have to pick up the car a day or two before the movers come, or maybe I’m gone already and then they have to come to pick up my car and I’m not there because it’s two days later. What are some of the things like that, that you deal with?

Mike: Yeah. So that’s a great point and a great question. I get asked all the time, people set up their move and they say, “All right, this is the day the movers are coming, Mike, and this is the date. So we need the car picked up this day.” And they just sort of assume everything needs to happen on the same day.

And once we talk through it with them, we’re able to help them realize why they’re looking for this to happen on the same day? It might be better for you to have your car picked up earlier, or maybe it is the same day that you do need, we can help you with that. But you just really need to think about what you need on the origin end and what you need to get done, where you need to be.

Do you need a car? Do you not need a car? And what it’s like at the destination. And so maybe you have a car where you’re packing up and you don’t necessarily need a second one up here and you think, okay, I don’t want this to happen on the same day. We’d rather have it picked up a week prior and know that it’s at the destination when we get there and we have a car.

I’ve helped people out before who’ve had other experiences and have told me that they had everything done on the same day and they got where they needed to be and realized, wow, I’m going to have to wait a week. I’m up here for a week without my car and had to rent a car. So it’s really about what your resources are like on each end and what makes the most sense for you to do.

Getting Your Car to Your New Home Before You Arrive

John: Maybe the couple of days before you’re actually moving, before the moving company is coming, maybe you don’t really need your car. I mean, I’ve gone an entire weekend at least, or a few days just kind of hanging around my house and not really driving anywhere or using my car. So you could have a window there, especially if you’re still packing up boxes in your house. You’re spending a lot of time in your house, just packing. Maybe you don’t really need your car and you could arrange for the car shippers to come a couple of days ahead of time, pick it up and get it to your destination before you get there.

Mike: Right. And chances are, if you’re moving… So you’re at your house, you’ve been at for years, this is where your friends and family are. You’re going somewhere new, somewhere unfamiliar. You probably have friends and family in the area that can drive you around and help you out until the day of the move.

But when you get to that other end, that’s where you realize what you really rely on the vehicle. Now you’re somewhere where you don’t know anyone. You need to immediately go out and do some food shopping. You have some last minute items you have to go out and grab and if you’re sitting there without the car, it can cause a lot of money taking Uber’s or renting a car. So most of the time it’s easier to be without the car on that origin end.

Shipping Two Vehicles During a Long-Distance Move

John: I think you alluded to one possible solution, which would be, if you have two cars. Say a husband and wife and they each have a car, do you ever pick up one of the cars, say a week before the move and get that out there to the destination. And then you move and then your second car gets picked up a little bit later and moved because then at least that way you have one car at each location when you need it when you’re there, is that an option?

Mike: Yep and that’s what we do the majority of the time. Most households own more than one car and almost always we’re staggering the shipment of the vehicles for that reason. And, I find it actually kind of surprising when I bring that up. These people have that kind of aha moment where they were looking, what day are you going to pick both cars up?

And we say to them, why don’t we do it like this? We’ll pick the first one up a week, two weeks ahead of time. You’ll have to share a car for a week or two, but when you get where you’re going, you’ll have a car there and you can have that other car shipped… you keep that right up until the day that you actually leave. So you’re not without a car on the origin. So, yeah, we always suggest that to people, and the majority of the time they go with that option.

Guidance for the Car Shipping Process

John: Right. But I could understand them not thinking that that’s even an option. A, that it might cost a lot more to do that and then B, the movers aren’t coming and picking up half the stuff in my house and moving it out there and then coming back for the other half or that kind of thing. So I think that just doesn’t enter into people’s mind that that’s even a possibility.

Mike: Yes. Yeah. That’s a good point. Like you just said, they don’t think of it like these are the cars I own, I have to move them. Let’s come and get them. Like you just said, it’s not half the house and then the other half. So it’s not really something people think of and we try to keep that in mind here. We know we ship automobiles, something that people don’t need to do often. So when we get a call in or request, we like to walk people through the process and ask the questions that may have not entered their mind and really help make the experience as polished and easy as possible.

Contact Preowned Auto Logistics for Car Shipping

John: All right. Well, that’s really great information, Mike. Thanks again for speaking with me today.

Mike: Yeah. Thanks, John.

John: And for more information, or to request a quote for your auto shipping needs, visit the website at or call 877-542-1955.