Cars being hauled under blue sky


You’ve got a long trip ahead and a car that may or may not be going with you. Learn how to assess the situation and make the best decision.

Car shipping is an expensive proposition, but so is acquiring a new vehicle. Car owners stuck at the crossroads on this choice must carefully weigh a number of common factors, like time, money, and stress, alongside unique variables like their vehicle’s model and the journey ahead.

This isn’t a decision to be made in a hurry. Take some time to put each side of the argument into perspective before it becomes a pressing issue, and it will pay off for you in the long run.

In this blog, we’ll cover these key questions and considerations:

  • When does it make sense to just leave your old car behind and buy a new one?
  • Would it be better to ship my car or drive it myself?
  • Saving money vs inviting driver error
  • How to optimize time when researching shippers


When does it make sense to just leave your old car behind and buy a new one?

Answering this question requires looking at the pros and cons of each option. The easiest decision is when the vehicle is at the end of its lifespan. Covering the cost of transporting a car that’s already draining you with repair and maintenance fees can sometimes be the wrong financial decision.

It may be best to part ways and invest the money you make from selling the old model into a new one when you’ve made the move. On the downside, there are always new costs, even with a used car, such as registration and insurance. Be sure to factor these in before you sell.

But what if there’s still plenty of life left in your current model? Perhaps it qualifies as a classic or as an exotic vehicle, and parting with it is out of the question. This is when taking your car to your next destination makes sense and finding a shipper (or becoming your own long-distance driver) becomes a viable option.

Precisely how viable each one is from a financial and personal standpoint only becomes clear with deeper consideration. 

Would it be better to ship it or drive it yourself?

Car owners essentially have two key shipping concerns: saving money and preserving the safety of their vehicle. The natural answer to both would seem to be cutting out the shipper (thus saving money) and handling transportation alone because you feel that nobody can care for your car better than you.

It’s hard to argue against that as a decent solution for relatively short journeys. However, the fact that you’re considering a shipper in the first place probably means the transport distance is significant. Think of the distance ahead. Now, think of all those extra miles and the wear and tear they’ll add to your vehicle.

These are factors that disappear when you hire a shipper — think of it as keeping your car a little younger. A more important factor has to be considered that goes beyond the odometer and demands on your suspension. We’re talking about how extended journeys directly impact human performance and the safety of both driver and vehicle.

Saving money vs. inviting driver error

Driving to your ultimate destination is no picnic! Long stretches on the road increase the chances of an accident by causing fatigue. Being worn down mentally and physically means lower reaction times and decreased awareness, which triple the chances of a crash.

Accidents mean repair costs, which equals lost money. Not to mention that extended journeys mean frequently filling the gas tank along the way, which adds up. Long drives can also be boring and have you reaching for the radio, snacks, cell phone, or another mobile device when you should be watching the road. These all constitute distracted driving, which is now one of the biggest causes of road accidents in America.

Distracted driving can mean a fine in the hundreds of dollars. Now you’re definitely not saving money! This can be upgraded to jail time. At worst, distracted driving greatly increases the likelihood of injury to yourself or others, which could cause a big jump in your insurance premiums and leave you to pay medical expenses for multiple people.

A shipper drives the long haul for a living and knows all the right ways to stay safe on the road. Leveraging their experience is ultimately the safer – and very likely least costly – way to transport your vehicle.

How to optimize time when researching shippers

Let’s say you’ve made the decision to have the car shipped. Researching the service history, safety record, and insurance coverage of potential shippers can be an off-putting time sink, and one of the main reasons why drivers are tempted to go it alone. It takes a lot of work to narrow the candidate field and decide which, if any, you can trust.

Hiring an auto shipping broker to transport your car removes all that research pressure and time commitment. The broker will already have a network of trusted shippers reviewed and ready for your consideration, sorted by all the important factors. All that’s left for the customer to do is pick the one who satisfies their needs.

The Mercury Auto Transport blog archives provide more information on how the auto transport process works, when brokers and carriers come into play, and many more auto-transport topics. Our ongoing insight will give you the tools to better appreciate your unique situation and ship your car with confidence.

Our team is here to answer any and all questions you may have about the auto transport process, from selecting a shipper to prepping your vehicle for the trip. Connect with us at the links below and let’s make your next move a success!

Mercury Auto Transport finds quotes in minutes for open, enclosed, and flatbed auto transportation. We’ve arranged safe delivery for over 186,000 vehicles by road, rail, and air while working with the most trusted shipping partners in our industry. Email or call us free at (800) 553-1828 or for a quote.


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What Our Customrs Are Saying


We feel it’s important for you to know how we determined your quote. Quotes are based on what the market demands for cars to be moved at a given time. Each quote is compared with the current rates on the National Load Board before being sent to our customers and will be reviewed periodically through the process.

Other companies might offer you a lower price to obtain your business. This method is ineffective because if the car does not pay the correct amount of money, it will run the probability of not getting loaded or transported on time. You will not get this information from our competitors. Truck drivers always take the loads that pay the most first, leaving the loads that are mispriced to be moved last or not at all. We try very hard to avoid this with our customers by quoting a fair but realistic quote up front. Visit our How we determine your quote page for more information.

Understanding auto transport insurance is important and we think it’s valuable to explain how it works. As part of providing a great car transport service, it is our job to guarantee that the carrier we assign to pickup your vehicle is licensed and insured. Click here to check out our license.

When you go with Mercury to ship your vehicle, you can rest assured that the carrier assigned to move your car is fully insured and licensed with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier and Saftey Administration).

Your vehicle is covered by the carrier’s insurance policy that is doing the shipping. Depending on the type and size of the truck/trailer that is shipping your car, the insurance policy can cover from $100,000 to $1,000,000 of damage.

We have also provided a checklist to explain what you need to do at both pickup and delivery in case there are any issues so, you can file a claim and know that everything will be taken care of.

It is rare but, time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit and it is good to know that your carrier’s insurance will protect your auto shipment in that event.

To view a sample BOL (Bill of Lading) and learn what to do in case of accidental damage, please check out our Condition Report and Procedure checklist.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible.  

We feel it’s important for you to know how we determine your quote.

When you’re looking for a car shipping rate, you want to understand how auto transport works. Prices are based on seasonal market demands for cars to be moved at any given time. Each quote is prepared based on the season and the current national rates.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible. Not all brokers are created equal in this talent.

Mercury does a thorough background check with each carrier for every shipment. We verify their ratings, references, and in addition, we obtain a certified copy of their insurance certificate, directly from the government agency that it is on file with.

You can have peace of mind knowing that the carrier shipping your vehicle is the very best and that there are no surprises guaranteed.

Mercury Auto Transport is licensed, Bonded and Insured. Our FMSCA Motor Carrier Number is MC647319.

While we do our best match your auto shipping needs with the most responsible carriers with the best track records, from time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit, it is good to know that the insurance of the carrier we locate for you will protect your auto shipment in that event.

Shipping a vehicle can be stressful if you don’t know what to do.  This is why we believe it is paramount to have our highly trained agents be your main point of contact from start to finish.

They will go over everything you need to know so you can relax.  In the meanwhile, we prepared this checklist.  This includes everything from pickup to delivery and how to make sure your car is ready for pickup.

When it comes to car moving, we want you to be ahead of the game!  For any questions and further assistance our agents are standing by, (800) 553-1828.  Please read our checklist to prepare your vehicle to learn more.

There are several ways you can ship a car.  The options include enclosed trailer, open carrier transport, flatbed truck, door-to-door shipping services, and to or from a terminal as well.  The most popular of the options is a 7 to 10 car open carrier.  These large trucks can accommodate almost any size vehicle including carsSUVstrucksjeeps, and vans.

Open car transport, door to door is also the best way to get the cheapest auto transport rate possible.  To learn more and see what transport method is best for you, please fill out our free quote form and one of our representatives will respond to you within minutes.  You can also call us at (800) 553-1828.

We present offers from FMCSA Licensed and Insured Carriers. When you accept an offer, we send your service agreement that guarantees the price, door-to-door service, and 100% bumper-to-bumper insurance. There are never any hidden fees or charges, guaranteed.