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Moving Cross-Country? Ways to Bring Your Vehicle Along

Moving out of state is a huge undertaking. There's so much to coordinate and remember. A cross-country move is even more of a feat, especially if you've got kids, pets and lots of belongings to keep track of. How to transport your car may be the last thing on your mind.

Luckily, there are several ways to get your vehicle from point A to point B. Which one you choose depends on your budget, your time frame and your patience for long road trips.

Family putting moving boxes into the truck of their car.

Ship it with a vehicle transporter.

There are many vehicle-transport companies that can get your vehicle to your new home quickly and safely. You can also consider letting your moving company handle this part for you. Most national full-service companies are happy to include your vehicles in the quote for a full-house move.

Once you have chosen a company, make sure to consider your preference for an open or enclosed carrier. With an open carrier, your car won't be covered from the elements and will be loaded onto a trailer with several other vehicles. This is the option most full-service moving companies will arrange. An enclosed carrier from a vehicle-transport company is a good option for people who want more protection for their vehicle, especially for a luxury or classic car. However, enclosed carriers are more expensive and can sometimes be more difficult to schedule since there are fewer enclosed shipping transporters readily available.

Shipping your vehicle ensures you're not adding miles to the odometer, and it can take the stress of a cross-country drive off your shoulders. However, this can often be the most expensive option. The cost of using a vehicle transport service depends on the time of year, the distance you're moving, and the size and weight of your car.

Tow it behind your moving truck.

If your move is mostly a DIY job, hitching your car to your moving truck can be a cost-effective option. In addition to avoiding racking up more miles on your vehicle, another benefit is that you can pack things in the car, such as items you need quick access to en route to your new home. Just make sure your vehicle — whether empty or packed with items — doesn't exceed the transport trailer's maximum-load towing capacity before renting the tow device.

Hire a professional driver service.

There are several benefits to hiring a professional driver service. Not only does it typically get your car to your new home faster than a transport service, but you can load up the car with belongings. This is also a popular option for pet owners should you and your family fly to your destination instead of driving.

Drive the car yourself.

There are many reasons to hop behind the wheel and drive to your new home yourself. This option allows you to travel on your own schedule and is a great excuse to see a new state or part of the country. If you're moving with another adult, one of you can drive the moving truck, while the other drives the vehicle, either loaded with belongings, kids or pets. Depending on how far you're traveling, it can also be a very cost-effective option. Just be sure to factor in the additional costs of gas, food and potentially lodging.

Whether you're hiring a service or driving yourself, be sure to contact your insurance agent before the big move. They can ensure your policies are up-to-date, talk to you about roadside assistance and help make sure important belongings are covered.

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