How to Ship Your Vehicle When Relocating

Moving your family will take a great deal of coordination. If you’re moving a long distance and plan to drive your family, the vehicle that you transport people in will need a thorough going over to make sure you don’t face problems on the road.

Vehicles that are too small or specialized to safely transport people or belongings should probably be shipped professionally.

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Keep Children Comfortable

Do your best to keep small children as comfortable as possible. If your little ones are used to a higher vantage point from an SUV, don’t switch the seats over to a sedan. The better gas mileage will not be worth it if your little ones are miserable.

Of course, you will want to move small children in the most temperate vehicle. If your move will happen in winter, consider adding a remote start so you can warm up the car before the smallest children are loaded up.

Take frequent breaks and try to remove layers so nobody gets overheated and cranky. If you’re moving in high summer or into a warmer climate, get your AC checked out to avoid any risk of overheating or vehicle breakdown.

Pay attention to screens; you may have a much happier family if everyone has a viewing tool of their own. Older children can be put in charge of cables and chargers.

If your vehicle doesn’t include multiple plug-ins, consider investing in small portable batteries that your children can use to keep their devices working well.

Ship Your “Fun” Vehicles

Every vehicle that you move with has to serve a purpose. Your small sportscar and your motorcycles will probably need to be managed by car shipping companies for the easiest transport.

Do be aware that the vehicle you choose to transport will need to be free of drips and leaks. If you haven’t had it serviced recently, drive it until it is warm and park it over a piece of clean cardboard.

If your vehicle is leaking, you will need to get these problems fixed before you ship it.

You will also need to load your vehicle to be shipped with only a quarter of a tank of gas. If you’re shipping your vehicle with a service, check to find out what items you can pack in the trunk.

For example, you may be able to pack a single suitcase to use when your vehicle is delivered after shipment. Avoid putting too much weight in a vehicle you plan to ship.

The schedules for shipping your vehicle may be rather rigid. If your moving plans are also pretty full, it may make more sense to get these vehicles picked up by a courier for transport to the loading spot.

Use All the Drivers You Have

Young drivers can be a very effective tool on a long-distance move that includes several cars. If your young driver is fairly accustomed to one vehicle, make sure they get to drive that one. Even if it is too small to haul much, you can use this vehicle for

  • smaller electronics
  • clothing
  • suitcases

Do take care to review the map of your move with your young driver. For example, if you’re going to be going through mountainous terrain, make sure that they are comfortable with down-shifting to successfully manage grades.

Take them out on the longest hills you have locally and work with them on letting the engine slow the car, rather than riding the brakes.

Unfortunately, your young driver may not be inclined to listen to you as a driving instructor. In that case, have them take the car to be serviced and explain the specific needs you’re facing to your mechanic.

If you’re going to be doing some mountain driving, make sure your young driver tells the mechanic that you’ll be doing a lot of climbing steep grades and managing long downhill runs.

The ability to fully manage a vehicle under a heavier load without overheating the engine or the brakes is a skill that every driver should know.

Consider Renting a Trailer or Toy Hauler

If you have a large enough vehicle to tow a toy hauler, it is possible to take your own motorcycles, small vehicles, and even ATVs in a rented trailer.

It is critical that you get either some training or some practice in hauling a trailer. Learn to back the trailer with confidence.

Spend some time learning to manage the hitching up and the uncoupling to reduce the risk of loss or injury.

For those who are considering renting a larger vehicle and towing a smaller family car, spend some time learning about the restrictions that you may be facing. Not every car can be towed flat.

Some need to have the front wheels lifted onto a car carrier to safely relocate the car.

One of the biggest challenges for those who haul a car is the inability to back up the tow vehicle with the car attached.

A car can be badly damaged if you back up without unhooking. Worse, you can get the towed vehicle into some worrying spots by pulling into a lot that doesn’t allow space to pull through.

Moving can leave you with a lot on your mind. Unless you are completely confident that you can safely tow a car to your new destination, shipping it may be simpler and less costly over time.

Finally, you may want to consider hiring a driver to drive an extra family car across long distances. While hiring the right driver may take time, you can turn a 3rd family car into a useful transport tool by hiring a driver to manage a van or larger SUV.

Every move creates special problems and needs careful study before you get on the road. If you have an older car that runs well but has leaks that aren’t worth fixing, it’s probably not going to ship well.

Hiring a driver may be a better option. Do carefully consider the cargo space available before you choose to take an older car with you on a long move.

Julie Higgins
Julie is a Staff Writer at She has been working in publishing houses before joining the editorial team at momooze. Julie's love and passion are topics around beauty, lifestyle, hair and nails.