Did you know that the average American moves house about 11 times per year? We are a mobile culture, never content to stay in one place.
And that’s not a bad thing, as there are plenty of places around the country (and world) worth experiencing. The only problem is the moving process.
It’s very stressful, time-consuming, and expensive. Moving across town, or across the state isn’t too difficult. But moving across the country is another story.
Do you sell your stuff or bring it with you? And what about your car? Wondering when to sell a car vs move with it? It’s an important question to answer.
Keep reading below to see if you should sell a car or move with it to your new home state.
How Far Are You Moving?
Wondering if you should move with your car or sell your car? It largely depends on how far away you are going. If you’re only going one state over, moving a car is easy enough to do.
Trying to sell your car during this time might just add an extra layer of stress. Just bring it with you and deal with selling your car once you get settled in.
Moving across the country? If you’re going 2,000 miles or further, then it might make sense to sell your current vehicle, hop on a plane, and buy a new car once you’re at your new house.
Having to drive your car all the way, there is a huge process that takes a lot of time and a fair amount of money. Plus, it puts a lot of wear-and-tear on your vehicle, lowering its value and longevity.
If you want to keep your car and use it in your new home, then consider shipping your car to your destination. You won’t have to put any miles on it and you don’t have to spend a week driving it.
Click here to learn about car shipping.
How Many Cars Do You Need?
Thanks to the pandemic, one of the biggest moving trends in the US is the exodus of large cities. Many companies have gone fully remote, no longer requiring employees to sit in an office building.
As a result, they don’t have to live in San Francisco, New York, or Seattle anymore. So they are moving to more affordable areas that offer an easier pace of living and higher quality of life.
And with families working remotely, the need for multiple vehicles is often unnecessary. Will you actually need two cars at your new home? Will both adults be driving somewhere different on a daily basis? Or will one or both cars sit in the driveway most of the week?
If you don’t anticipate the need for two cars at your new home, then selling one and bringing the other in is a good idea.
What Type of Car Do You Need?
Another question to ask is what type of car you will need in your new area. If you currently live in a big city, where you have to drive a lot, you likely have a smaller, fuel-efficient vehicle for commuting and running errands.
And while these work well in urban areas, they aren’t ideal for life in the country or the mountains. If you’re leaving behind the concrete jungle for a rural area, mountainous area, or snowy area, consider upgrading to a larger vehicle.
That’s especially true if you’re going to be doing a lot of outdoor activities like biking, fishing, hunting, kayaking, and so forth. Having a larger vehicle will allow you to carry more gear. Plus, you can easily tackle dirt roads and access spots off the beaten path.
Think about where you are moving, what type of terrain and weather conditions you’ll be dealing with, and that can help you decide if your current car can handle it, or if it’s time to upgrade.
Are You Planning to Upgrade?
Wondering if you should sell a car before your big move? If you are planning to buy a car in the next year or two anyway, then now makes sense.
There’s no reason to bring your car all the way across the country just to sell it a few months later. Sell the car now and save money by not having to drive it out there.
A new house and a new car are great ways to start life in a new area.
Costs of Bringing a New Car
When you bring a car to a new state, there are likely some fees required for doing so. You’ll need to register the vehicle in your new state once you arrive. This can cost a little bit of money.
If you just paid for registration in your previous state, then bringing your car means having to pay twice in one year.
Also, consider emissions testing. Certain states, like California, require cars to pass an emissions test before they can operate on public roads. You may need to pay for this test out of pocket.
And if your car is older, there’s a chance it might not pass the test. It would require costly upgrades to make the car road legal. If you suspect a car won’t pass the emissions test, you might want to sell your car rather than spend money transporting it.
Compare Trade-In Costs Versus Shipping Costs
Lastly, compare costs to see which option makes the most sense. Look at the current trade-in value of your car. Then look at transportation options.
If moving across the country, it can cost around $1,200 to ship your vehicle.
If you sold your car now, you can essentially add $1,200 to your new car buying budget to see what you can afford.
When to Sell a Car and Move On
Now that you know when to sell a car vs when to move with your car, you can start planning your big move. It’s an exciting time, but it can also be very stressful. There’s a lot to do.
Make it easier on yourself by either selling your car or shipping it rather than trying to drive it across the country.
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