• Car Transport by Train vs. Truck Haulers: A Comparison Guide

    Shipping a car across the country by car transport train is a great way to move a vehicle when you have a long distance to cover. Depending on the car transport distance, there are a few options available for shipping. You can pay someone to drive it, or ship it by truck. Trucks have been the most common way to transport cars for years. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Here is a quick overview of the pros and cons of both methods. In the end, it will come down to price, and your personal preferences when deciding how to ship your car.

    Trains – Using a train to ship your car is one of the most economical ways to move a car long distances. Trains normally offer lower car transport rates then trucks, especially over long distances. It offers a number of advantages but there are a few drawbacks as well.


    • Protection – Having a car driven or shipping it by truck exposes it to the elements. Many train carriers are covered and keep the weather away from your car. This protects your paint job from dirt and dust. This could be a big help if your car ends up in a hailstorm.
    • Wear and Tear – It goes without saying that shipping your car, be it by rail or truck, will save wear and tear compared to hiring someone to drive it across the country. Saving thousands of miles off the odometer can help conserve the value of your vehicle.
    • The Green Way – Shipping a car by train is the greener way to ship. Trains are more energy efficient then trucks and emit less carbon dioxide. Over the long haul, shipping cargo by train can help reduce the effects of global warming.
    • Cost Efficient – Trains can move a tremendous amount of cargo in a single load which makes them incredibly cost efficient. This often means cost savings to you when choosing shipping by train over truck shipping. This can be especially true if you are shipping a number of cars. 
    • Delivery – Cars will normally have to be delivered and picked up from the train freight depot. This can be a bit of an inconvenience. Door-to-Door service is available from some shippers, but is not the industry standard.
    • Possible Damage – If your vehicle is not in a covered container, there is the chance of damage from flying debris. If possible always use a covered container when shipping by train.
    Trucks – Shipping cars by truck transport has been the standard for a long time. Here are a couple of advantages to shipping by truck.
    • Convenience – Most truck transport companies pick your vehicle up at your home and deliver it to your door on the other end. This can be a real time saver and convenience when in the middle of moving.
    • Help with Paperwork – If your are shipping a car overseas, or having one picked up that you shipped from overseas, truck transport companies can often provide expert help with the paperwork involved.
    • Damage – Vehicles on trucks are exposed to the elements as well as the possibility of the truck getting into an accident. Debris, rain, and hail can cause damage to the vehicle.
    • Cost – Shipping a vehicle by truck is never cheap. It tends to cost more then rail shipping and is obviously much more expensive then driving the car yourself, or paying someone else to drive it.
    Shipping a car across the country is usually an expensive proposition, but knowing what your options are and the pros and cons of each, should help make your decision a little easier.