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The True Costs of DIY Auto Transport

Subscribe April 09, 2015
Auto Transport | Car shipping process

That is, Drive-It-Yourself (DIY) vehicle shipping

We rather like auto transport. After all, it’s what we do for a living. We can understand how you might want to do it yourself, too.

The siren call of the open road. The romance of the great American road trip. Adventure movies from John Candy and Chevy Chase, to name a few. Wide open spaces that you just don’t get on your daily city-suburb commute.

If you need to transfer a vehicle from point A to point B, these idyllic notions might conspire to make the DIY option seem like a fantastic idea. And, maybe it is for you. To help you decide, take a look at what to expect from the DIY route.

Actual costs associated with driving it yourself

  1. Related to the vehicle
    It’s true – gas prices have been going down across the country due to a boom in domestic oil production. While that makes driving more affordable than it has been in years, don’t neglect that mileage allowances, say for tax purposes, take into account both the cost of fuel as well as wear and tear on the vehicle. Cross country trips depreciate the value of your vehicle and necessitate more frequent maintenance and parts replacement.

  2. Related to you
    By this we mean all the comforts and biological requirements of a long drive. From food to sleep and everything in between. If you have a special needs diet, indoor allergies, or chronic back and neck pain, you may not find it feasible or advisable to venture forth on such an impossible mission – hotel beds and truck stop diners being what they are.

Perhaps you’re the hale and hearty type and think that sleeping in the driver’s seat, parked at the “last rest stop for 50 miles” sounds like a good time.

Or maybe you’re thinking about hiring the neighbor boy who is home for winter break. He could use the cash and his parents vouch that he’s a good kid. Besides, he’s young and has never even heard of sciatica or lumbago. Lucky kid.

Maybe you enjoy diner food and can couch surf from here to your vehicle’s destination. Keep reading to be sure that DIY is a good idea for your situation.

Potential costs that might result from DIY vehicle shipping

  1. In terms of your money
    As you know, things happen on the road. Unexpected, unforeseeable movements of other drivers, weather and surface conditions, catastrophic malfunctions of other vehicles. Certainly, it can happen to any of us, but professional drivers are trained specifically for these contingencies. Their long training and career experience spans tens of thousands of miles. What might be dangerous circumstances to commuters or casual city drivers may not be when faced by pros.

    Nonetheless, in the unlikely event of unavoidable damages caused in transit, when you partner with a professional auto transport provider, you should be covered by their insurance. For instance, DAS provides up to $50,000 worth of physical damage coverage which serves as your primary insurance throughout the shipment. What’s more, DAS staffs a licensed, full-time vehicle protection team to handle any claims that may arise. Meaning that you also don’t have to worry about the next item in this list. That is, you won’t be wasting your time dealing with the insurance company.

  2. In terms of your time
    Even better, when you book your vehicle shipment with a provider you can trust, you won’t lose time arranging the logistics for DIY, like figuring out where to stay and what route to take, and checking your route for construction and tolls.

    Plus, you won’t lose productivity. That is, there’s no opportunity cost to your work or your business. When you hire pros to do what they do, you can keep on doing what you do.

    Just tell us when to pick it up and where to take it. We’ll do the rest.

    (Full disclosure: You will have to prep the vehicle and be on hand to sign the bill of lading at pick-up and drop-off. But, for each of these tasks, you may assign a representative, just let us know who.)

Which way should you go?

Now that you have reviewed the true costs, and potential time sinks, of doing it yourself versus hiring a professional, what have you decided is appropriate for your scenario?

If it’s “Bon Voyage” and road therapy for you, we wish you happy trails.

If you’d rather let trained professionals do the heavy lifting and long hours behind the wheel, you can get started by filling out the instant quote request form on this page.


No issues to report, service was dependable and reliable. Our car was available before the scheduled date! Very much appreciated!
T. Rosenthal


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