sell your car before you move

Should You Sell Your Car Before You Move?

When planning a move, many questions come up: everything from truck size to moving helpers to your own car transportation issues. If you’ve been wrangling with the idea of selling your car before you move, this article is for you.

Consider the following before making your decision


  • Will you need a vehicle in your new city? Map your transportation needs. It could be feasible and more sustainable to opt for public transportation (if it’s readily available in your city), a car sharing service like U-Haul Car Share or even walking or riding a bike.
  • Is parking readily available at your new home? If you plan on moving into apartment-style living, confirm the parking options and any associated costs in advance. Then decide if the parking costs are reasonable and within your budget.
  • How are you going to transport your car to your destination? You have a few options here: They include driving, towing or shipping your vehicle.

Then, dig into the details

  • How far is your move? Driving or towing your car cross-country versus cross town will influence your decision, because the mileage to your final destination will impact your travel costs. Shipping costs also increase with mileage traveled.
  • How old is your car? The age and mileage of your vehicle may be an indicator of safety when opting to drive it to a new city. If it’s an older model with high mileage, towing, shipping or selling may be a more viable option.
  • Do you need your car right away? Shipping your car cross-country will take some time, so unless you ship it in advance, there is a good chance your car will not be there when you arrive.
  • Do you really need a car at your destination? Consider the convenience of having your car at your destination versus any other means of transportation.

Weigh the pros and cons of selling

  • Can you get a good rate for the sale of your car? Determine the return rate on selling your car based on year, make, model and mileage and evaluate that along with the cost of moving with your car.
  • How are you going to sell your car? Determine the best method in selling your car and decide if you will need to advertise it. Will you post it online, newspaper, or in a public forum to sell?
  • Will you save money? From your car sale to the money not spent on gas or towing costs, consider whether selling your car would leave more money in your pockets.
  • Do you have the time? When selling your car before your move, consider the invested time of finding the right way to advertise the sale and the right buyer. If your move is on short notice or rushed, confirm if you have the time needed to go through this process.

If you’ve decided against selling…

  • Can you car take the miles? Know that, based on the distance you’ll be traveling, you’ll add miles to your car (which could influence how you plan to transport it).
  • Do you have room? If you do drive your car, consider the room you will have for friends or family members who will need to go the destination with you.
  • What other options do you have? If you don’t care to drive your car cross-country, you can tow your car behind your rental truck or behind another car with a car trailer. A tow dolly is a low-cost option for individuals with front-wheel drive, while an auto transport option is an affordable choice for long-distance moves. Either option is useful to prevent extra miles, or wear and tear, to your car.

Have you recently moved? Did you opt to sell your car before your move? Share your experience or any tips with us in the comments section below.

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