Driving vs. Transporting your Vehicle

The first thing to consider when wondering whether to drive or ship car across country is the actual driving distance to your destination – not the straight line distance, but the exact road distance between your current home and your new one.

Take a detailed map of the area you’ll be traveling and examine the topography of the region, road infrastructure, typical traffic patterns, available roadside amenities, and other relevant features. Decide on the route you’re going to take (it may not be the shortest one possible, but the safest, easiest, or most convenient way to get to your new home) and calculate the exact mileage you’ll be driving.

Once you know the driving distance and the exact route to your new home, you’ll be able to estimate:

how much fuel you’re going to need (considering the miles per gallon that your car gets);

how much you’ll have to pay for gas (keep in mind that in some areas diesel fuel is more expensive than the national average) and road tolls (depending on the specific route you’re taking);

how long it will take you to get to your new city (at an average speed of 60-70 miles per hour).

The numbers you get will help you make an informed decision about how to transport your car across the country.

Safety

There is no doubt that yours and your family members’ personal safety and the safety of your vehicle will be your primary concern when planning a cross-country move.

When driving across country, you risk a lot – your car may break down in the middle of nowhere, you may fall asleep at the wheel, there may be an accident, COVID-19, etc. The extra mileage will put a lot of wear and tear on your vehicle and the effects of the weather may be really harsh. Besides, your car will be susceptible to a number of threats and security issues – from road accidents to auto thefts.

Shipping is a much safer way to transport a car across country – using trustworthy auto transportation services will limit the wear and tear on your vehicle, minimize the risk of accidents, and protect your vehicle from unfavorable weather conditions, lowers the risk of interacting with multiple people whilst traveling across state lines. For maximum safety, consider having your car shipped in an enclosed truck – cars on open-air trailers are exposed to the elements and vulnerable to damage and break-ins, so the extra cost will be worth it if you’re moving in the winter or transporting a high-end vehicle.

Shipping your car will reduce not only the risk of damage to your vehicle, but the potential safety hazards to you and your family as well. When you ship your car across country, you’ll need to fly or take a train to your new city. Both air travel and train travel are considered much safer than road travel – the likelihood of a plane crash or train accident is considerably smaller than the possibility of a traffic accident, so you’ll be safer on your trip to your new home.

COVD-19 & Gas Pumps:

How could the virus end up on a gas pump handle or buttons? There are two main ways this could happen. 1. The virus can be transmitted through contact. If an infected person who is still capable of transmitting the virus touches the pump, they can leave it behind. 2. The virus can be transmitted if an infected person sneezes or coughs and droplets land on the pump, there is a possibility that the virus could be left behind. Research shows that the virus can survive on plastic for 72 hours and stainless steel for 48 hours. 1 2 

How could COVID-19 spread from a handle or button to a person? While it has been reported that the virus can survive for up to three days on some surfaces, several events would need to occur for it to pass from the pump to a person. 1. First, someone who has COVID-19, with or without symptoms, would have to transmit the virus by coughing, talking, laughing or sneezing within 6-feet of a pump or by touching it with contaminated hands. 2. Next, the virus would have to survive on the pump handle or button. 3. Then a healthy non-COVID-19 individual would have to touch the contaminated surface in such a way that the virus is transferred to their hands. 4. Finally, the healthy individual would then have to touch their eyes, nose or mouth. Another proposed method would be through secondary aerosolization.3 Whereby the virus becomes airborne again and can be inhaled. 

Should consumers avoid getting gas during the pandemic? The risk of contracting COVID-19 from a gas pump is low, especially if Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended practices are followed. 1. Use disinfecting wipes on handles and buttons before you touch them (if available). 2. After fueling, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when you get home or somewhere with soap and water. 4 In the absence of disinfecting wipes, be creative. Some suggestions include using gloves, paper towels available at the gas pump, a plastic shopping bag or a dog waste bag as a barrier between your hand and the gas pump handle. Properly dispose of the paper towel or bag afterwards and make sure to wash your hands per CDC recommendations. Consider other touchpoints at a gas station. Be mindful of transferring the virus to your automobile’s gas cap or “pop-open” fuel door. Also, as when you’ve entered other public spaces, wipe and regularly disinfect other interior contact surfaces, such as the door handle, steering wheel, seat belt, gear shift, purse, wallet, and console features. 

COVID-19 Recommendations:

Delay travel until you are fully vaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s recommendations for people who are not fully vaccinated.

Research suggests that COVID-19 doesn’t survive for long on clothing, compared to hard surfaces, and exposing the virus to heat may shorten its life. A study published in found that at room temperature, COVID-19 was detectable on fabric for up to two days, compared to seven days for plastic and metal

The more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

CDC recommends that travelers who are not fully vaccinated continue to wear a mask and maintain physical distance when traveling. Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who is not traveling with you. Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).

Check Travel Restrictions

State, local, and territorial governments may have travel restrictions in place, including testing requirements, stay-at-home orders, and quarantine requirements upon arrival. For up-to-date information and travel guidance, check the state or territorial and local health department where you are, along your route, and where you are going. Prepare to be flexible during your trip as restrictions and policies may change during your travel. Follow all state, local, and territorial travel restrictions.

If traveling by air, check if your airline requires any health information, testing, or other documents.

What are the steps you should take after traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.

– Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.

– If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.

  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.