Moving across Canada: Should you sell or ship your car?

parked cars

Moving across Canada presents a unique set of challenges and considerations, especially when it comes to handling your personal vehicle. As some of the most trusted professional movers in Toronto, we will take a look at the critical factors influencing this significant decision, and help you understand whether you should sell or ship your car instead. From evaluating the costs and logistics of transportation to understanding the environmental impact of both options, we provide comprehensive insights to help you make an informed choice suited to your circumstances and needs as you get ready for your Canadian moving adventure.

What are the factors to consider before making a decision? 

There are several key factors to consider when deciding whether you’d be better off selling or shipping your car. The distance, associated costs and time needed to ship or sell it all play a key role, and understanding them in greater detail will help you make the best decision. 

a red car
Weigh all the factors carefully before choosing to sell or ship your car.

Distance of the move

A longer move can mean higher shipping costs. For short distances, shipping might be affordable. But, for cross-country moves, it can get expensive. Think about the journey’s length. If it’s far, selling might be better, as it can save money and hassle. If it’s close, shipping could be easier and cheaper. Remember, longer distances also add more wear to your car if you decide to drive.

Cost comparison

Comparing costs is important, as car shipping in Canada can vary in price. It depends on the distance and the shipping service. Selling and buying a new car also has costs. There’s the selling price of your old car and the cost of a new one. Don’t forget about taxes and fees for buying a new car, as it might be higher than shipping. Sometimes, selling is cheaper, especially if your car is older or not suited to your new location. But, if your car is new or special, shipping might save money in the long run.

Time and convenience

Shipping a car takes time, as it can take a few days to weeks. This depends on the distance and the company’s schedule. It’s not always fast, but it’s convenient because you won’t have to drive long hours. Selling your car is quicker, but finding a buyer takes time. And then you need to buy a new car, which can be time-consuming. Also, getting used to a new car takes time. Think about what fits your schedule. If you have time, shipping is easy. If you need something fast, selling might be better.

What are the pros and cons of selling your car?

When considering selling your car before a move, there are both advantages and disadvantages to weigh.


  • Reducing moving costs: Selling your car can cut down your moving expenses significantly. Transporting a vehicle across long distances can be costly. By selling, you avoid these costs.
  • Opportunity to upgrade: This is a chance to upgrade your vehicle. Market trends or personal preferences might lead you to a car that’s more suited to your new environment or lifestyle.
  • Adaptability to the new location: Different regions have different needs. For example, a smaller car might be better in a city, or an SUV might be more suitable for rural areas. Selling allows you to choose a car that’s more appropriate for where you’ll be living.


  • Loss of familiarity: Your current car is familiar. You know its quirks and maintenance history. A new car means starting from scratch, learning its features, and its maintenance needs.
  • Time spent in selling: Selling a car takes time. You’ll need to advertise it, meet potential buyers, and handle paperwork. This can be time-consuming, especially during a busy move.
  • Potential loss in value: There’s always a chance of not getting your car’s full worth. Depreciation, market conditions, and urgency to sell can result in a financial loss.

Your decision should be guided by your personal situation, financial factors, and relocation details.

Cars in a parking lot
Selling your car might be the easy choice, but it also comes with the burden of buying a new one later on, or saying goodbye to a car that has sentimental value.

What are the pros and cons of shipping your car?

Shipping your car when moving has its own set of pros and cons to consider.


  • Continuity of keeping the same vehicle: Shipping your car means keeping the vehicle you’re accustomed to. You’re familiar with its handling, maintenance, and quirks. This continuity can be reassuring, especially amidst the changes of moving.
  • Avoiding the hassle of car shopping: By shipping your car with long distance movers in Toronto, you bypass the time-consuming process of buying a new one. There’s no need to spend hours researching, visiting dealerships, or negotiating prices.
  • Sentimental value: For many, a car is more than just a vehicle. It might hold sentimental value, representing memories and experiences. Shipping allows you to retain this piece of your history.


  • Higher upfront costs: Shipping a car can be expensive, particularly over long distances. These costs can be significantly higher than driving the car yourself or selling and buying a new one.
  • Risk of damage during transport: There’s always a risk of damage when transporting a vehicle. Even with the best companies, accidents can happen, which could lead to additional costs and inconvenience.
  • Longer logistics planning: Shipping a car requires planning. You need to arrange pickup, delivery, and possibly storage. This process can be lengthy and requires coordination with your overall moving timeline.

As we can see, shipping your car keeps it with you and avoids car shopping hassles, but it incurs higher costs, transport risks, and demands more planning.

a man in a cat thanking weather to sell or ship your car
Shipping your car has its upsides, but it also comes with certain risks or higher fees.

What are the key environmental considerations to be aware of?

Shipping your current car, especially over long distances with the help of interprovincial movers, leads to significant carbon emissions due to the transportation process. However, this needs to be weighed against the environmental impact of manufacturing a new car. Producing a new vehicle consumes a lot of resources and energy, and it also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, while shipping might seem less eco-friendly initially, it could be more sustainable than the manufacturing impact of a new car. This decision hinges on balancing immediate emissions against the long-term environmental cost of producing new vehicles.

Carefully examine your situation before deciding to sell or ship your car

When facing the decision to sell or ship your car for a move across Canada, it’s crucial to carefully weigh every option. Taking the time to thoroughly analyze all aspects ensures you make a well-informed choice that best suits your needs. It’s important to explore various scenarios, from the practicality of having a car at your destination to the financial implications of each option. This thoughtful approach allows you to consider the pros and cons in detail, leading to a decision that is not only practical but also aligns with your future plans and lifestyle in your new location.