Do you know how much it will cost to drive your car vs. ship it from the U.S to Canada? Learn how this is calculated and other benefits of driving vs. shipping a car from the U.S. to Canada.

If you’re looking to move a car from the United States to Canada, keep a few things in mind. For one, shipping will likely take longer than driving the car. Additionally, you’ll need to factor in the cost of driving vs. shipping and any transportation-related delays.

In short, driving is definitely a good option – but it’s worth considering all of the potential pitfalls first! That said, let’s see the side-by-side comparison of driving vs. shipping a car from the USA to Canada.

Driving a Car From U.S to Canada – What Does it Mean?

It’s no secret that the U.S and Canada are incredibly close neighbors. They share a border of over 1400 miles, so the two countries have a lot in common. The culture and geography are quite similar, and it’s easy to understand why people often move to Canada from the United States. So, what does driving a vehicle from the U.S to Canada mean? Well, there are a few things you should know about this process.

The average distance between Canada and the United States is about 1400 miles. Therefore, it will take about 4-6 days to drive a car from the U.S to Canada. This includes the time it takes to cross the border and make the actual trip.

However, you can also factor in the time it takes to drive through Canada’s many provinces and territories. Some of these provinces and territories are located very far away from the border, so the drive will likely take longer. In fact, some provinces can take as long as ten days to reach. So, if you’re driving from the United States to Canada, keep this in mind.

Shipping a Car From U.S to Canada – What Does it Mean?

If you’re looking to move a vehicle from the U.S to Canada, you might be wondering what this process entails. Well, there are some things to know about shipping a car from the U.S to Canada. First of all, you’ll need to factor in the cost of shipping.

In most cases, the price of shipping will be much higher than the cost of driving the car. This is because there are more moving pieces involved, and the carrier needs to take profit for the service when shipping a car from the U.S to Canada than when driving it yourself.

Additionally, it’s also important to know that shipping a car from the U.S to Canada can take as long as 1-2 weeks or more, depending on the destination province. However, the best part of shipping a vehicle from the U.S to Canada is they help you with customs clearance and documentation which can be a pain if you’re doing it alone.

Shipping vs. Driving a Car to Canada – Cost Estimation

There’s not a huge difference between the costs of shipping a car vs. driving it. Nevertheless, to help you get an idea of the costs and what cost factors are involved, we’ve prepared this table for you. Let’s take 1400 miles distance as an example which would require you to drive for 4-5 days at the very least.

ExpensesCar ShippingCar Driving
Accommodation$360 (for 4 days)
Food$184 (For 4 days)

Note: For fuel, we’ve used 25 miles per gallon for a sedan, which is the typical average on highways. So for 1400 miles, we’ll need 56 gallons, which means $4.533 x 56 = $253.


Driving vs. Shipping a Car From U.S to Canada – Side-by-Side Comparison


Driving a car from the U.S to Canada is not convenient at all. You will have to be behind the wheel for days. You will have to sleep in motels, eat out and take long breaks after several hours of driving because of back or neck aches. None of this is convenient.

But if you ship a car using auto transport companies, then you can just sit back and relax while a professional trucker will move your vehicle thousands of miles.

Time Savings:

Driving by yourself may save you a few days because a trailer loaded with tons of weight will drive slower.

If you drive the car to 1400 miles, you may get there in 4-5 days, while a transport truck may take 6-8 days for the same.


Risk increases with driving by yourself because you are not trained to drive thousands of miles continuously. You will come across highways and motorways with traffic and heavy vehicles. Plus, if you don’t take sleep breaks, you will be heavily sleep-deprived. All of these things increase the risk of an accident.

Furthermore, if the car breaks down on the side of the road, especially during the night, you will be exposed to risks like theft. None of these issues are there when you ship a car using an auto transport company.


Driving the car by yourself is more affordable, maybe a few hundred bucks less than shipping.

But it will still cost you a good chunk of money; see the tables above in cost estimations to get an idea.

Vehicle Condition:

Your vehicle will be driven over 2000kms continuously, which means it will be subjected to significant wear and tear. The engine will need some servicing, oil and air filters might need changing, and you may also need to have the car washed after reaching your destination.

Furthermore, your car’s odometer will rack up over 1400 miles, bringing the car’s financial value down. When shipping the vehicle, none of these issues are there as you can just park the car on a trailer, and it will stay there until it reaches Canada.

How to save money when shipping a car from the U.S. to Canada

Yes, car shipping is expensive, but you can save money on the cost to ship a car in a variety of ways, including:

  • Asking for Discounts: Many car shipping companies offer discounts to specific people, including the elderly, AAA members, military personnel, disabled people, multiple car transport, first-time customers, and so on. So be sure to ask for some slash on the price.
  • Ship During Fall: This is the time of the year when the auto shipping industry is slow as not many people are moving their cars. So their prices decrease significantly.
  • Go For terminal-to-terminal Shipping: This is where you dive the car to the nearest terminal of your car transport company, and they move it from there. Similarly, they drop the car off at their terminal near your desired drop-off point. You can then send someone to pick it up from there. The price for this is lower than A-Z shipping. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better: car shipping or trucking services?

Car shipping is much better as you are dealing with a company and not an individual trucker. There is low risk and better customer support.

What are the benefits of shipping a vehicle from the USA to Canada?

You save time, avoid hassle, risk and wear and tear on your car that would come with driving it to Canada. 

How much is shipping a vehicle from the USA to Canada?

The cost depends on the total distance and type of car, but a general idea is $800 to $1200 or more for 1400 miles distance from the U.S to Canada. 

Is it worth buying a car in the U.S. and bringing it to Canada?

If you are thinking of doing this to get some financial benefit, then it may not be very much. However, if you want to buy a collectible, then the U.S is definitely a great place to find what you’re looking for. 

Canadian Car Shipping Can Move Your Vehicle to and From The U.S:

When it comes to shipping a car from the U.S. to Canada, there are some things you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, driving is always cheaper than shipping, regardless of the mode of transport you choose. However, it is riskier and full of hassles.

Second, while shipping can be expensive if you’re sending a large vehicle, it’s often much more affordable to ship a small car.

Third, make sure to book your shipping as early as possible to avoid high fees and long waiting times. And lastly, don’t forget to factor in customs fees when calculating the final cost of shipping your car! Ready to start saving on your car shipping? Contact Canadian Car Shipping to move your vehicle to and from the U.S at unbelievable prices.

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