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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Los Angeles, California, United States

    Default Is it ever cheaper to ship stuff instead of driving it in my trunk cross country?

    Is there a good way to figure out how much each lb of cargo will cost me in gas money and if it's cheaper to ship it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default I doubt it.

    If you are making the journey anyway.

    Weight will effect a smaller engined car more than a larger one as the engine has to work harder. Even when in 'stop, go' traffic, you wouldn't notice a significant difference and on a long run it wouldn't be noticeable. You would save more gas by accelerating a little slower and keeping a few miles an hour under the speed limits than what you would burn carrying extra cargo. In all honesty I think it is negligible, the same as having your Aircon turned off to save fuel and do not open a window that will create extra 'drag'. Correct tyre pressures are also important, if you are carrying a lot of extra weight you need to correct them for the load as per the recommendation, under inflated tyres will also increase fuel consumption.

    This Gov fuel economy link estimates around 1 - 2% extra consumption for every 100lbs of cargo you carry but even then I expect that is extremely OTT in most cases. [Although perhaps I should experiment, I might make the Mother in Law walk !] LOL.

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Although perhaps I should experiment, I might make the Mother in Law walk !] LOL.
    As a service to sons-in-law worldwide, please perform that experiment, Dave, and do let us know how it works out for you..........


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default many more variables

    I think the "is it cheaper" question involves a whole lot more than just pounds.

    If you already have to make the one way drive, and everything can fit within your truck, then I can't imagine that shipping would be cheaper, nor could I see why you'd bother with the hassle.

    But if this were a one way trip where you didn't need your car when you arrived, or if it were a round trip, it could easily be cheaper to ship your stuff and fly.

    And of course, there's the size factor, if you need a trailer or have to put stuff on the roof that's going to have a bigger impact on mpg than weight.

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