It's time to move. Plans are in place to have a moving company pack, load and deliver all of your belongings to their destination. You've held a garage sale and pared down your belongings. You've purchased moving boxes. That leaves one item left to consider: do you look at auto transport companies to move your car, or do you drive it yourself? If you're concerned about green living, you'll want to take environmental impact of the move into account, as well as cost and convenience.
Here are a few other issues you should consider before driving or sending your ride to your new home:
Going "Green" On the Road
How far would you go to be green? The answer might depend on how many miles it is to your destination. Environmentally conscious auto transport companies are difficult to find, as there are few options for trucks that can carry autos. Their goal is to move cars, and eco-friendly transport may not be a feasible business consideration yet.
How Green Can You Be?
If you have a hybrid vehicle, you're already on the road to being green. Hybrid and electric cars are the first step in the reduction of our reliance on fossil fuels. Your hybrid has two engines: one that uses electricity for energy and the other which burns gas. If you choose to drive your hybrid cross-country, consider how often the gas engine will kick in en route to your final moving destination.
Most hybrids work on a principle called "regenerative braking," which converts the energy of the car slowing down into electrical energy that charges the batteries. Thus, a cross-country trip in a hybrid car (where you are at freeway speed and rarely braking) could result in the gasoline engine running nearly as much as that of an all-gas car. Until more efficient and affordable all-electrical vehicles and conversion kits are readily available, or we make the move to green mass transit systems, this is something that eco-friendly car owners have to deal with.
The Cost of Being Green
The fuel efficiency of a hybrid is highly variable. In some cases, non-hybrid counterparts can get better mileage per gallon, depending on the type of driving you do. Hybrids use the braking energy of the car to charge the batteries, so frequent starts and stops and city driving will keep batteries charged. The gas engine is often shutoff while the vehicle is at a full stop. Because of this, most hybrids experience better fuel mileage in the city than on the highway, where the gas engine is running continuously.
Hybrids still have many of the same maintenance costs as a gasoline vehicle. Tires and fluids need to be checked and changed as needed. Other systems and components, such as the radio and air conditioning, are subject to breakdown and repair.
The major difference in hybrid and non-hybrid parts is the battery. Auto analysts don't know how long hybrid car batteries will last, since we are just beginning to push their limits. The current battery technology in a hybrid car makes them expensive to replace. However, manufacturers warranty their batteries for several years (up to 10) and generally over 100,000 miles.
The Eco-Conscious Answer
With this information, do you drive your hybrid or have it moved by one of your local auto transport services? The answer is still not obvious.
As a conscientious consumer, driving a hybrid can reduce your negative impact on the environment. But a long-distance drive to a new home or business, even in a hybrid car, may not be the most environmentally-friendly choice. Using a transport company often means a large diesel engine will be in use; however, they are more likely to cross a large area quickly, without stops. You can also look for a transport service that is environmentally conscious and offers alternative solutions. Ultimately, the choice will depend on how you weigh the time, monetary, and environmental costs of your relocation.