It’s not very often you have to consider car shipping to another state. But every now and again, a great new opportunity or a change of life presents an unexpected moving challenge.
Whether it’s because you are offered a job transfer or have a kid going off to college or if you happen to find your dream car for a great price at a dealership seven hundred miles away, car shipping to another state becomes a necessity.
While it’s not something every family experiences regularly, car shipping across long distances is a thriving industry unlike any other transport service.
As you begin your research into shipping a car to another state, you may be surprised to learn that there is no major transport provider like Greyhound, Amtrak or United Airlines.
There aren’t obvious hubs or a grand centralized schedule of trucks going set routes. Shipping a car to another state is not like booking a seat on a regularly scheduled train out of an established station.
Instead, there are independent car haulers who set their own routes and schedules based on the best paying jobs available in the regions they serve. Their schedules vary from week to week based on the customer transports available, traffic, weather and truck maintenance.
Long-distance car haulers book their customers through transport brokers and must fill their truck with 6-8 customer vehicles going the same direction at the same time.
Transport brokers are a little like travel agents without access to a grand centralized schedule. Since brokers can’t anticipate independent haulers schedules, brokers offer jobs to a pool of licensed haulers and are dependent on carrier availability and response for each customer.
For most routes there are only a few trucks available each week, so successful brokers price transport jobs to appeal to the driver as well as to the customer.
The bottom line is, when considering car shipping to another state it’s best to find a reputable transport broker who knows the business. That broker will be able to explain the process to you and help you find the best options for your transport needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.