A large part of shipping your car from one state to another is finding a trustworthy company that you can rely on. You want to select a shipping company with experience and then begin preparing your car for transport. Whether it's for your job or for family reasons, many people find themselves moving to a new state at some point in life.
This brings up the task of shipping your car. Have two or more cars that you need to move? A vehicle shipping service is capable of moving several cars wherever you need to go in the nation.
How to Ship Your Car Across State Lines
Prepare your car for shipment by first observing any damages that currently exist. Wash the vehicle, and make a list of the damages you found. This will serve as a record of cosmetic damages that were present on the vehicle before it was shipped.
Take photos all around the vehicle and capture every angle. If your vehicle does have pre existing damage, take a close-up photo of it and store the photos with your written record. You can advise your vehicle transporter of the notes you've taken.
Remove any important or personal items from the car before shipping. During the shipping process, your car will often be unloaded, loaded, and inspected numerous times.
Theft from your vehicle is a risk that should be considered, so it's not a good idea to pack your car with personal items to save on travel costs.
Factors That Affect the Cost
The type and size of your car will affect the auto shipping cost. If you need to ship a van, small SUV, or truck, the price is typically slightly higher. In general, it costs less to ship a four-door vehicle.
It's safe to say that the bigger and heavier your car is, the more it will cost to ship it. Also, the time of year affects the cost of shipping. It generally costs less to ship your car during the winter season rather than during summer.
Distance is one of the factors affecting shipping cost as well. The further your car has to be shipped, the more fuel is required. Long-distance moves also incur more tolls and labor charges. You can either ship your car via open-air transport or enclosed transport.
In general, enclosed auto transport costs more. Enclosed transport helps protect your car from the elements. For example, if you're shipping a vintage vehicle with an excellent paint job, then enclosed transport is the way to go.
This method of shipping spares your vehicle from all the debris and dirt that would otherwise get on your car. Enclosed transport is also a good option for expensive vehicles, sports cars, racecars, and model vehicles.
Much like it sounds, open-air transport means that your vehicle will be exposed to the outside elements. If you've ever seen a trailer going down the road with 10 or more vehicles, this is an open-air transport vehicle.
You can also hire a hotshot truck, which is a form of open-air transport that will get your vehicle to your destination as quickly as possible—for an added cost. If you're on a tight schedule and are willing to pay a bit more money, this is an option. Just keep in mind that this is more expensive than typical enclosed vehicle transport costs.
Benefits of Shipping Over Driving
Unless you're up for a gnarly road trip across the country in your car, you'll want to go the easy route and have it shipped. If your new home is far enough to travel by plane, the choice is obvious that you need a vehicle shipping service.
You don't want any surprises when you see your shipped vehicle to your new home. Your car will arrive undamaged with no scratches, dents, or dings. Your car will be delivered in a timely manner no matter where you're moving in the state.
So how do you find the best shipper? Go with experience. Shipping your car with a new and inexperienced company is high risk. It's a better idea to choose a company with years of successful shipments under their belt.
Also, choose a company that is well trusted. Read reviews and speak to people you know about their car shipping experiences. Professionalism speaks for itself. The way that the shipping service presents its offerings says a lot about the company's degree of professionalism.
The cheapest service may not necessarily be the best service. Alternatively, you don't want to deal with ridiculously high fees. You're paying to ship your car across state lines rather than around the world. The cost of shipping your car should have a fine balance between affordability and premium service.
Driving your car thousands of miles can be a hassle. It adds a lot of mileage and increases the wear and tear on your car — not to mention how road conditions and weather can affect your ride. Plus, not all drivers are created equally.
By driving your car across the country yourself, you'll be subjected to all manner of inexperienced drivers. Avoid drivers cutting you off prematurely, fluctuating gas prices from state to state, and inconsistent road quality altogether by shipping your car.
Driving your car more than you ever have to complete a single trip can put a lot of stress on your car. By choosing to drive your car from state to state, you'll have to stay alert and drive for many hours, which can make you tired and exhausted. Driving while you're extremely tired can turn dangerous quickly. Choosing to ship your vehicle instead of driving it is definitely the safer option.
Ship a Car Direct can ship your car across the country for you, and you can rest easy that your vehicle will be in good hands.
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.