9 Tips for Anyone Shipping Their Car Across Country


If you want to move your car across town, that’s easy. When the final destination crosses state lines, the simple process can suddenly become very complicated. Moving personal belongings isn’t that much of a problem. However, the logistics associated with transporting a car across the country require some expert intervention.

Photo by Markus Spiske

For those who are going to take on such a project for transporting cars, here are nine essential tips to consider:

1. Find the Right Car Transport Service

There is no point in picking a name from a hat or inserting a pin in the Yellow Pages. Getting what is perhaps your most significant investment delivered requires the help of a reputable company

Any company you choose to work with must be licensed and insured to provide interstate transport services. A good rating is another indicator of a company’s reputation. Finally, check if there are any good reviews on the Internet.

2. Work Out the Car Shipping Cost

Car transport companies are different from each other, as are their prices. However, some common factors play a role in the total cost. These are a few factors that affect the total cost of road transport services:

  • The bigger and heavier your vehicle is, the more it will cost.
  • How far you have to move your vehicle – the longer the distance, the higher the total cost.
  • Your car’s make and model – luxury, high-end, classic, and exotic engines cost more than a family sedan.
  • The time of year you want to move your car – summer is more expensive than winter. Holidays are another expensive time to transport your vehicle.
  • The type of road transport you choose – you have several options: express delivery, open or closed delivery, and guaranteed receipt of the car.

If you are interested in the cost of services, it will take only a few minutes to get a quote for car delivery with the help of any online shipping cost calculator.

3. What Type of Car Shipping Should You Choose?

We have already looked at some of your options. Let’s look at a few of them in more detail. 

  • Closed road transport – if you need to be guaranteed full protection, closed transport is the obvious choice. It may cost a little more. However, sometimes it’s not a question of cost. For luxury, exclusive, exotic, classic, or vintage cars, it is imperative to be protected on all sides from external elements and road debris.
  • Open road transport – if you see a road transporter on the highway, it is most likely an open road transporter. These are the most popular services for transporting cars. They are more affordable, easily accessible, and provide more than adequate protection for the average vehicle.

4. Get Your Vehicle Ready

If you want the transportation of your vehicle to go as smoothly as possible, there are a few things one can do to ensure that it is ready. Your gas tank should be no more than a quarter full. Remove all your personal items from your car. 

The carrier’s insurance does not cover items left in your vehicle. These things include standalone GPS devices, stereos or CD players, and all essential documents that may be in the glove compartment. Also, make sure the car battery is fully charged, the tires are properly inflated, and they are in good condition.

Photo by Markus Spiske

5. Check and Record the Condition of Your Vehicle

It is always a good idea to check the condition of your car before handing it over to a reliable road transportation company. Keep a close eye on any existing damage such as abrasions, dents, and scratch marks. Take photographs as proof of your vehicle’s condition before shipping. 

In case of any damage, you will have proof that the damage did not exist before. That is vital if you need to claim through the appropriate insurance channels.

6. Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions

When you deliver something valuable, whether it is of sentimental or financial value, asking the right questions ensures that you get the car delivery service you want.

Ask questions about whether there is a refund or cancellation policy. Ask about the insurance coverage that is included in the service cost. If you are transporting the car to Hawaii, make sure that the company you are using has experience with sea transportation.

7. Book in Advance if Possible

As soon as you know that you need to move your car across the country, contact the road transport management company. With advance notice, they can provide you with the best price. It will also give you much time to take any other measures that need to be taken.    

8. Quality vs. Price

The cheapest option is usually the most reasonable. This statement applies to everyone, no matter what you spend your money on. There are many reasons why this applies. However, when it comes to car moving services, quality certainly matters.

There are hundreds of different car moving companies all over the USA, each of which has its own set of rules and protocols. 

If you find a company that is the cheapest, you must stop and ask yourself why. Checking if the carrier is fully insured is an excellent place to start. Ask questions about the duration of their work. Whether they have invested in any safety equipment, and if their drivers are fully qualified.

9. What You Need to do When Your Vehicle is Delivered

There is a certain amount of paperwork that you will need to deal with when your car arrives in its new state. Visit your local DMV as soon as possible and get your vehicle documentation in order. 

Both your registration and insurance must be transferred to your new state. If you do not do this in time, you may have to pay a hefty fine.

Changing your title and registration is a walk in the park. All you have to show is proof of ownership, proof of insurance, proof of inspection, and your government ID. One of the last documents is a utility bill as your proof of address.

Photo by Markus Spiske

To sum it up

If you want to move your car across town, that’s easy. When the final destination crosses state lines, the simple process suddenly becomes very complicated. However, keep these nine tips in mind whenever you need to ship your car across the country, and your experience will be a positive one.