Does your car need to be transported out of state? If you’re moving cross country often, you might be better off shipping your belongings and flying rather than driving. When that’s the case, you’ll need to think about how to send your car-including how to budget for the move.
Other than moving, there are other reasons you may need to transport your car. For example, if you sell your vehicle, display it at a show, or take it on vacation. In either case, we’ll cover each step you need to take to make sure your car is transported successfully from state to state, along with a few helpful tips for making the process go smoothly.
Choosing a transport company
Choosing a reputable auto shipping company is the first step to transporting a car to another state. Many free online directories allow you to easily search for and compare auto transport companies in your area. Your decision will likely be based on availability, and total cost since many reputable auto transport companies choose from. When you select a company to work with, always check off the following boxes:
The company should be licensed and insured for interstate moves. Verify the company’s license by visiting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website and searching for its DOT number. (Note that the claim and insurance of all companies listed in our directory have already been verified).
- A high rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- Positive online reviews.
- Whenever possible, start narrowing down the companies you are looking at to those which meet all three of those criteria. Next, request quotes so that you can be sure you’re getting the best deal. Before making any decisions, we recommend getting quotes from at least three auto shipping companies.
Do you need a car shipped from one state to another?
Shipping your belongings and flying might make more sense than driving everything across the country. When you’re moving, you need to figure out how your car should be, shipped-including logistics and how to budget for the moving costs. You might also need to transport a car for other reasons besides just relocating. You might want to do this if you’re selling your car, showing it at a show, or bringing it on a trip.
How much does it cost to ship a car across state lines?
The cost to ship a car to another state will vary depending on many variables. Still, a typical move from New York to California will cost approximately $600-$1,000 for a four-door sedan and $800-1,070 for a pickup, van, or SUV. When you move in the off-season winter months, you are more likely to get the lower end of the range. If you are moving in the summer, you should expect to spend more.
Transporting a car will be costed based on the following factors:
- The car’s size and weight. Your car’s heavier and more prominent, the more expensive it will be to move.
- The distance you move. Moving farther distances costs more than local moves because of additional labor, fuel, and toll charges.
- Your car’s make and model. It would help if you considered the specifics of your vehicle when calculating the total cost. When you are moving a luxury or classic car, you can expect to pay more since the shipping service will provide more personalized attention.
- The season in which you are moving. You’ll have to spend more on transporting a car to another state in the summer than in the winter since it’s a more busy time for auto shipping services in the summer.
- The type of transportation you select. If you opt for a closed carrier or an open one, the cost will differ. Below, we’ll discuss them in more detail.
Insurance is another essential additional cost to consider. Insurance is required for all legitimate auto transport companies, but it may not be adequate if your car is precious. If you don’t have long-distance shipping coverage on your auto insurance or want to protect your vehicle in an accident, you may wish to purchase supplemental insurance.
Open-air vs. enclosed transport
It will be essential for you to choose an efficient transportation method, such as using an enclosed transporter or an open-air transporter. The most famous shipping method is open-air transport since it is cheaper than enclosed transport. However, there are some variables to consider besides just price. Open-air carriers are among the most common transport vehicles you see on the road. There are typically nine to ten cars parked on two different levels at a time, each one safely secured to the base so it does not move.
Having access to these types of carriers is part of what makes them more affordable. Furthermore, the driver can notice any damage immediately if the car is evident during the entire trip. On the other hand, open-air carriers expose your vehicle to the elements and inclement weather during transport. As a result, the car is more likely to suffer damage.
Also important is the timing of the open-air transport. Since open-air carriers transport many vehicles simultaneously, they often make multiple stops throughout their journey. The result could be a delay in the delivery of your car as well as the fact that your vehicle will be dropped off at a nearby center rather than being delivered to you directly. While sourcing quotes, inquire about delivery details to avoid inadvertently ordering a car a week or two later than you expected.
For the best possible protection during shipping, you’ll want an enclosed carrier, although it is more expensive. In addition to a lack of exposure to the outdoors and higher security, enclosed carriers have a few other benefits that justify their higher price. It is not uncommon for the courier to only hold about three to five cars at a time, which means your vehicle will be returned faster.
The biggest downside, of course, is the cost. Getting your car shipped on an enclosed carrier adds about $0.25 to $0.50 per mile to the price, which can add up quickly if you’re sending it across the country. You may want to consider this option if you’re concerned about exposure to the elements and, in particular if you’re shipping a classic or luxury car.
How do you move a car that isn’t driving?
Finally, if the car is entirely non-operational, flatbed transport is probably your best option. Your carrier must use a forklift or another lifting device to raise the automobile onto an elevated bed behind a truck. The vehicle is then driven to its destination while being fastened in place.
- How can I ship my car for the lowest price?
You can ship a car the cheapest way by using open transport. This will often save you hundreds of dollars over enclosed transport.
- Can USPS ship my car?
The US Postal Service will allow you to ship a car battery that clearly states that it is “non-spillable.”. Just be aware that you can only send it within the United States.