How to Ship Your Car across Country? Tips to Ship Your Car to Another State

August 1, 2020 Retro red car stay on asphalt road at sunset

Transporting a car from one state to another comes with bewildering options. For starters, car shipping companies can vary significantly from one another when it comes to everything from price to insurance coverage, customer service, and available options.

Many Americans have limited knowledge of the auto transportation industry, which can further exacerbate feelings of frustration. Coupled with your car’s monetary and sentimental value, you may even spend a sleepless night (or two) worrying about its welfare.

Fortunately, with a little foundational industry knowledge, you can feel well-prepared and confident to make a decision about how to ship a car across country. Don’t believe me? Keep reading for a list of handy tips to make the process a cinch.

Research the Best Company

How to ship a car across country? It all starts with finding a reputable, reliable company with plenty of experience. While there are many great choices when it comes to auto transport companies, you’ll generally get more value by working with a big brand.

Why? Because larger companies haul more vehicles.

They also have a more thoroughly established network of drivers across the United States. Since they spend so much time canvassing the nation, their trips are more frequent and cost-effective, too.

You also want to look for a company with a professional-looking website that provides plenty of education about car hauling free of charge. They should also feature a prominent quote calculator that comes at no obligation to you.

Vet Each Company Online

Besides these evident attributes, make sure you work with a company that boasts an excellent Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. You’ll also want to verify that the company is licensed through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) website.

Learn more about each company by visiting the United States’ Department of Transportation (US DOT) website. There, find each company’s US DOT number and gain instant access to their safety records.

Vetting each company carefully will help you choose the best brand for your needs.

Last but not least, tap into the internet’s review sites to see what past customers have written about each enterprise. Keep your eyes open for complaints found consistently among customers. These are red flags you shouldn’t ignore.

Also, read each review with an eye for finding car owners with needs similar to your own. These needs might include delivering to a rural area or transporting an antique car.

No matter your particular circumstances, you’ll likely find someone else who’s been in your shoes and written about it. Learning from their experiences comes at no additional charge, so why not take advantage of this resource?

Get Some Quotes

Once you’ve narrowed down companies based on which ones check out with the BBB, US DOT, the FMCSA, and review sites, start collecting quotes.

Quotes will vary, providing you with a better sense of the cost to ship a car. That said, average shipping costs for a coast to coast move fall in the $600 to $1,000 range for four-door sedans and the $800 to $1,700 range for pickups, small vans, and SUVs.

During the off-season, you may get lucky with lower rates. However, if the driver has to navigate severe weather and ice, it could delay the shipment as well as lead to a steeper price. The summer months tend to be the busiest and most expensive.

Here are a few more things to know about seasonal auto relocation.

Understand the Factors That Impact Auto Transport Rates

Other factors that’ll impact the final price you pay for car shipping include:

  • The distance of your move
  • The weight and size of your car
  • The make and model of your vehicle
  • The type of transport you choose
  • The time of year you receive the service
  • Insurance coverage

While some of these factors prove straightforward, there are a couple we need to address further. For example, when it comes to your car’s make and model, classic or luxury vehicles often prove more expensive to ship.

Why? Because they require specialized attention. In the most extreme cases, they also necessitate a different mode of transport, namely an enclosed car shipping solution.

As for the distance of your move? You’ll pay more for longer trips. That said, the principle behind charging for mileage is similar to buying bulk at Costco.

Yes, you’ll pay more for the family size box of crackers, but the per-unit price will remain much lower. That means more bang for your buck. The same goes for car hauling, with a smaller per mile price.

Make Sure Your Have Sufficient Insurance Coverage

The last factor that can impact pricing is insurance coverage. All transport companies are required to carry insurance. But don’t assume their policy will provide enough coverage for your vehicle.

Instead, ask for a copy of their policy. (Most big-name companies have it posted on their website.) Then, carefully go over it to determine what’s covered.

If you find disconcerting gaps? Then, it’s time to explore supplementing the policy to meet your comfort level.

Check with your insurance company to see whether they offer long-distance shipping supplemental insurance. Whatever you do, don’t leave your vehicle’s trip to chance.

How to Ship a Car Across Country

How to ship a car across country? It’s easier than you think when you understand the process, and you implement the tips listed above. Start by researching the best companies on the market. Then, reach out for quotes.

Ensure you have a thorough understanding of the factors that influence car transport rates so that you can secure a price that falls within your budget. Last but not least, make sure that you have the insurance coverage necessary to keep your vehicle safe during the trip.

If the auto transport company’s policy appears thin, contact your auto insurance provider to see what’s available in terms of additional coverage. With these steps taken, you’ll rest easy at night knowing your vehicle is well-protected and in capable hands.

Are you interested in more tips for locating the right auto shipper? Check out the seven questions you must ask before hiring a car transport company.