How to Ship a Car to Another State

Written By

Machaela Casey
A trailer carrying cars

All You Need to Know about Car Shipping

There are many reasons why you might be interested in shipping a car to another state. Maybe you’re moving, and it’s easier to fly to you new location and pick up your car there. Perhaps you have a classic car headed to a car show and you don’t want to put extra mileage on your special vehicle. Or, maybe you’re going on a vacation, and you just want your own car with you.

car coming out of a storage container

A long-distance move is a big project. Yes, there are lots of moving companies will move your car to another state for you. Before you hire someone, though, check out our tips for finding the best auto shipping company to best meet your needs.

First Know How It Works

If you want to transport a car, you need to know how it’s done. There are two ways to move your car to another state. One is by loading your car on an open-carrier for transport. The other is by using an enclosed carrier to move your vehicle.

Open-Carrier Transport: It Costs Less

The cheapest way to ship a car to another state is with an open-carrier. These carriers usually hold between 9-10 cars on two separate levels. Each car is securely anchored to the base for transport. This is the most popular way to ship a car, and many car shipping companies offer these types of transportation vehicles.

Open-air carriers are often more readily available than enclosed carriers. With this type of carrier, your vehicle will be visible to the driver for the entire trip. As a result, the driver will be able to note any damage that may occur to your car in transit.

At the same time, open-air carriers allow your vehicle to be exposed to any bad weather along the way. In addition, these carriers often make many stops on a delivery route, which may delay your own scheduled delivery. Also, open-air carriers do not often complete door-to-door service. Instead, they will unload all vehicles at one centralized location, like in a nearby city.

Enclosed Carriers: More Personalized Service

A more expensive option for shipping a car to another state is by using a fully enclosed carrier. This type of carrier offers greater security and protection throughout the entire shipping process. And, since these carriers usually only transport a few vehicles at a time, you’ll get yours delivered sooner. Enclosed carriers also may offer delivery right to your address.

However, this type of transport is more expensive (an additional .25-.50 cents per mile, depending on the company). But, if you need your car quickly, an enclosed carrier may be the way to go.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car to Another State?

Well, it depends. Total cost will depend on the following variables, including:

  1. The total distance of your move. You’ll pay more for long-distance moves. Remember, you’ll be covering fuel, labor, and tolls to transport your vehicles all those miles.
  2. The size and weight of your car. The bigger and bulkier your vehicle, the more it’ll cost to move it.
  3. Whether you choose an open-air or enclosed carrier for auto transport.
  4. The time of the year (and even the day of the week) of your move. It’s always more expensive to move on weekends and at the end of the month. And, it’s also more costly to move during the summer months.
  5. The make and model of your car. You’ll pay more to transport a luxury or classic car. Those types of cars usually require more specific security and handling than other types of vehicles. Luxury or classic cars may also require additional insurance.

How to Find the Right Car Transport Company

Now you know what you’re looking at and how to budget. But, you’re thinking “there are so many options out there. How do I find the right company to ship my car to another state?”

Let Us Help

At Nelson Westerberg, we’ve been in the moving business for over 100 years. In that time, we’ve moved cars of all kinds (not to mention motorcycles, boats, jet skis, and more). We’re pros. We know what it takes to ship a car across the country.

Before you hire any car shipping company:

– Make sure that the company has the proper licenses and insurance to move your vehicle across state lines. To provide interstate moving services, companies must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) and have a US Dot number. Verify this crucial information by visiting the FMCSA website and searching by US Dot number or company name.

-Sign a written contract that specifies terms of service, insurance, and delivery dates. Never agree to a verbal contract.

-Do some research. Study online reviews on Google, Yelp, and Glassdoor. Call at least three companies with good reviews. Ask questions, ask for a free quote, and compare notes.

-Be sure that you understand the terms of their insurance policy. Know what is (and isn’t) included in their offer.

-Ask for any additional services that you may need to support the move. For example, many people shipping cars need temporary or long-term storage for their vehicles.

Preparing Your Car for Transport

The last thing that you need to do is get your vehicle ready for shipment. First, make sure that you have all of the necessary paperwork in place. You’ll need to show movers a copy of your vehicle registration and insurance for transport.

Next, make sure that your car is empty of personal belongings. Remember, you pay for the weight of your vehicle. Everything should be out of the car, including items in the glove compartment and trunk.

Finally, check that your vehicle is in good shape. You don’t need more than ¼ tank of fuel. Make sure that your tires are inflated and in good shape. Don’t forget about your battery-double check that it’s fully charged.

The last thing you want is to have to take your car into the shop upon arrival at your new destination.

Your Moving Partner

If you’re moving your car across the country, or just to the state next door, we can help. Any relocation to another state requires a lot of support. We have the experience, the equipment, and the extra services to do the job right.

Our team is ready to answer any questions that you may have about shipping your vehicle. Want to know the cost of shipping a car with us? Get a free quote today.