How to Ship a Car to Another State: Your Ultimate Guide

A recent study showed our relationships with our cars are a lot like our relationships with people.

The fear of something bad happening to our cars during an out of state move can be paralyzing. Do you feel overwhelmed by the idea of someone else transporting your car? It’s completely normal for you to feel attached to your vehicle.

Your car is a major financial investment you’ve spent a lot of time with. It makes sense that you would be wary about handing your “baby” over to a stranger. Yet, you’ll actually protect your investment the best by having it transported.

Shipping your car will help prevent unnecessary wear and tear on the engine. You’ll also save a lot of money on gas, time, and lodging expenses.

Let this article be your ultimate guide on how to ship a car to another state. We’ll explain everything you need to know to find a reputable company. Moving might be stressful, but with the right team, shipping your car doesn’t have to be!

Concerns with How to Ship a Car to Another State

The automobile shipping industry is extremely competitive. There will be thousands of different companies trying to earn your business. It’s important to take the time to research the company you choose to ship your car.

Having a reputable company means you’ll be able to avoid expensive problems such as:

  • Damage
  • Tardy deliveries
  • Overcharges
  • Problems from inexperience

Damage is the #1 concern car owners have about hiring a shipping company. A quality company will return your car in the same condition as when they took it. Your vehicle should arrive without any dents, scratches, or markings.

Late deliveries are also problematic because they can leave you stranded. You’ll be at your new home, but you’ll have no way to drive anywhere!

This is why it’s imperative that you find a company with a good track record of being prompt. In some cases, complications may cause even a great company to be a couple hours late.

Plan ahead and allow for 2-3 hours of flexibility with your delivery time. Any more time than 2-3 hours is completely unacceptable. You should expect your shipping company to be punctual.

Overcharges are another red flag that a company doesn’t know what they’re doing. Ask the company you’re considering if they have any hidden fees.

An extreme circumstance might cause a company to bill you for extra expenses. Yet, it isn’t the norm for a company to surprise you unexpected expenses.

Finally, you need a company who can deliver your car without any drama. Their experience will allow them to overcome any obstacles presented during the move. You have to find a team of professionals that know what they’re doing.

We recommend you take the time to learn more about the services a reputable automobile transportation company can provide.

Costs to Transport a Vehicle to Another State

The average cost of a long distance move is right around $12,000. However, this number doesn’t include the costs of transporting your car.

It’s important you have a clear budget defined so you can prepare for the additional shipping expenses. In order to create a shipping budget, you need to have an idea of the factors that go into calculating the costs.

Here are some of the variables that will affect the shipping quotes you receive.

  • Distance
  • Size
  • Weight
  • Company
  • Insurance
  • Misc unexpected expenses

Let’s start by discussing the impact distance has on the cost of shipping. Your shipping company can calculate the distance for you. Distance has the biggest influence on your car transportation price.

The size and weight of your car also play a major role in calculating costs. Along with the size and weight, the specific make and model of your car also affects what you pay. Exotic, large, or expensive vehicles are going to cost more to transport out of state.

Of course, every company will have different services and prices for their customers. Shop around and compare the shipping quotes you receive. Remember that cheaper isn’t always better.

While it’s important to get a fair shipping price that doesn’t mean you want the lowest one. Find a company whose price and reputation are both appealing to you.

Finally, prepare for unexpected expenses. Unexpected expenses could come from your insurance company or somewhere else.

Review your current insurance policy before making your move. You’ll make sure your vehicle has the right coverage in the event of an accident during transport.

Preparing Your Car

Preparation plays a big part in how to ship a car to another state. Here’s a checklist for you preparing your vehicle for the car shipping company.

  • Inspect exterior of vehicle and tires for damage
  • Take photos of any damage
  • Take photos of entire vehicle (damaged or not)
  • Check for fluid leaks
  • Fix any leaks you find
  • Leave 1/4 tank of gas to reduce car’s weight
  • Charge car battery
  • Remove exterior accessories like bike racks
  • Leave permanent accessories like license plate
  • Collapse or remove car antenna
  • Secure convertible top

It’s 100% your responsibility to make sure your car is ready for the move. Take your time while completing the preparation checklist. Be especially careful when checking for fluid leaks.

Fluid leaks around the engine or tank present a major hazard. If you find any leaks at all, have them fixed before shipping your vehicle.

Car Arrival Checklist

You’ll need to complete an inspection upon delivery of your vehicle. Here are the things to add to your car arrival checklist.

  • Look for damage
  • Sign bill of landing condition report
  • Photography any damage

After inspecting your vehicle you’ll want to take the proper steps to register it. You’ll have a pre-set amount of time to register your car. The amount of time you have will vary depending on what new state you’re moving to.

To complete your registration, you’ll need a car title and proper auto insurance. Ask your local DMV office about their procedures and registration timelines.

Experienced Professionals Are the Best Option

Now you know more about how to ship a car to another state.

We’re passionate about helping you find quality professionals. We provide a free database for contractors and small businesses all across the U.S.

Take a moment to browse our list of providers. You can also visit our consumer resource blog for more informative articles.