Blog November 2, 2023

How to Ship a Car Cross Country – Top Tips for a Smooth Ride

Posted in Auto Transport
Madison Rogers

Born and raised in Houston Madison is a content writer who loves traveling. She has lived in different states and is always eager to share her knowledge with others.

When pondering how to ship a car cross country, many questions can arise, from cost concerns to safety precautions. Fortunately, with the right knowledge and preparation, this process can be seamless. This guide will delve into top tips and best practices for interstate moving, ensuring your vehicle reaches its destination in prime condition. So, buckle up as we navigate the intricacies of a smooth transport experience.

How to Ship a Car Cross Country?

Based on 2023 statistics regarding vehicle ownership, around 281 million cars and trucks were recorded as registered in 2021. This suggests that there’s approximately one vehicle for every individual residing in the USA. So, it’s safe to say that the majority of people relocating to a new state would need to ship their car as well. So, what does shipping your car across country entail?

This task might initially seem challenging. However, when you want to ship your car across country, the process can be streamlined so you can move efficiently and without hassle. The key lies in research, obtaining quotes, and choosing a reputable transportation service. Hire those who specialize in this very task – state-to-state movers. Make sure the company is featured on the Better Business Bureau website. In this way, you’ll take the stress out of the equation and ensure the vehicle reaches its destination safely and promptly.

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The Challenges of Shipping a Car Cross Country

Organizing a relocation, especially when it involves shipping a car across country, can present both logistical and emotional challenges. On the one hand, individuals must navigate the complex world of transportation options, hoping to choose the cheapest way to relocate their prized vehicle. On the other, there’s an emotional toll, as the sentimental value attached to one’s car and the anxieties of entrusting it to others come into play. Some challenges include:

  • Finding reliable transporters – Not all services are equal in terms of trustworthiness and efficiency.
  • Cost concerns – Balancing budget constraints with quality service.
  • Timely deliveries – Ensuring the car arrives when expected.
  • Safety and damage worries – Potential accidents or mishandlings en route.
  • Emotional attachment – Parting with a vehicle that holds memories can be emotionally taxing.

Why Choose Professional Car Shipping Services?

When you’re preparing to relocate to a new home, the decisions can be overwhelming. One of the most crucial is how to move the vehicle. While DIY methods might seem cost-effective initially, opting for professional car shipping services often proves more beneficial in the long run. When you choose a moving company with expertise in this area, you’re investing in their experience, equipment, and the peace of mind that the automobile is in capable hands.

Consider Safety Concerns

Entrusting a vehicle to professionals brings with it the assurance of safety. These experts utilize state-of-the-art equipment and follow industry-standard safety protocols to ensure your automobile remains unharmed throughout its journey.

On top of this, their extensive training and experience mean they’re well-versed in handling various situations that might arise, ensuring the vehicle reaches its destination in pristine condition.

Time and Energy Savings

Undertaking a vehicle move on your own can be time-consuming and draining. By hiring professionals, you’re not just investing a relocation budget wisely but also ensuring a more efficient and stress-free moving experience. Experts handle the intricacies of the process, allowing you to focus on other essential aspects of the move. Thus, you save both time and energy, making the transition smoother and more manageable.

State to State Movers posing and smiling
Make a wise decision and leave everything to professionals

Types of Car Shipping Services

When considering shipping a car across the country, it’s crucial to be aware of the various vehicle transportation services available. The type of service you choose can influence the safety, convenience, and cost of a vehicle’s journey. While there are several options to explore, it’s essential to arm yourself with the right questions to ask movers. This will ensure you select the best fit for your needs and budget while also addressing any concerns you may have about the process.

Choose More Affordable Open Carriers

Open carriers are the most commonly seen transporters on the road, often carrying multiple vehicles on a large trailer. They are generally more affordable and readily available, making scheduling easier. As vehicles are exposed to external elements like weather conditions and road debris, there’s a slightly higher risk of cosmetic damage.

Enclosed Carriers Can Keep Your Luxury Car Safe

Enclosed carriers offer a sheltered environment for vehicles, ensuring they are protected from external elements. They provide superior protection against weather conditions and road debris, making them an ideal choice for luxury or classic vehicles.

On the other hand, enclosed transport is typically less affordable than open carriers, so you’ll need to save more money to move your vehicle this way. Their availability might also be limited due to higher demand.

Select Door-to-Door or Terminal-to-Terminal Services

Door-to-door vehicle transportation services provide the ultimate convenience by picking up and delivering the automobile directly from and to the specified locations. On the other hand, terminal-to-terminal services require you to drop off the vehicle at a designated terminal, where it is then transported to another terminal close to the destination for pickup.

While door-to-door offers unparalleled convenience, terminal-to-terminal might be more affordable but could require additional arrangements for pick-up and drop-off.

How to Prepare Your Car for Shipping

Preparing to ship car across country is a significant undertaking, and the proper steps can make the relocation easier and safer. For those looking to ensure a smooth transition, a few guidelines can be immensely helpful.

From understanding the condition of the automobile to making sure it’s free from unnecessary items, thorough preparation is essential. This not only guarantees the safety of the vehicle but also provides a seamless experience when you prepare for movers to handle the transport.

Start With Inspection and Documentation

Before entrusting a vehicle to a transportation company, especially when relocating for the first time or embarking on interstate moving, conducting a detailed inspection is paramount. By documenting the current condition of the vehicle, you establish a baseline that can be referred to upon delivery.

This can help address any potential disputes or issues that might arise post-transportation. It’s also crucial to organize important documents such as registration, insurance, and the shipping agreement, ensuring you have all the necessary paperwork in order.

Empty the Automobile

One of the often-overlooked aspects of preparing a vehicle for transportation is the importance of emptying it of personal items. Personal belongings can shift during transit, potentially causing damage to the interior or adding unexpected weight. Items to remove include:

  • Electronic devices,
  • Personal documents,
  • Clothing,
  • Remove and pack jewelry and other valuables separately to ensure they don’t get lost or damaged.

Leave Some Time For a Mechanical Check

Before entrusting your vehicle for transport, a comprehensive mechanical check is crucial. This is one of the essential long-distance moving tips that can save you from potential transport issues. Ensure the vehicle’s brakes, tires, battery, and engine are in optimal condition.

Also, it’s advisable to check for any leaks or issues that might be exacerbated during transportation. A well-maintained vehicle reduces the risk of complications and ensures a smoother transportation experience.

Mechanicals running a maintenance check
Be prepared and cautious and ship car cross country properly

Cost Factors to Consider

When contemplating shipping car cross country, understanding the various cost factors is crucial to making an informed decision. The cost of relocating interstate can vary significantly based on several components. From the type of service you select to the time of year you choose, each element plays a role in the overall expense. Being aware of these nuances can help you budget effectively and minimize potential financial surprises.

Distance and Location

One of the most straightforward factors affecting the cost of transporting a vehicle is the distance and location. Naturally, longer distances come with heftier price tags. Additionally, relocating to a new state might have associated costs based on the destination’s accessibility. For example, transporting to metropolitan areas with major highways might be less expensive than delivering to remote or hard-to-reach locations.

Type of Carrier Selected

The choice of carrier significantly influences the cost. Open carriers, being more common, often come at a lower price point compared to enclosed carriers, which provide additional protection for the vehicle. The latter is particularly preferred for luxury or antique automobiles, warranting the higher cost due to the superior protection they offer.

Impact of Seasonal Variations

The season in which one chooses to transport a vehicle can also play a role in determining the cost. For instance, moving in winter might be less expensive than in peak summer months. Demand tends to be lower during colder months, leading to reduced rates. However, it’s essential to weigh the potential risks, such as adverse weather conditions, when considering seasonal variations in pricing.

An open trailer shipping cars
Don't forget to inquire the movers about potential discounts

Insurance and Liability

When entrusting a vehicle to transportation services, understanding insurance coverage and liability is paramount. Every reputable transporter is mandated by law to have liability insurance, ensuring coverage for potential damages during transit. Insurance policy is usually based on the type of carrier used, with cars shipped in an enclosed trailer being provided higher coverage.

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What to Look For in Insurance?

Selecting the right insurance for vehicle’s transit requires careful consideration. A comprehensive insurance plan should encompass:

  • Coverage amount – Ensure the maximum coverage aligns with the vehicle’s value.
  • Deductibles – Lower deductibles are preferable, though they might come with slightly higher premiums.
  • Exclusions – Be wary of any exclusions in the policy that might leave you vulnerable.
  • Transport-related damages – Ensure damages from events like loading, unloading, and in-transit accidents are covered.
  • Natural disasters – Coverage for events like floods, earthquakes, and storms can be essential, especially in prone areas.

What Does the Claim Process Look Like?

If an unfortunate event occurs, leading to damage, it’s crucial to know the process to claim insurance. Firstly, document the damage immediately upon receiving the vehicle, preferably with photographic evidence. This ensures that the damage is recent and related to the transportation process.

Next, contact the moving company to inform them of the issue. They typically have a protocol for such situations. File a formal claim with the provided claim form and include all necessary documentation.

It’s advisable to keep communication lines open and follow up regularly. Once the claim is processed, the insurance company will assess the damage, validate the claim, and proceed with compensation or repair arrangements.

Men shaking hands in front of a car
Don't shy away from reporting any type of damage to the company

Leave Your Precious Vehicle in the Capable Hands of State2State Movers

When it comes to the intricate process of transporting the prized vehicle, State2State Movers stands as a beacon of reliability and professionalism. Our extensive experience and dedication to excellence ensure that your automobile is treated with the utmost care, promising a hassle-free journey from one state to another.

We pride ourselves on our superb moving services, with the capability to ship vehicles across the country easily and efficiently. Don’t leave such a significant task to chance; entrust the vehicle to us and experience the seamless transition you deserve. Contact State2State Movers today and let us steer the moving state-to-state journey to success.


How Long Does It Take to Ship a Car Cross Country?

Shipping a car cross country typically takes between 1 and 2 weeks, depending on factors like distance, route, and weather conditions.

Can I Track My Vehicle During Shipping?

Yes, many modern companies provide tracking options, allowing customers to monitor their vehicle’s progress during transit.

Is It Safe to Ship a Car Cross Country?

Yes, shipping a car cross country with reputable transportation companies is generally safe, as they employ measures to protect vehicles during transit.

Do I Need to Be Present When the Vehicle Is Picked Up and Delivered?

While not always mandatory, it’s recommended that either the owner or a designated individual is present during pickup and delivery for inspection purposes.

What Should I Do if My Car Is Damaged During Shipping?

Immediately document the damage, preferably with photos, and report it to the relocation company to initiate the insurance claim process.

Can I Place Personal Items in My Vehicle During Shipping?

While some companies allow a limited amount of personal items, it’s usually discouraged due to potential damage or added weight.

How Far in Advance Should I Book a Car Shipping Service?

It’s recommended to book at least 2 to 4 weeks in advance to ensure availability and potentially secure better rates.

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