newshow to ship a car across the country

How to ship a car across the country

shipping car
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Do you need to know how to ship your car across the country?

Picture this; you’re all set to move to your new home across the country. Your things are in a transport truck, all tightly packaged, so they don’t get damaged during the delivery process. But there’s still one more thing you need to do. You’ve got to get your car to your new home too.

Moving your personal belongings in a moving truck is pretty simple since literally, everyone you know is going to go through this whole process at some point. Having a friend or a neighbor who can help with any questions you might have is not unusual.

But shipping your car across the country?

That’s not so common. This is where some sound car shipping advice comes in. What are the considerations when shipping a car? Who are the best car transport companies?

If you’re looking for information on how to ship a car across the country, then you’re in the right place. We will answer all your questions and concerns in this article so you can make sure you can get your automobile to your new place with as little stress as possible.

You’ll be able to check another box off of your moving checklist to keep yourself on track.

Factors that will affect the cost of the car transportation service

In this section, we will go over the things that will affect the cost of using an auto transport service.

Enclosed and open-air transport

The first things you’ll come across when you start talking to transport companies, or when you look into a local business on Google, are the terms enclosed and open-air transport.

These things aren’t that complicated, despite what you may think.

Open-air transport means that cars are shipped on a trailer that’s open to the elements and are exposed to the outside world. This is a prevalent scenario, and about 90% of all cars are shipped this way.

Generally speaking, the only cars that are shipped enclosed are those that are rare or expensive, or whose owners REALLY care about their vehicle regardless of its worth. Some folks just want extra protection against the open elements.

Door to door shipping

Generally, getting door-to-door shipping is a good idea, simply because it makes things pretty easy for you and the driver, as they can easily put your address on Google maps and find exactly where you are.

Doing so will help them find a place near you where they can safely pick up your car. This doesn’t mean that it will be directly outside your front door, but it will mean it’s close and convenient to you, such as in a local car park.

Where your car is coming from and going to

The state or town you need your automobile to go from and to will affect the price you’re going to be charged.

A place like New York has endless shipping options, which means you could get a far better price as companies constantly try to undercut each other.

The opposite applies if you live in a less dense area, where there is much less choice for these types of services. The availability would be something to consider, especially if you have a deadline such as moving your child back to college.

Expedited shipping or standard shipping

You’d be paying for standard shipping in an ideal scenario, which is much cheaper than expedited shipping.

But you will need to sort this out very much in advance, perhaps weeks in advance, so that everything can be organized properly.

But the issue is, this can’t always be the case. Perhaps plans change, and you need your car shipped in the next five days so that everything can be at your new property at once.

This is where expedited shipping comes into play. Essentially you pay more money to ensure that the company bumps you up the priority ladder. The car shipping company gets more money, and the driver makes more money.

This is an incentive to get your car on the back of a trailer and to its location as soon as possible.

Preparing your vehicle for shipping

Just like you will prepare your belongings to be shipped across the country, you’re also going to need to prepare your car for its journey.

  • Clean your car and take photographs: Though it may seem a little strange to deep clean your car when it’s going to spend hundreds of miles in the open during the hauling time, it’s best to do this so you can properly document any damages during the shipping process. Afterward, you’re going to want to take photos of the car to capture its current state.
  • Remove valuables from the car: There’s just no reason to keep any valuables in your car, and they should be taken out anyway because if you have something like a laptop in there, it could move around during the shipping process and perhaps even damage the insides of the vehicle, if it doesn’t get damaged itself.
  • Fill your gas tank a bit: The main reason you want to do this is so the driver, when they inevitably need to shuffle your car on and off the transport vehicle after each stop, can easily do so. You don’t want to fill it up too much as more gas in your car means you’re going to weigh down the entire load, making it more costly for the driver to haul your car across the country.

Check how you’re covered with insurance

One of the key ways to see if a shipping company is worth your time or not is their insurance policy. In our opinion, you should steer clear of companies that don’t have at least a six-figure insurance policy.

Although insurance claims occur in about one every two hundred shipments, it would be much better for you to be covered and over insured than to have no insurance at all.

You’re also going to want to check with your own car insurance company to see your coverage for shipping to be extra safe.

Be prepared for schedule changes

The fact is, nothing runs as smoothly as we’d want it to, which means you should be prepared for the schedule of your car being shipped to change.

You have to understand that your car isn’t the only one on the transport vehicle; there are probably about ten more, which means that there are other things which could stop your car from getting to you on time.

Ultimately, just be prepared and make sure your timetable can work around a delay if it occurs.

Final thoughts

To have a successful experience with shipping a car, planning and due diligence will be key. By following the car shipping tips, we have laid out, you should be well on your way to having a pleasant experience. Ask questions when you’re unsure of anything.

Best of luck with your move.



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