Moving out of state can be stressful and figuring out a way to transport your car to a new state can be even more complicated, if you don’t have a plan. Lucky for you, after reading our expert tips, you will have a plan and be educated on all of your car shipping options. Whether you choose to drive the car yourself, enlist the help of a family member or hire a professional auto transport company, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know to successfully ship a car across state lines.
Smart Ways to Ship a Car to Another State
- Hire an auto transport company
- Transport your car with a moving company
- Hitch your car to a moving truck
- Hire a professional driver
- Drive it yourself
- Ship your car by train
- Ship your car by boat
Hire an auto transport company
The most stress-free route to ship a car to another state is to find a reputable car shipping company and let them handle all the heavy lifting. Get at least three car shipping quotes to compare shipping prices and offerings from different service providers to ensure you find the best car shipping companies for your needs and budget.
There are a lot of great auto shippers in the auto transport industry. Always be sure that the company you choose to work with can check off the following boxes:
- Must be licensed and insured for interstate moves. To verify licensure, visit theFederal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’swebsite and look up a company’s U.S. DOT number. (Note that any company listed on our directory has already been screened for license and insurance.)
- They have a good rating with theBetter Business Bureau(BBB).
- Good online reviews.
Transport your car with a moving company
Are you using a full-service moving company for your interstate move? They may be able to move your car(s) too. When you’re getting a quote for your interstate move, ask if they offer vehicle transportation services. Even if they don’t offer the service themselves, they may be able to connect you with an auto transport service.
Hitch your car to a moving truck
If you’redriving a moving truckto your destination, you may be able to hitch your car to the back using a tow dolly or car trailer. Check with yourtruck rentalcompany to see if it’s something they allow (if they do, most will also rent out the equipment you need). Do note that this will add more of a challenge to your drive in terms of mobility, so if you’re already uncomfortable about hauling a big moving truck, you may not want to deal with a car trailer too.
Hire a professional driver
Concierge transportation companies (also called professional driving companies) allow you to hire a driver to make the trek for you in your car. Many of them will even take your pet along and will stop for potty breaks along the way. This is a pricey option—and it will put miles on your car—but it may be a good way to go. Of course, if you hire a professional driver,alwaysgo through a driving company. Concierge transportation companies pre-vet their drivers and have the move covered by insurance.
Drive it yourself
While certainly the most time-consuming, this option allows you to have total control over your car’s move. If you’re moving a short distance, then this is certainly the easiest and cheapest option. If you’re moving out of state and/or across the country, this isn’t going to be easy – but it can be done. Those up for a road trip should consider this inexpensive alternative to hiring an auto transporter.
You might also consider asking friends or family members to drive the car. This will end up being more affordable than hiring a professional driver, but you want to make sure this person will be covered by your insurance and that they are a reliable driver. Overall, we don’t recommend this option, but it is an option if you’re in a pinch.
Car transport by train
Amtrak’s trains are capable of transporting everything from sedans and vans to SUVs to motorcycles. Those moving along the East Coast between Washington, D.C., and Orlando, Florida, can load their car onto theAmtrak Auto Trainto be transported to their destination.
Car transport by boat
While this is mostly reserved forinternational car shipping, you can still ship your car by boat domestically, too. Just like moving your car by train, this isn’t the most common method to move your car, but it could be right under certain circumstances. (For example, if you’removing to HawaiiorAlaska.)
Tips for getting your car ready for interstate transport
To ensure your transport goes off without a hitch, prep your car before it hits the road. A professional auto transport company you work with will generally go over the specifics that you need to do before pick-up, but be prepared to do these tasks either way:
- Check your fuel gaugeand ensure that it is no more than one-quarter full.
- Empty all items from your car.The company you hire may require your car to be empty or may just have a set weight limit.
- Remove all valuables, including those documents in the glove compartment and standalone GPS devices.
- Check your car’s tiresto ensure that they are inflated and in good condition.
- Check your car’s batteryto ensure that it is fully charged.
To be safe, it’s also a good idea to check your car closely for any existing damage and to photograph it from all angles. That way, if it incurs any damage on the road, you will have proof that it was not pre-existing and can go through the appropriate insurance channels to be reimbursed.
How to save money when you ship a car to another state using professional car shipping services
- Choose an open-air carrier transport.This option will leave your car exposed to the elements, but it’s the most cost-effective option.
- Be flexible with car shipping drop-off and pickup dates. Auto transport companies will typically have some flexibility in letting you pick your dates, but if you can swing it, be open to staying flexible on the dates.
- Get multiple quotes. Get free auto transport quotes and a quick look at reputable companies in ourauto transport center.
FAQs about vehicle shipping
Keep reading to find answers to the most commonly asked questions about shipping cars using an auto transport company.
How do I ship a car to another state?
If you’re not driving a car yourself or hitching it to the moving truck you’re driving, you can use aprofessional auto shipping companyto move it for you either in an open-air or enclosed carrier. Other car transport services include using a professional driver to drive it for you and shipping your car by boat or train. The last two are less common, with limited options.
How much does it cost to ship a car to another state?
If you’re using a professional car shipping company, there are a lot of factors that make up the total cost to ship a car to another state, thoughaverage car shipping costsare about $600-$1,000 for a four-door sedan and $800-$1,070 for a small van, pickup, or SUV (based on a New York to California move). You’re more likely to hit the lower end of the range if you move in the off-season winter months. Likewise, expect to spend more if you’re moving in the summer.
Other factors that will affect the total cost of shipping a car to another state include:
- The size and weight of your car.The bigger and heavier your car is, the more it’s going to cost to move.
- The distance of your move.As you would probably expect, long-distance moves cost more due to increased labor charges, fuel charges, and tolls.
- The make and model of your car.The type of vehicle and specifics of your car do factor in when it comes to the total cost. Expect to spend to transport a luxury or classic car. Those types of cars will require more individualized attention from the shipping service.
- The time of year you’re moving.You’ll spend more to transport a car to another state if you’re moving in the summer than in the winter. There’s a higher demand for auto shipping services at that time.
- The type of transport you choose.Costs vary depending on whether you opt for an enclosed or open-air carrier. We’ll get into more detail on those below.
An important additional cost to consider is insurance. All legitimate auto transport companies must carry insurance, but it may not be sufficient for your needs—especially if your car is very valuable. Check with your existing auto insurance policyholder to see if your plan covers long-distance shipping, or consider purchasing supplemental insurance that will protect your car in the event something happens on the road.
Enclosed transport vs. open-air transport
A big cost determinant will be thetypeof transport method you choose—i.e., an enclosed carrier or an open-air carrier. Open-air carriers tend to be the most popular shipping method since they run cheaper than enclosed carry transports, but there are a few variables to keep in mind aside from just cost.
You’ve likely seen a lot of open-air carry transport vehicles on the road. Typically, they hold about nine to 10 cars on two separate levels, each car safely secured to the base so it doesn’t move around.
These types of carriers are more readily available, which is part of the reason that they’re the more affordable option. Having your car completely visible during the entire trip is also an advantage in that it allows the driver to notice any signs of damage immediately. That being said, open-air carriers mean that your car is exposed to the elements during transport, including any inclement weather. This makes it more susceptible to damage in the first place.
Another notable aspect of open-air transport is timing. Because open air carriers transport nearly a dozen vehicles at a time, they’re usually making multiple stops on their trips. This can push back your vehicle’s delivery date and may also mean that your car is dropped off at a central hub in your area instead of directly at your door. Inquire about delivery specifics when sourcing quotes so that you don’t inadvertently sign up to get your car a week or two after you expect to.
If you want your car to be completely protected during the shipping process, you’ll want to go for an enclosed carrier, though it will cost you more. Enclosed carriers have a few big advantages that warrant the price hike, including a lack of exposure to outside elements and higher overall security. And many times, there are only about three to five vehicles on the carrier at a time, which means you get your car back faster.
The biggest con, of course, is the price tag. According to A-1 Auto Transport, shipping your car on an enclosed carriercosts about an additional $0.25 to $0.50 per mile, which adds up quickly if you’re sending your car across the country. If you’re worried about exposure to the elements or are shipping a luxury or classic car, it’s worth looking into.
What is the cheapest way to ship a car to another state?
The cheapest way to move a car, in most cases, is to drive it yourself. But if you hire a professional car shipping company, costs depend on the car’s size, weight, the distance of the move, the time of year you’re moving, and other factors. But, typically, the cheapest way is by an open-air carrier.
What factors impact the cost of shipping a car to another state?
Thecost of auto transportwhen using an auto transport company typically depends on several important factors, including the time of year (the demand is higher in the spring and summer months), the size, weight, the make and the model of your car (for example, a luxury car will cost more to transport), the distance traveled, the type of auto transport, the level of service (door-to-door service transport rates will cost more than picking up your car from a specific delivery location), and any added insurance cost.
Can I ship personal items in my car to another state?
No. The car transport company is not a moving company and doesn’t have a license for this type of service. Plus, its insurance policy covers your vehicle only, not your belongings inside it.
Can I have a full gas tank?
It’s preferable that you only have one-fourth of fuel in the tank, as it adds to the car’s overall weight.
Should I use an enclosed car carrier to ship a car to another state?
It’s safer than the open-air carrier but also more expensive. If you are shipping a vintage, luxury or rare car, or your car has sentimental value across state lines, then opt for the better protection of the enclosed carrier.
What kind of paperwork is needed by the car shipping company?
Typically, two documents. The bill of lading and the insurance terms and conditions. You might also get asked for things like your ID and title and registration, but it’s not legally required to ship a car.
How can I prepare my car for transport?
Check that your car’s tank is no more than one-quarter full, remove all personal belongings (especially valuables), check your car’s tires and battery, disable the alarm, wash your car (that way, any damage will be more visible at the before-and-after inspections), and give your key to the carrier.
How does auto transport insurance coverage work?
The carrier must have auto transport insurance that will cover your car (but not your belongings inside it) during loading, transport and unloading. You can also purchase additional insurance if there’s a need for it. You don’t need your personal car insurance to ship your car, but you need it to drive it away and in case you need to file a claim.
- The Best Car Shipping Companies
- AmeriFreight Review
- AutoStar Transport Express Review
- Fidelity Auto Shipping Review
- Montway Auto Transport Review
- Nexus Auto Transport Review
- How to Move a Car to Another State
- Before You Rent a Car Trailer: The Cost and Helpful Tips
- How to Ship a Car by Train
- Can I Move My Leased Car Out of State?
- How To Do a Nebraska DMV Change of Address
- The 411 on Using a Car Dolly Rental to Move Your Vehicle
- Car Trailer vs. Tow Dolly: Which Should You Choose?
- How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car Across the Country?
- Here’s How Much Your Interstate Move Will Cost
- A Checklist for Moving Out of State – Moving to Another State
We found that the best cheap car shipping companies in 2022 are Easy Auto Ship, Montway Auto Transport, Sherpa Auto Transport, AmeriFreight, and uShip.How much does it cost to ship a car within the US? ›
The average cost to ship a car is approximately $1,290. Move.org analyzed nearly 700 car shipping quotes to calculate industry averages. We found that costs range from about $630 to transport your vehicle a few hundred miles on an open carrier to around $1,810 to send your car across the country in an enclosed truck.How much does it cost to ship a car to another state from California? ›
The cost of shipping a car can vary, the price can sometimes average to around $500 for short transports and around $1,500 for shipments that are across the country.Is it worth it to ship a car? ›
Our recommendation. We're not going to lie. Shipping your car isn't cheap, and you can almost always save money driving it to your new home yourself. Even if you consider the cost of gas, hotels, food, and mileage for a long road trip, auto transportation usually still costs more.Can you put stuff in car when shipping? ›
Although it is legal to ship items in your vehicle or trunk, many companies prefer that you do not as there is always a risk of theft or damage to the items during transport. Most companies recommend that you remove all personal items from the vehicle prior to shipment.Do USPS ship cars? ›
|Vehicle Type||End of Year|
|Inspection Service and Law Enforcement||2,843|
A vehicle is a specialized type of freight shipment, and unfortunately, you won't be able to use any of the three major shipping carriers for your car shipment. Instead, you'll need to work with a company that specializes in automobile transport.How do you calculate shipping for a car? ›
Auto shipping service costs $1.50 per mile on average for short distances that are up to 500 miles. Medium routes with distances from 500 miles up to 1500 miles cost around $. 85 per mile.How much is it to ship a car from CA to TX? ›
How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Car from California to Texas? On average, it currently costs around $1141 to ship a car from California to Texas. There are several specific California to Texas routes that we ship cars and trucks on all the time but the following routes are the most popular.How much does it cost to ship a car from FL to CA? ›
The average cost to ship a car from Florida to California is $1085, This average price is based on user-entered estimates on trasnsportreviews.com. Learn more about car shipping costs by visiting our article “how much does it cost to ship a car”.
Just like any other product or service, it's far more cost-effective on a per car basis when you ship more than one at the same time. Of course, that's not to say it'll be cheap. However, if you plan accordingly and ship multiple cars at the same time, you will be able to make considerable savings.How do you move a car across a small country? ›
Most vehicles can be transported on either a car trailer or tow dolly (a mini-trailer with only two wheels). Car trailers usually aren't affordable for trips of more than 500 miles. On the other hand, tow dollies can generally save you money, even for cross-country trips.How do you load a car when moving? ›
- Donate Things You Don't Use. ...
- Sell Some Stuff. ...
- Eat All of Your Food. ...
- Use Bags Instead of Boxes. ...
- Vacuum Storage Bags. ...
- Put Heavy, Durable Stuff on The Bottom. ...
- Clean Out Your Car Beforehand. ...
- Plan Out Your Trips.
An enclosed carrier can keep your automobile safer than an open carrier since it isn't exposed to the elements (or burglars) during shipping.Will CarMax ship a car to another state? ›
CarMax delivery is available within a 60-mile radius of select stores. Not available to customers in all states. Please contact your nearest store for details.Can you ship a car through FedEx? ›
Apart from the standard delivery services FedEx offers, they include car shipping service as a customized "White Glove" service compromised of surface and air. Within FedEx white glove service, they offer experienced drivers and specialty equipment for the safe transport of your luxury vehicles.What items are not allowed to ship? ›
- Alcoholic beverages*
- Animal products, non-domesticated (e.g. mother of pearl inlay, snakeskin watchband)
- Articles of unusual value.
- Biological substances, Category B and exempt human or animal specimens.
- Dangerous goods.
- Electronic cigarettes.
- Firearms and weapons.
It is important to note that car shipping companies do not weigh your vehicle during the pickup while loading it onto the vessel. The weight depends on the make and the model of the car. In most cases, the companies also add extra weight to the car's factory weight, such as 100 lbs.What Cannot be shipped in containers? ›
Weapons, drugs, ammunition, firearms and some medications are common items prohibited from shipping containers.
The backbone of its delivery fleet – more than 200,000 vehicles – is the right-hand-drive Long Life Vehicle (LLV), which has an expected service life of 24 years.
Each vehicle was required to: Drive 5,760 miles on a closed loop 5-mile-long paved road at 50 to 55 mph.Do postal cars have air conditioning? ›
According to a report, about 70 percent of 230,000 USPS vehicles do not have air conditioning. Since 2012, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited USPS for exposing about 900 employees across the country to the risks of heat-related illness and death.Does USPS make you use your own car? ›
Generally, RCAs are required to use their own vehicles for mail delivery, and they receive an equipment allowance in addition to regular pay.What cars does USPS? ›
|Grumman Long Life Vehicle|
|Also called||USPS Mail truck|
Yes. If you use your personal vehicle for USPS business purposes you can claim mileage, regardless of whether you voluteered, or were "forced" to travel.How does a car shipping work? ›
The process is extremely straightforward. All you have to do is schedule a time for your vehicle to be picked up, mark down your desired destination, and then arrive to reacquire your delivered vehicle from the destination point. It's as simple as that and the entire process is safe and efficient.Is shipping calculated by weight or size? ›
All major carriers use a pricing technique called dimensional weight (also called DIM weight) to calculate shipping rates. Dimensional weight takes into account the size of a package to determine the shipping cost.How much does it cost to ship a car 300 miles? ›
How much does car shipping cost? Car shipping costs around $1.96/mile for short distances (1-500 miles) or $588 for a 300-mile trip. Medium distances will run you about $. 93/mile (500-1500 miles) or $930 for 1000 miles.How do I transport a car from California to Texas? ›
- Drive it yourself. ...
- Hire someone to drive it for you. ...
- Use the train to ship it for you. ...
- Use an auto transport service to ship it for you. ...
- Enclosed auto transport. ...
- Open car transport. ...
- The Distance. ...
- Pickup and Drop off location.
To register, head to the DMV and submit: A Completed Application for Title or Registration (Form REG 343). The Vehicle's Out-of-State Title. The Vehicle's Out-of-State Registration.
The car shipping cost might vary, but it is ultimately within $1,050 and $1,350 if you chose an open carrier or enclosed car carrier, respectively. Dallas, Texas to Los Angeles, California is around 1,557 miles; it also takes approximately 3-5 days to ship your car.Can you put your car on a train across the US? ›
Pack your car like a suitcase. And with our special auto carriers, we can carry a wide variety of vehicle types — including cars, SUVs and motorcycles (dimension and clearance restrictions apply).How much does it cost to fly a car? ›
The cost of shipping a car by plane averages anywhere between $2,000 to $4,000. Yes, shipping a car across the country by plane is expensive. In some cases, it costs more than the average cost of a new car. However, it is definitely a viable option for the more affluent clients wishing to ship exotic cars.How long does a car take to ship? ›
It takes about two weeks to deliver a car. However, timelines can be shorter or longer depending on your delivery location, auto transport company, and shipping method.Why should you ship your car? ›
You'll Save Money on Unforeseen Costs
You can save more money with a car shipping service because you won't spend a significant amount on fuel to get where the car where it's headed. You'll also avoid the cost of maintenance or repairs that are needed once the car reaches its destination.
Calculate your take-home income. This is how much you earn after taxes. In general, experts recommend spending 10%–15% of your income on transportation, including car payment, insurance, and fuel. For example, if your take-home pay is $4,000 per month, then you should spend $400 to $600 on transportation.Is the most popular option when it comes to shipping a car? ›
Open Air Car Transport
Also known as open car transport, this is the method most commonly used. Thanks to a variety of trailer types, open air shipping is great whether you need to ship one vehicle, or transport in bulk. A dual-level trailer that can ship eight to ten vehicles at a time is one of the most common.
The average cost to ship a car is approximately $1,290. Move.org analyzed nearly 700 car shipping quotes to calculate industry averages. We found that costs range from about $630 to transport your vehicle a few hundred miles on an open carrier to around $1,810 to send your car across the country in an enclosed truck.Will my old car make it across the country? ›
Although it's a bit nerve-wracking, an old car can travel across the country with a bit of preparation. Toyota Corollas are reliable cars, which is likely why yours is still running after 20 years! To ensure it makes it out West, you'll want to have a mechanic perform a thorough inspection.How do you move across the state without a car? ›
- Ask Your Friends. Maybe the best money-saving option is buying some beer and a couple of pizzas for your truck-owning friends. ...
- Renting a Truck. No matter where you live, chances are you're close to at least one moving truck company nearby. ...
- Hire a Moving Company.
Do not stick your hand or head out of a moving vehicle. It's dangerous to stick your hand or head out of a moving vehicle.When you ship a car can you fill it with stuff? ›
Can you ship a car with stuff in it? You're generally allowed up to 100lbs of personal items in the trunk or cargo area of the vehicle being shipped. All items must be contained in a single box or suitcase.How much can you pack in a car? ›
Generally, a vehicle's maximum capacity will be around 800 pounds. If you look on the panel of the drivers side door, there should be a sticker which gives the maximum capacity for your vehicle specifically.How far will carmax ship a car for free? ›
Delivery is when we bring a car to your home or work after you've purchased it. Delivery is free within 60 miles of our stores in select markets. See if it's available at your store.What is the most reputable car shipping company? ›
Easy Auto Ship has placed itself in our top spot for 2022. Having been in business for only nine years, they're making a name for themselves with consistently high ratings on several consumer review platforms. They're accredited at the BBB with an A+ rating and a 4.63 rating. Google reviews rate them at a 4.6.What is the cheapest shipping company? ›
- United States Postal Service.
- DHL Express.
A vehicle is a specialized type of freight shipment, and unfortunately, you won't be able to use any of the three major shipping carriers for your car shipment. Instead, you'll need to work with a company that specializes in automobile transport.Which is better CarMax or Carvana? ›
Which Is Better: Carvana or CarMax? Carvana is a better option if you look for convenience and ease of use in your purchases and trades. On the other hand, CarMax is ideal for people who want to test drive the car beforehand and who do not mind going to their nearest CarMax location to do it.Is it cheaper to order a car from the factory? ›
All things considered equal, ordered vehicles cost no more than vehicles in dealer stock and, in some cases, may actually cost less. When you buy from dealer stock, you may have to settle for a vehicle with either more or less equipment or your second or third color choice.Can CarMax be trusted? ›
CarMax guarantees that its cars have never been designated salvaged or flood-damaged, which are two hazards of buying from a private seller or a less reputable dealer. Their vehicles have that “new car” feel. The company thoroughly cleans and refurbishes its vehicles so they look good inside and out.
An enclosed carrier can keep your automobile safer than an open carrier since it isn't exposed to the elements (or burglars) during shipping.How do I get my car ready for shipping? ›
- Gather your vehicle's documents. ...
- Wash your car—inside and out. ...
- Document damage. ...
- Remove personal items. ...
- Perform any necessary maintenance. ...
- Empty your gas tank. ...
- Remove outside accessories. ...
- Lock up, but leave the keys.
The industry average cost to ship a car with an auto transport company is upwards of $2.00 per mile for journeys less than 200 miles. The price dips down to an average of $0.58 per mile for true long-distance moves exceeding 1,500 miles. An enclosed carrier offers more protection and security than an open carrier.Does UPS charge by weight or size? ›
The rate is based on the service, the weight and zone. To determine if your shipment will incur any additional charges based on UPS additional services, please refer to the Additional Charges section on page 6 of this Rate Guide.What is the most cost effective way to ship? ›
Use flat-rate shipping where possible—flat-rate shipping will almost always be the best value for money, especially for domestic delivery. Flat-rate shipping means that you can predict prices more accurately. No matter what kind of parcel you have or what dimensions or weight it is, the price will always be the same.How can I ship really cheap? ›
The cheapest way to send packages depends on the package you're shipping: Small, light items packed into padded mailers are cheapest when shipped by USPS. Small, heavy items are cheapest when shipped using USPS flat-rate pricing. Large, light items are cheapest when shipped with USPS Priority Mail.Can I ship my car by air? ›
Yes, shipping a car across the country by plane is expensive. In some cases, it costs more than the average cost of a new car. However, it is definitely a viable option for the more affluent clients wishing to ship exotic cars. Shipping a car on a plane is fast, safe and reliable.