The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Step-by-Step Guide to Shipping Your Car Across Country

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

When transporting your car across the country, you must consider certain factors. Understanding the process can make it smoother and less stressful, whether moving or selling your vehicle to someone in another state. This guide will explore all the aspects of shipping your car nationwide.

Conduct Research and Choose a Trustworthy Auto Shipping Company
The first step in cross-country car transport involves researching to find a reputable auto shipping company. Start by searching and reading customer reviews. Look for companies that have received feedback and have a proven track record of delivering vehicles on time. Once you have narrowed your options, contact these companies directly to inquire about their services, pricing, and insurance coverage. You must select an auto-shipping company that offers pricing without any hidden costs.

Obtain Multiple Quotes
Before you ship a car across the country, request quotes from multiple auto shipping companies to ensure you get the best deal. Comparing prices will help you identify any low estimates. However, remember that low prices may indicate service or hidden charges. When you're requesting quotes, make sure to provide information about your vehicle. Include details like the make, model, year of manufacture, dimensions, weight, and condition—this way, the auto shipping companies can give you quotes that match your specific needs.

Choose the Appropriate Shipping Method
There are two methods for shipping cars: transport and enclosed transport. Open transport is the most used method because it's cost-effective. The shipping company will transport your vehicle on a carrier alongside other cars headed in the same direction. Enclosed transport offers protection against external damage during transportation but comes at a higher cost than open transport. It involves transporting your vehicle in an enclosed trailer or container shielded from road debris and weather conditions. When deciding between enclosed transport, consider factors such as the value of your car, weather conditions along the shipping route, and your preference.

Prepare Your Vehicle for Transportation
Before handing over your car to the auto shipping company, take steps to get it ready for transportation. Give your vehicle interior and exterior cleaning to quickly identify any scratches or dents during the inspection. Make sure to take out any items from your car before shipping it, as the insurance provided by the auto shipping company does not cover them. Additionally, it's ideal to have your fuel tank at around 1/4 to reduce weight and minimize the risk of leaks during transportation.

Take Visual Evidence
Take pictures or videos of the condition of your car before it gets loaded onto the carrier. This visual evidence will be helpful in case of any disagreements about damages that may occur during transit. Furthermore, be present during the shipping inspection carried out by the auto shipping company. Carefully inspect your vehicle with their representative and make a note of any existing damages on the vehicle condition report.

Advance Planning and Scheduling
Plan and schedule your shipment in advance to ensure a smooth experience, which is especially important during moving seasons when there is demand for auto transport services. By booking in advance, you'll have flexibility in choosing convenient pickup and delivery dates that align with your schedule. It also gives you time to gather all the documents the auto shipping company requires, such as proof of ownership and registration.

Know Your Insurance Coverage
Familiarize yourself with the insurance coverage offered by the auto shipping company so you know what protection your vehicle has. Reputable companies typically include liability coverage in their service offerings. However, it's important to note that this coverage may not protect against all types of damage or loss. If you have concerns about ensuring coverage for your vehicle during transportation, we recommend that you inquire about insurance options. Before finalizing your shipping arrangements, take the time to carefully read and understand the terms and conditions of any insurance coverage.

In Conclusion
Transporting your car across the country can be a smooth process. You can ensure a hassle-free experience by following the step-by-step guide provided here. Each step of selecting an auto shipping company to prepare your vehicle for transport is crucial for a car shipment. Remember to stay organized, conduct research, ask questions when needed, and keep documentation of everything from start to finish. With planning and attention to detail, you can have peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is in good hands as it journeys across the country.