Things to Know About Shipping Your Car Cross Country

August 13, 2018 / Posted in Car Shipping
Eva Johnson

Digital nomad born in New York but currently living online, Eva knows everything there is to know about packing and moving.

Around 280 million vehicles were registered in the US. so, if you have a trusted four-wheeler that helps you survive daily commute, shipping a car cross country seems completely logical when relocating to a new state. There are a few ways to transport your auto from point A to point B, whether you hire a shipping company or drive it yourself. Here’s how to do it effortlessly.

open car shipping trailer
Americans use their vehicles around 13,500 miles per year

To help make the task of shipping your car cross-country easier, we’ve decided to make this handy guide. Read on to find out more about how transporting cars cross country works, what the average cost is, how to pick the right auto transport company, how much time it takes, and how to prepare your vehicle.

How to Choose the Right Auto Transport Method?

You have two options when it comes to transporting cars from state to state. You can either hire the professionals to ship your car or drive it yourself. You may think that driving your car by yourself is the fastest, safest, and cheapest alternative, but that is not always the case.


Why Is Shipping Across the Country a Good Option?

If you hire a relocation company to provide you with top-notch packing services and secure and temperature-secure storage, you would have to be on the spot when they arrive to deliver your things. You may not be able to do that if you’re driving your vehicle for hundreds of miles.

On top of that, driving such long distances can be quite challenging and even dangerous, even for the more experienced drivers. Did you know that it would take you four to six days to drive from East to West Coast?

On the other hand, if you go for professional auto transport services, your car will be either waiting for you in a regional terminal facility or shipped to your new location, depending on the type of service you choose. When you partner with Flat Price Auto Transport and Moving, you can rest assured your four-wheeler is in safe hands and will arrive at new destination as good as new.

What If You Want to Transport Your Vehicle on Your Own?

Taking care of your four-wheeler during the move will take some preparation steps beforehand. So, if you want to turn your move into a fun family activity and drive to your new home, be sure to:

  • Pack all you need for the road,
  • Remember to get a lot of rest before and during the trip,
  • Arrange for an overnight stay if the journey will take long,
  • Count in the price of gas, state taxes, accommodation, and possible towing service.
Man holding a Tesla steering wheel
Prepare mentally and physically for the trip

First Step – Do Your Research and Get a Quote

If you decide that car shipping is the more convenient method, research reliable auto transport companies online or ask for a recommendation if someone you know has shipped their vehicle recently.

Get as much information as possible about the carriers, insurance during transport, pick up, and delivery, as well as possibilities related to the final destination. All of this combined should impact your final decision on who to trust to ship your vehicle to another part of the country.

The cheapest option is usually not the best one when it comes to companies that ship vehicles, but there are ways to save some money depending on the service you decide to take. When asking for a price estimate, ask about the different alternatives available to you and do a cost-benefit analysis. There is always a way to fit this long-distance adventure into anyone’s budget.

person calculating
Low-cost service does not usually prove to be a great option

How Much Would It Cost to Ship a Vehicle?

The cost of transporting your car across the country varies depending on a few factors. If your car has been modified to make it bigger or heavier than the original version, it won’t fit the standardized space on the carrier. Also, if there are expensive modifications, additional safety steps are necessary.

If you opt for faster delivery, this will probably cost you more. The time of the year plays an essential role in car shipment because of the weather conditions and peak moving season. Here are other factors to keep in mind when planning your budget:

  • Transportation distance – how far does the truck need to go,
  • Type of carrier – open and enclosed carriers fit different budgets,
  • Pickup and delivery point – are there any obstacles for the truck at the pickup point and final destination,
  • Make and model of your car – the type of four-wheeler you need to ship does play a role, too,
  • Weight of your vehicle – cars that weigh over a certain number might require a special truck or pickup method,
  • Deadline for delivery – how much time it takes between the pickup and the date the shipment is delivered to your home.

What Are Your Options for Shipping a Car Cross Country?

When you choose an auto shipping arrangement, you can customize the service quite a bit. All of those alternatives that companies offer have their benefits, and in the end, you can select the one that suits your needs the best. Here are your options:

  • There is a possibility of a standard delivery time or a fast delivery service.
  • You can arrange the pickup well in advance or last minute
  • You can choose an open or enclosed carrier
  • You can get an additional insurance policy aside from the one provided by the companies
  • You can choose door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal delivery if there is a terminal close to your future home.

Enclosed Carrier – What Is It and How Much Does It Cost?

Besides the top-notch long-distance moving services, a chosen company should provide you with excellent auto transport too. Imagine you’re transporting a luxury four-wheeler. An enclosed carrier truck is the safest way to ship your expensive auto.

It protects cars from the elements on the road and the prying eyes of unwanted spectators. Enclosed carriers are usually smaller than open ones and should be scheduled as soon as you know you need to move your machine. This is a more expensive option, but if the safety of your car is your primary concern, then it is the best offer for you.

Open Carrier – It Still Goes a Long Way in Protecting the Shipment

An open carrier is scheduled more often than the enclosed one and can hold more vehicles.

This a great, budget-friendly option because you will save money on transport while the safety of your car won’t be compromised.

Sure, it won’t be protected from the elements, but if you’re relocating during spring or summer, this is not something you have to worry about.

Also, the carrier driver can check up on the vehicles at any point.

With Flat Price Auto Transport and Moving, open carrier is equally safe as enclosed option

Consider Different Delivery Points

There are two possibilities here. You can opt for the car to be delivered to your address or a terminal anywhere in the country. Depending on your location and the location of the nearest terminal, this will affect the price. It is usually less expensive to ship a car to the nearest terminal to your home since this is an established route and system of delivery, but it is not always the case, so ask about the cost of both options.

person working on a laptop and a mobile
Schedule a pick-up at the earliest time possible

How to Prepare Your Four-Wheeler for Transportation?

You should schedule a check-up with your mechanic and get your car in the best shape before transport. Make sure to tell your mechanic what the purpose of your visit is. They’ll know how to prepare your vehicle properly and notify you about any malfunctions that can jeopardize the safety of the car.

Tips for Getting Your Car Ready for Shipment for a Stress-Free Experience

Getting your four-wheeler from point A to point B can be a smooth and hassle-free experience with the right preparation. By taking the time to get your vehicle ready for transport, you can ensure its safety and avoid any unexpected issues. Here are some steps you shouldn’t omit:

  • Remember to empty your gas reservoir before pick-up, since any additional weight will affect the cost and it is a safety hazard to transport a car with a full tank.
  • Inspect your car at the pick-up and delivery point for scratches and damages.
  • It is not a bad idea to take additional insurance if you ship your car.
  • Empty your car from any personal belongings since they can add on weight and they are usually not covered by insurance.
a person checking out vehicle
Get a thorough inspection before transport

How to Schedule Pick-Up and Delivery?

You have to be prepared for your car to be on the transportation route for up to two weeks, depending on the distance. You would want to schedule a pick-up date as soon as you start getting organized to move, especially if you are moving during the peak moving season. It is not always easy to find a spot on the carrier last minute.

If you want to move to your new home without any problems, it is best to hire a reputable moving company with a valid USDOT number and get everything done in one call. A highly professional moving business has established routes, appropriate equipment, trained and skilled staff, and experience to take on such a big project as moving a household with a vehicle to the other side of the country.

Happy smiling woman working on laptop computer while sitting on the floor with legs crossed and pointing finger away isolated over gray background
Schedule the most convenient delivery with top-notch cross-country movers

With the Professionals by Your Side, You Won’t Have to Worry About Anything

Planning a relocation isn’t as easy as people might think. There are many things you need to take care of before professional cross-country movers come. When it comes to your four-wheeler, it’s the same thing.  Preparation is the key. So, if you’re ready to ship your car with confidence, contact Flat Price Auto Transport and Moving today for reliable and professional service tailored to your needs. Get your free quote now and start your journey with peace of mind!

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