Things to Know About Transporting Cars from State to State

June 30, 2016 / 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.

If you’ve been wondering how transporting cars from state to state works, we’ve got the answers. Shipping your vehicle across the state border isn’t exactly as easy as it sounds, but with all the right information, it doesn’t have to be too complicated either. Check out our comprehensive guide on shipping a car across states to get all the necessary info about how the transportation business works, all the different methods, quotes, insurance, enclosed trailers, and more.

luxury black car overlay
It can be a long road ahead of you, if you don’t get all the necessary info about transport.

The Basics of Transporting Cars from State to State

You’ve made a decision to relocate to one of the best places to live in California for young adults, but you are going to need your car with you. So, what does it take to ship a four-wheeler? In general, shipping a car interstate is a pretty straightforward process. Once you’ve chosen the best auto shipping company to do business with, you schedule the pickup and delivery locations and dates and agree on other details.

You prepare your vehicle for transport, have the company pick it up, and load it onto their truck, and then all you have to do is wait for it to arrive at your new address on a specified date. Doing business with the right team really is that easy, just ensure you prepare some cash that is enough to tip movers. Also, if you are moving out of Los Angeles to New York, make sure you apply for a new driver’s license, with their DMV.

white car on the road during the sunset overlay
If you want to ship your four-wheeler there are simple ways to do it.

What is Auto Transport Cost Quote and How Does it Work

Since every transportation process is different, service providers don’t have a fixed cost for this service. Instead, you can order free quotes, also known as estimates, that provide you with the general idea of how much you will be paying to have your four-wheeler shipped to another part of the country. Quotes serve not only as information that will help you calculate the budget but also as a liability for companies to be transparent and open about their prices.


How Are Auto Transport Estimates Calculated

The quotes that you order from a cross-country auto shipping company are calculated based on a number of different factors. These include, among other things, the distance between the pickup and delivery location and the type of service you choose. For enclosed transport, for example, you’re going to need a larger budget than its alternative. However, other things influence the overall cost quote as well, like:

  • The type, size, and weight of your vehicle. Different vehicles require different modes of transportation and different levels of attention.
  • Its condition. The condition of your four-wheeler has an impact on the final number on the bill, too. Getting inoperable vehicles on the truck and shipped across the country will require great effort and the help of more people. You might also need special relocation insurance.
  • The time of the year. If you want to relocate in the summer, keep in mind that it is the peak season for companies that ship vehicles and household goods, so that is when their prices go up a great deal.
  • The precise date of auto transport. You can expect to pay more for transport if you want to order it on the weekends and Fridays, and less on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
  • Type of insurance. Most cross-country transport companies provide a basic insurance policy for the vehicles of their customers that they ship. However, you’re always free to get third-party coverage if you think you need it.
  • Other factors. Does your chosen long-distance provider include any other factors in the calculation? The best way to find out is to dial their phone number and request additional information.

How to Reduce the Costs of Shipping Across States

If the cost of shipping a vehicle is above your means, you’ll be happy to hear that there are ways to reduce them. In other words, there is usually a way to ship a four-wheeler without breaking the bank. Of course, you can’t exactly change the distance between your old and new home, but what you can do is opt for the more affordable types of service you want to order, like the kind of truck or the location to which your four-wheeler will be shipped. By getting in touch with your chosen provider of shipping services, they will surely help you find a good way to save up.

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There are different ways you can lower costs, and make the transportation process more affordable.

Different Ways to Ship a Car

Good companies offer several different ways of shipping cars and getting them to their final destination. The cross-country carrier you choose to do business with will depend on several factors, such as your relocation budget, the amount of free time you have, or your personal preference. First of all, you will decide in which way your four-wheeler will be transported –  in an open or enclosed trailer. Another thing that will determine the costs of shipping is the pick-up and delivery option.

Enclosed Transport- A Carrier with the Best Protection for Vehicles

By shipping in an enclosed trailer, you can rest assured that the vehicle will be completely protected, not only from any potential damage but also from the weather and road debris. In other words, you won’t even have to think about washing your car once it’s delivered. However, getting the enclosed transportation service does cost a good deal compared to its open alternative, which is why it’s mostly reserved for luxury and show cars.

Open Auto Carriers – Transport Cars at a Lower Cost

A more common alternative to enclosed transportation open carriers. With this service, your vehicle will be transported in an open trailer and exposed to the elements. However, if you wisely choose your service provider, you still won’t have to worry about any possible damage to your car. Open carriers are a much more affordable option, which is why most clients opt for it.

Door-to-Door Delivery – For People Who Don’t Have a Lot of Free Time

Usually, a company providing you with auto transport services will pick your vehicle up from your front door, and deliver it precisely to the address you specify. Exceptionally, if our carrier can’t reach the location, a pickup will need to be arranged at the nearest parking lot.

Terminal-to-Terminal Delivery – Have Your Vehicle Shipped to the Closest

If you would like to reduce the cost of transporting our car, you should opt for this delivery alternative. Instead of simply having your vehicle picked up and delivered to a specified location, you will have to drive it to the nearest terminal and later on pick it up from a different one.

The Best Way to Prepare for Shipping Step-by-Step

Just because you’ve hired an auto transport company doesn’t mean that your job is done. Among many other relocation day preparations, your car needs to also be properly prepared for the process. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do that.

Wash the Exterior and Record Damage

Thoroughly wash your car and make notes of any sort of damage you notice. You may also want to take pictures. This will make it easier, later on, to figure out whether there was additional damage inflicted during transport.

General Checkup and Repairs to Make Sure the Car is Ready

Take your vehicle to a shop for a general checkup of its condition. If there are any leaks or other issues, make sure they are repaired before the pickup date. You will also want to top off all fluids, but leave about a quarter of the gas tank full.

Remove Personal Belongings from the Vehicle Before Shipping to Another State

Lastly, remove any belongings you have from the car. This includes valuables, jewelry, money, important documents, and so on. You also shouldn’t attempt to transport furniture or other objects (such as electronics) inside the trunk.

black car on the road by  the park overlay
Don’t transport valuable and personal belongings in the trunk if you don’t want to lose them.

How to Choose a Car Shipping Company

Now that you know what auto transport entails, it is time to find the right company for the job. You shouldn’t just hire the first one you come across – after all, your vehicle is at stake. So make sure you find professionals that are reliable and well-trained. The best way to do so is by asking around for recommendations and checking reviews online.

And if it’s not just your car that you’re relocating but your entire household, know that movers usually offer other solutions such as long-distance moving services, swift and well-handled packing solutions, and free storage services.

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