How To Ship A Car Across The Country

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Complete Guide and Expert Tips for Shipping Your Car Across the Country

Moving long distances is already complicated enough without worrying about driving your car state-to-state, especially with Covid. This is why most people moving across the country choose to ship their cars using a car delivery service. While shipping a car might appear daunting, the process can be simplified into four easy steps. Here’s how to move your vehicle across the country using a door-to-door service:

1. Get A Free Quote on Your Car Shipping

First, get a free quote on your car shipment from multiple providers. It would be best if you never were asked to pay to receive a quote on your move. Auto transport companies offer two main types of transport: open carrier and closed carrier. These two options will vary in price, and choosing one over the other depends on several factors specific to your vehicle make/model, location, and shipment. We offer a free car transport quote online that allows you an instant look at expected shipping costs for your state.

Open carrier transport

Open carrier transport is the cheapest of the two shipment options. These carriers can hold up to ten vehicles simultaneously, reducing the expense of travel per vehicle. This is a great affordable option for most daily-drive vehicles. You can read more about open carrier transport on our site.

Enclosed transport

The safest and most secure way to ship your car is through an enclosed carrier transport. An enclosed carrier protects your vehicle from weather elements, and the specialized loading platform offers a gentler slope for safer car loading. Enclosed transport is often preferred for collectibles, exotic vehicles, and classic cars. Additional shipping solutions are provided under the enclosed carrier transport umbrella, which you can read about here.

2. Choose an Expert Auto Transport Provider

Second, compare your quotes and select your auto transport provider based on the company’s location, price, reviews, and expertise. Number 1 Auto Transport utilizes state-of-the-art equipment driven by professionals, keeps you updated throughout your cross-country service, and does not charge a penny until your vehicle is placed on the carrier. Whether you shop with us or not, choose a provider with compelling, authentic reviews, excellent customer service, and competitive rates.

3. Arrange for the Vehicle Pickup and Ship the Car

Next, when your driver arrives to pick up the vehicle, you must perform another car inspection before loading it onto the shipment. You and the driver will inspect the entire vehicle and note every scratch, dent, or damage previously acquired. This list will be compared against your car inspection upon arrival at your destination, ensuring that the check is thorough and complete. Once the inspection is complete, your driver will safely load the car onto the shipment and begin your cross-country transport.

4. Receive Car Across Country at Destination

Finally, while your vehicle is en route, we will keep you up-to-date on your driver’s location. When your driver arrives at your new state, you and the driver will complete a second vehicle inspection for any new damages. Damages during car shipment are extremely rare, but if such a problem occurs, the driver will complete all necessary paperwork and work with you. Nearly all Number 1 Auto Transport car shipments will arrive quickly and safely.

Ship a Car Across Country: Commonly Asked Questions

Still, have questions about shipping a car across the country? Here are some commonly asked questions and our expert opinion on the topic.

How much does shipping a car across the country cost?

The cost of a car shipment across the country depends on several factors, including the vehicle make/model, shipment distance, shipment date(s) of the shipment, and the type of car carrier you choose. Most auto transport companies offer free online quotes for your trip: Get a quote from Number 1 Auto Transport today.

What is the cheapest way to ship a car across the country?

An open transport service is the cheapest way to ship a car across the country. Open transport will be safe, secure, and an excellent option for cross-country travel for most vehicles. An enclosed carrier offers extra protection from weather and other hazards for exotic cars and collectibles. Call Number 1 Auto Transport to talk to an auto transport specialist who can help determine the type of shipment right for you.

Does insurance cover any damage from cross-country shipping?

To meet State and Federal requirements, vehicle carriers should be insured. Damages should be documented during vehicle delivery on the Bill of Lading, and you should obtain the driver’s signature. Having damage from auto shipping is rare, especially when using a trusted and credible auto transport service.

How To Prepare Your Car for Cross-Country Transport

Interstate Transport

Sometimes it isn’t convenient to drive your vehicle to a new destination when relocating. Perhaps you are flying and need your vehicle at the final destination. Maybe you are driving another vehicle and want your other car, truck, or SUV towed for the ride. Whatever you are looking for, you must ensure your car is ready for interstate transport. You can always contact a vehicle transport company to see what they require. However, there are some items you should take care of to ensure your vehicle is ready to cross state lines.

Vehicle Lighting

Depending on how your vehicle will be moved, you must ensure all of your vehicle’s lighting works. This includes turn signal bulbs, headlights, running lamps, and license plant lights. If you have anything burnt out, replace the bulbs yourself, or take them to have the bulbs replaced. Some lights are easy to replace, while others might require you to go through the trunk or the vehicle’s hood. If you are uncomfortable with this, you can have your local oil change service center install the new lights, or you can go to the dealership, and they can do it for you.

Interior Cleaning

You know the random odds and ends you have in your car and trunk, just in case you are on the road and need extra work clothes, running shoes, a shovel, or just about anything else? Be sure to remove these items from the car’s trunk or interior. You don’t need these items bouncing around the vehicle while it is being towed. Outside of small items, you might want to leave in some useful things like jumper cables, rubber straps, or necessary equipment for the car itself, clean it out, and make sure it is prepped and clean for the journey.

washing a carWashing Your Car

Despite it likely collecting some residue and dead bugs along its trip, your car should be pretty clean at the start of its journey. Considering your auto transport company is responsible for any vehicle damage or alterations. In contrast, it’s being transported; having a clean car at the beginning of its journey will make it easier to use as a benchmark for inspection later on.

Leaving Gas in Your Car

Having gas in your car while being transported long distances will add extra weight and, in turn, potentially additional cost to your shipping fee. The recommended amount to leave in your gas tank is about 1/8 total, leaving just enough for the company to move it on their own if necessary and relieving them of a few extra gallons that could slow down their trip.

Check Your Battery and Inflate Your Tires

Ensuring your car battery is charged and your tires are inflated properly will give the company and yourself peace of mind when driving the car rather than towing it. While this shouldn’t be a problem with most car transporting scenarios, it is good to ensure these things. In the long run, your vehicle will be tip-top when returning to your new destination.

Ready to Ship Your Car Across State Lines?

Finally, if you prepare for state-to-state auto transport or coast-to-coast, you must ensure your vehicle is properly prepped and ready for the journey. No matter where you are going or how far the journey is, with the help of Number 1 Auto Transport, you can make sure your vehicle is ready for anything. Lastly, call us at 855-422-4141 or fill out a contact form for a free car shipping quote and let us help you get your car where you need it to be.

Have Questions or Need a Car Shipping Quote?

Number 1 Auto Transport is an auto transport service company specializing in transporting all vehicles door to door. We offer the highest quality customer service at the most reasonable and honest rates. Please email us or call 855-422-4141 for a FREE  CAR SHIPPING QUOTE to ship your car.

We look forward to giving you quick answers to any questions you may have!