Complete Guide and Expert Tips for Shipping Your Car Across the Country
Moving long distance is already complicated enough without worrying about how to drive your car state-to-state. This is why most people moving across country choose to ship their car using an auto transport service. While shipping a car might appear like a daunting task, the process can be simplified down to 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
Collect a free quote on your car shipment from multiple providers. You should never be 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 at a time, 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.
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. There are additional shipping solutions provided within the umbrella of enclosed carrier transport that you can read about here.
2. Choose an Expert Auto Transport Provider
Compare your quotes and select your auto transport provider based on location, price, reviews, and expertise of the company. 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. Regardless of whether you ship with us or not, choose a provider that has compelling, authentic reviews, excellent customer service and offers competitive rates.
3. Arrange for the Vehicle Pickup and Ship Car
When your driver arrives to pick up the vehicle, you will need to perform another inspection of the car before it is loaded onto the shipment. You and the driver will inspect the entire vehicle and make a note of every scratch, dent, or any damage previously acquired. This list will be compared against your inspection of the car upon arrival to your destination, so make sure 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
While your vehicle is en-route, companies like Number 1 Auto Transport 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 inspection of the vehicle for any new damages. Damages during car shipment is extremely rare, but if such a problem occurs, the driver will fill out all necessary paperwork and work with you from there. Nearly all car shipments from Number 1 Auto Transport will arrive quickly and safely.
Ship a Car Across Country: Commonly Asked Questions
Still have questions about shipping a car across country? Here are some commonly asked questions and our expert opinion on the topic.
How much does shipping a car across the country cost?
Cost of a car shipment across the country is highly dependent on several factors, including the vehicle make/model, distance of the shipment, date(s) of the shipment, and what type of car carrier you choose. Most auto transport companies offer free, online quotes for your trip: Get a free quote today from Number 1 Auto Transport.
What is the cheapest way to ship a car across country?
The cheapest way to ship a car across country is through an open transport service. For most vehicles, an open transport will be safe, secure and a great option for your cross country travel. But, for exotic cars and collectibles, an enclosed carrier offers an extra layer of protection from weather elements and other hazards. Call Number 1 Auto Transport to talk to an auto transport specialist who can help determine what type of shipment is right for you.
Does insurance cover any damage from cross-country shipping?
Yes – to meet State and Federal requirements, vehicle carriers should be insured. Damages should be documented at the time of vehicle delivery on the Bill of Lading and you should obtain the driver’s signature. Having damages from auto shipping is a rare occurrence, especially when using a trusted and credible auto transport service.
How To Prepare Your Car for Cross Country Transport
Sometimes it just 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, or you are driving another vehicle and want your other car, truck or SUV towed along for the ride. Whatever it is you are looking for, you need to make sure your car is read for interstate transport. Now, you can always contact your vehicle transport company to see what is required by them specifically, but there are some general needs you should take care of to ensure your vehicle is ready to cross state lines.
Depending on how your vehicle is going to be moved, you need to make sure all of the lightings works on your vehicle. This includes your turn signal bulbs, headlights, running lamps and even your license plant lights. If you have anything that is burnt out, replace the bulbs yourself or take them in to have the bulbs replaced. Some lights are rather easy to replace, while other bulbs might require you going in through the trunk or the hood of the vehicle. If you are not comfortable 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 as well.
You know the random odds and ends you have in your car and trunk, just in case you are on the road and you need some extra work clothes, running shoes, a shovel or just about anything else? Be sure to remove these items from the trunk or the interior of the car. 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 Your Car
Despite it most likely collecting a little residue and dead bugs along its trip, your car should be fairly clean at the start of its journey. Considering your auto transport company is accountable for any damage or alterations were done to the vehicle while 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 it is being transported long distances will add extra weight and in turn potentially extra cost to your shipping fee. The recommended amount to leave in your gas tank is about 1/8 full, leaving just enough for the company to move it on their own if necessary, but also 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 it comes to the thought of having to drive the car rather than tow it. While this shouldn’t be a problem with most car transporting scenarios, it is good to make sure of these things. In the long run, you will have your car in tip-top shape upon getting it back at your new destination.
Ready to Ship Your Car Across State Lines?
If you are preparing for a state to state auto transport or coast to coast, you need to make sure your vehicle is prepped properly 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. So, give us a call 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.