HomeAutomotiveHow to Ship A Car to Another State: A Complete Guide

How to Ship A Car to Another State: A Complete Guide

The need to ship a car across state lines arises from various situations: relocation, online purchases, or even sending a vehicle to a family member. Understanding the importance and weighing the common reasons behind interstate car shipments sets the foundation for a successful move.

In this comprehensive guide I will share insights into the intricacies of car shipping, highlighting the advantages of professional services—like All Day Auto Transport—and sharing practical tips for a smooth experience.

The Essentials You Must Know

Steps Involved in Shipping a Car

Shipping a vehicle to another state involves several key steps, starting from preparation to the final delivery. It includes selecting a shipping method (open or enclosed transport), determining the pickup and delivery locations, and understanding the timeline and tracking options.

Factors to Consider

Several factors affect the process, including cost, which varies based on distance, vehicle size, and shipping method. Choosing the right company is crucial—reputation, services offered, and insurance coverage play significant roles. Legal requirements also come into play, emphasizing the need for proper documentation and compliance with state regulations.

Legal Requirements

Navigating the legal requirements is essential. This encompasses understanding state-specific regulations, ensuring the transport company has the necessary licenses, and securing the right insurance coverage to protect your vehicle during transit.

Advantages of Professional Car Shipping

Considering a DIY approach might seem appealing, but a professional state-to-state car shipping company offers undeniable benefits. Safety and convenience stand out, eliminating the need for long, potentially hazardous drives. Professional services like All Day Auto Transport, which boasts over 350 customer reviews, underline the confidence and satisfaction enjoyed by car owners who opt for expert handling.

Research and Choose a Reputable Shipping Company

Finding a reliable car shipping company is the first and perhaps most crucial step in the process. Here are some tips to help you choose wisely:

  • Look for Reviews and Ratings: Use websites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB), TransportReviews, and Trustpilot to get unbiased customer feedback.
  • Verify Credentials: Ensure the company is registered with the Department of Transport (DOT) by asking for their DOT number and checking it on the FMCSA website.
  • Get Multiple Quotes: Contact several companies for quotes to compare prices. Remember, the cheapest option isn’t always the best.
  • Ask About Their Insurance Coverage: Confirm that the company offers adequate insurance should anything happen to your vehicle during transit.

Preparing Your Car for Shipping

Preparation is key to a smooth shipping experience. Follow these steps before your car is picked up:

  • Clean Your Car: A clean car makes it easier to spot any dings, scratches, or damage that occurs during shipping.
  • Document the Vehicle’s Condition: Take clear photos of your car from different angles, noting any existing damage. This serves as evidence in case you need to file a claim.
  • Remove Personal Items: Personal items are typically not covered by the shipper’s insurance. Remove them to avoid loss or damage.
  • Maintain Only a Quarter Tank of Gas: A full gas tank adds unnecessary weight; a quarter tank is enough for loading and unloading the vehicle.
  • Disable Alarms: If your car has an alarm system, disable it to prevent it from going off during transport.
  • Lock the Car: Once loaded onto the trailer, there should be no need for the car to be opened until delivery.

Understanding the Shipping Process

Knowing what to expect during the shipping process can alleviate concerns. Typically, the process involves the following steps:

  • Pickup: The transport company will arrange a time and place to pick up your vehicle. This could be at your home, work, or a designated lot.
  • Inspection: Both you (or a designated person) and the driver will inspect the vehicle and sign a bill of lading, which documents the condition of the car before transport.
  • Transport: The company ships your car. Delivery times vary based on distance, route, and weather conditions.
  • Delivery: Upon arrival, inspect your vehicle thoroughly. If there are any discrepancies or damage, note them on the bill of lading before signing off.

Shipping Costs and Insurance

The cost to ship a car to another state varies depending on the size of the vehicle, distance, and shipping options (open vs. enclosed transport). Generally, the average cost ranges from $500 to $1,500.

Insurance is paramount. While carriers are required to have liability insurance, verify the level of coverage provided and consider purchasing additional insurance if necessary, especially for high-value vehicles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does it take to ship a car to another state? 

A: The time it takes to ship a car can vary widely depending on the distance, route, and current demand. On average, it can take from 1 to 2 weeks.

Q: Can I pack items in my car? 

A: Most auto transport companies advise against packing personal items in your vehicle due to liability concerns. However, some may allow a limited amount of belongings, usually less than 100 pounds, stored in the trunk.

Q: Is insurance included in the shipping price? 

A: Yes, federal law requires all auto transporters to carry a minimum amount of insurance. However, it’s important to ask for specifics about what is covered and consider purchasing additional insurance if needed.

Q: What should I do if my car is damaged during shipping? 

A: Upon delivery, inspect your car carefully for any new damage. If damage is found, document it on the bill of lading before signing it, take photos for evidence, and contact the shipping company to file a claim.

Q: Can I choose between open and enclosed transport? 

A: Yes, you typically have the option to choose between open and enclosed transport. Open transport is less expensive but exposes the car to the elements, while enclosed transport offers more protection at a higher cost.

Q: Is it possible to track my vehicle while it’s in transit? 

A: Many companies offer tracking options so you can monitor your vehicle’s progress. Ask the transporter if they provide tracking and how you can access it.


Shipping a car to another state doesn’t have to be complicated. By understanding the process, recognizing the advantages of professional shipping services, and following essential tips for preparation and selection, you can ensure your vehicle arrives safely at its destination.

We encourage our readers to share their own experiences and advice in the comments below. If you’re considering shipping your car to another state, think about leveraging the expertise of proven providers like All Day Auto Transport to secure peace of mind throughout your vehicle’s journey.

Is your vehicle ready for a move? Reflect on the benefits of professional car shipping, and take the step towards a hassle-free experience.

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