How do you ship a car across country?


There are lots of reasons why you might want to ship a car across country. You could be relocating with your family, changing location because of your job, or even heading off to college or university.

It’s possible to ship a car across country in a variety of ways, such as train, plane, or hiring someone to drive it for you. There’s also the option of taking a road trip, which might sound like a great start to a new life at college. All of these options, however, have their downsides such as high cost, long timeframe, and inconvenience.

One option we’ve not yet mentioned is to ship a car across country with the help of an auto transport company. You’re probably thinking your budget isn’t going to stretch to such a luxury, but you might be pleasantly surprised. Thousands of people, students included, ship a car this way every year. It saves wear and tear on the vehicle, it’s quick, easy to arrange, and very convenient. Keep reading if you want to learn more.

What is auto transport?

It is a way to ship a car across country on a truck and trailer, just like the ones you’ve seen many times out on the highway. Several cars are loaded onto a trailer and then transported across state lines, to another city, from coast to coast, even to Hawaii.

If you need to have a vehicle moved from one location to another, you contact a company that offers an auto transport service. You request a quote, make a booking, your car is picked up and delivered to your chosen location. More than one car can be shipped at the same time as well.

Open vs. enclosed auto transport

There are two different ways you can ship a car with an auto transport company. Open car transport is the best value for money and you also receive a safe and secure transportation service. The carrier transports your car in an open trailer along with several other vehicles. It does mean your car is exposed to the elements and traffic grime, but that’s no different than if you were driving it on the highway.

Enclosed auto transport is when your car is transported in a trailer that has four sides and a roof. In other words, it’s completely enclosed and not exposed to the elements or traffic grime at all. For such extra protection you pay on average 30% to 40% more. Enclosed auto transport is typically recommended for expensive, unique, custom, classic, antique, vintage, and high-end vehicles.

How much does it cost to ship a car across country?

The cost depends on several factors. These include:

Make and model of the car: A small vehicle is cheaper to transport than a larger one.

Distance traveled: If you live in New York and are heading to Baltimore it costs less than if you are heading to Orlando, Florida.

Delivery time frame: An expedited service is possible but it will cost more.

Type of transport: Open car transport is cheaper than enclosed auto transport.

Condition of the vehicle: It will cost more to transport a car that is inoperable.

Time of the year: Shipping a car across country is cheaper in the summer.

How long does it take to ship a car across country?

Many factors affect the time it takes to ship a car across country. Distance is the most obvious one as it’s bound to take longer to ship a car from New York to Orlando than from New York to Baltimore.

The weather is also going to affect the speed at which your car can be transported and lets not forget the amount of traffic on the road.

Finding a reliable auto transport company

It’s best to do some research if you want to find the best auto transport company. There are plenty to choose from, but the best place to start is to ask around for recommendations. You’re bound to know someone who has used auto transport before.

Make sure the company is registered with the Department of Transport, and that they are bonded and insured. Read as many customer reviews and testimonials as you can so you can get a feel for the company’s reputation.