Moving to a new state is already a hassle, but figuring out how to get your automobile there may be a nightmare if you don’t have a game plan. You’re in luck because, by the time you’re done reading our advice, you’ll know exactly what to do and how to go about shipping your car.

You can either drive the car yourself, have a friend or family member help you, or employ a professional auto transport business, but we’ve got you covered anyway.

The following is a comprehensive guide to transporting a vehicle across state lines.

Smart Options for Transporting a Car Cross-State

  • Use the services of a car shipping firm.
  • Use a moving firm to get your car where it needs to go.
  • Get a moving truck and hook up your car.
  • Get a qualified driver on the job.
  • Take the vehicle yourself
  • Send your car by train.
  • Transport your vehicle by boat.

Use the services of a car shipping firm.

Finding a dependable car shipping company and delegating all the work to them is the easiest way to transport a vehicle across state lines. In order to identify the best firm for your needs and budget, it is recommended that you receive at least three estimates for auto shipping and carefully compare the services and prices offered by each.

You can choose from a wide variety of excellent auto transport businesses. You should always make sure the company you choose to partner with meets the following criteria:

Interstate moves require a valid license and proof of insurance. Check the website of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration with the DOT number of the company you’re interested in to see if they’re properly licensed to operate in the United States. (Please be aware that all businesses included in our directory have already passed a check for proper licensing and insurance.)

Use a moving firm to get your car where it needs to go.

For your interstate relocation, are you employing the help of a full-service firm? Maybe they can even help you relocate your vehicle(s). Inquire about car shipping when you get your interstate moving estimate. They may be able to refer you to a reliable auto shipping company if they don’t offer this service themselves.

Get a moving truck and hook up your car.

A tow dolly or car trailer can help you transport your vehicle behind your moving truck as you travel to your new location. Before attempting this, though, you should probably double-check with your truck rental provider to make sure it’s okay with them (if they do, most will also rent out the equipment you need). Keep in mind that this may increase the mobility difficulties you have when driving; if you’re not used to towing a large moving vehicle, you may not want to add a car trailer to the mix.

Get a qualified driver on the job.

You can engage a driver through a concierge service, often known as a professional driving service, to make the drive for you. They often take pets with them and stop for bathroom breaks along the way. This is an expensive possibility that may increase the mileage on your automobile, but it could be the best one to take. Any time you need a professional driver, you should always choose a driving service. Transportation concierge services thoroughly screen their drivers and provide insurance for your relocation.

Take the vehicle yourself

Even though it’s the slowest choice, driving yourself is the safest and most secure way to transport your car. This is the most convenient and economical choice for a local move. It won’t be simple, but you can relocate out of state or even across the country. If you’re up for a road trip but don’t want to pay the high price of a car carrier, this is a great option to consider.

Alternatively, you may have a friend or family member take the wheel. Even though this option will save you money compared to employing a professional driver, you still need to verify that the individual you’re considering is both insured by your company and is a safe driver. Unless absolutely necessary, we would advise against going this route.

Use the train for car transportation

All the way up to SUVs and motorcycles, Amtrak trains can haul them all. The Amtrak Auto Train makes it possible for East Coast travelers to travel between Washington, D.C., and Orlando, Florida, without having to worry about driving.

Ship by boat

Although this method is more common for overseas transport, it is nevertheless possible to convey a car within the United States using a boat. Transferring your car in this manner is, like moving your car by train, not the most popular technique, but it may be appropriate in some cases. As in, “if you’re moving to Hawaii or Alaska.”

Preparing your vehicle for interstate travel

Prepare your vehicle before setting out on the road to avoid any hiccups in your transportation. If you’re working with a competent vehicle shipping firm, they’ll likely go over all you need to know before they come to get your car.

Be sure that your gas tank is no more than a quarter full before setting out.

Get out of your car and remove everything. Perhaps the service you’re using has a weight restriction on your vehicle or even just requires that it be empty.

Take out any important paperwork from the glove box and put away any separate navigation devices.

See to it that the tires on your car are properly inflated and in good shape.

Verify that your car’s battery is completely charged.

In addition, it is recommended that you take pictures of your vehicle from all sides and do a thorough inspection for any preexisting damage. That way, if it becomes damaged while you’re driving, you’ll have proof that the damage wasn’t there to begin with, and you may file a claim with your insurance company for compensation.

How to ship car from one state to another

Tips for saving when using a car shipping company to transport across the state

  1. Pick a mode of transportation that uses the air. Your automobile will be left open to the weather, but this is the cheapest choice.
  2. You should be adaptable when scheduling car shipment drop-offs and pick-ups. Date flexibility is usually offered by auto transport firms, so if you have the option, try to be as flexible as possible.
  3. Compare prices. Here at our auto shipping hub, you can get free quotes from trusted businesses and quickly browse through their offerings.
  4. When moving to a new state, what should you know about transporting your vehicle?
  5. Read on to learn the most frequently asked questions and their solutions regarding auto transport services.


What is the procedure for transporting a vehicle over state lines?

Auto transport companies will move your vehicle for you in an open or enclosed carrier if you don’t want to drive it yourself or tie it to your moving truck. Transporting your vehicle by sea or train are further choices. The latter two are uncommon and offer few potential solutions.

What is the going rate for transporting a vehicle over state lines?

Costs to ship a car cross-country with a professional service can vary widely depending on a number of criteria but generally range from $600 to $1,000 for a four-door sedan and from $800 to $1,070 for a small van, pickup, or SUV (based on a New York to California move). Moving during the winter off-season will likely get you a rate closer to the bottom of the range. Similarly, if you plan to move during the warm summer months, you may expect to spend more.

The final price of transporting a car to another state is also affected by other factors, such as:

Your vehicle’s mass and dimensions. A larger and heavier vehicle will incur greater transportation costs.

Exactly how far are you going to have to move? It’s no surprise that long-distance transfers cost more than local ones due to factors including higher labor rates, gasoline prices, and tolls.

Please specify the brand and model of your vehicle. The final price does depend on the particulars of your vehicle. Expect to spend a lot to transfer a fancy or historic car. Transporting vehicles of this nature will require extra specialized care.

Your relocation season. Moving across states in the summer is more expensive than moving in the winter because of the higher demand for auto transport services. The demand for auto transport services is greatest at that time.

The mode of transportation you opt to use. The price ranges for covered and open-air carriers are different. Further explanations of these will be provided below.

Insurance is an essential extra expense to factor in. While insurance is required of all auto transport firms, it may not be adequate for your needs, especially if your vehicle is particularly expensive. Before sending your automobile long distance, find out if your current policy covers this, or look into additional insurance to cover it.

Transport with roofs vs. open-air

Which style of conveyance you go for—an enclosed carrier or an open-air carrier—will have a significant impact on your budget. While the lower costs of open-air carriers make them the default shipping choice, there are a few factors beyond price to consider.

The lower cost is partially attributable to the greater accessibility of these providers. If you leave nothing hidden from view, you can keep an eye out for any signs of damage to your vehicle throughout the entire trip, which is a major plus. However, if your car is transported using an open-air carrier, it will be vulnerable to the elements, including rain and snow, throughout the journey. Due to this, it is already at a higher risk of being damaged.

The timing of travel by plane is another important consideration. To accommodate the needs of its customers, open-air carriers frequently stop at various locations along their routes while transporting up to a dozen automobiles at a time. Because of this, you may have to wait longer for your vehicle and/or have it delivered to a nearby distribution center instead of your home. Make sure you ask about delivery details when requesting bids so you don’t end up having to wait an extra week or two for your vehicle.

Carrier vehicles with roofs

Although more expensive, an enclosed carrier is the best option if you want to prevent any damage to your vehicle during transport. Without having to worry about the elements or theft, enclosed carriers are well worth the additional cost. You should expect your car back sooner than usual because there are usually no more than five other automobiles on the carrier.

Obviously, the price tag is the main drawback. An enclosed carrier adds an extra $0.25 to $0.50 per mile to the cost of shipping your car with A-1 Auto Transport, which can rapidly add up if you’re transporting your vehicle across the country. It’s something to consider if you’re transporting an expensive or collectible vehicle and want to keep it protected from the elements.

How much will it cost to send an automobile across the country?

In most circumstances, driving the vehicle yourself is the most cost-effective method of transportation. However, when working with a professional car shipping firm, rates will change based on the dimensions and weight of your vehicle, as well as the distance traveled and the time of year. However, open-air carriers are usually the most cost-effective option.

How much does it often cost to transport a car over state lines, and what factors play a role in that price?

The price of car travel The price you pay when hiring an auto transport company is determined by a number of variables, such as the season (higher demand in the spring and summer), the size, weight, make, and model of your vehicle (a luxury vehicle, for example, will cost more to transport), the distance traveled, the type of auto transport, the level of service (door-to-door will cost more than picking up your vehicle from a specific location), and the cost of insurance.

Is it possible to transport an automobile with its contents to a new state?

No. In order to transport cars, the company would need a valid license to do so, but it doesn’t have one. And the insurance only covers the car, not your stuff inside.

Is it better to use an open or closed carrier to ship an automobile across state lines?

It’s more expensive, but safer than an open-air carrier. Choose the more secure enclosed carrier if you’re transporting an expensive, collectible, or otherwise special vehicle.

I need to know what forms of identification the car transportation firm requires.

Usually, you’ll need two papers. Insurance coverage details and the bill of lading. If you want to send an automobile, you can be requested for identification and the vehicle’s title and registration.

When shipping my car, what steps should I take to get it ready?

Make sure the gas tank is no more than a quarter full, take out any and all valuables, test the tires and battery, turn off the alarm, give the carrier the key; and wash the car so any damage will be more obvious when compared to the pre- and post-trip inspections.

Chris Miller

Chris Miller is an auto journalist who specializes in reviewing new cars and providing helpful advice on family vehicles. He has a passion for cars and enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.

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