Making the decision to move out of state can be stressful, and figuring out the best way to transport your car to a new state can be even more complicated if you don’t have a plan. Lucky for you, after reading our expert tips, you will have a plan and be educated on all of your car shipping options. Whether you choose to drive the car yourself, enlist the help of a family member or hire a professional auto transport company, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know to ship a car across state lines successfully.
Intelligent Ways to Ship a Car to Another State
- Hire an auto transport company.
- Transport your car with a moving company.
- Hitch your car to a moving truck.
- Hire a professional driver.
- Drive it yourself.
- Ship your car by train.
- Ship your car by boat.
Hire an auto transport company.
The most stress-free route to ship a car to another state is to find a reputable car shipping company and let them handle all the heavy lifting. Get at least three car shipping quotes to compare shipping prices and offerings from different service providers to ensure you find the best car shipping companies for your needs and budget.
There are a lot of great auto shippers in the auto transport industry. Always be sure that the company you choose to work with can check off the following boxes:
- Must be licensed and insured for interstate moves. To verify licensure, visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website and check a company’s U.S. DOT number. (Note that any company listed on our directory has already been screened for license and insurance.)
- They have an excellent rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- Good online reviews.
Get started with a visit to our car shipping quotes feature.
Transport your car with a moving company.
Are you using a full-service moving company for your interstate move? They may be able to move your car(s) too. When you get a quote for your interstate move, ask if they offer vehicle transportation services. Even if they don’t provide the service themselves, they may be able to connect you with an auto transport service.
Hitch your car to a moving truck.
A tow dolly or trailer can be used to transport your car if you’re driving a moving truck. You can usually rent the equipment you need from a company that rents trucks if it allows it). It’s important to note that this will add more mobility challenges to your drive, so if you already feel uncomfortable hauling a big moving truck, you may not want to add a car trailer to the mix.
Hire a professional driver.
Concierge transportation companies (professional driving companies) allow you to hire a driver to make the trek for you in your car. Many of them will even take your pet along and will stop for potty breaks along the way. This is a pricey option, which will put miles on your car, but it may be an excellent way to go. Of course, if you hire a professional driver, always go through a driving company. Concierge transportation companies pre-vet their drivers and have the move covered by insurance.
Drive it yourself
While certainly the most time-consuming, this option lets you control your car’s movement. If you’re moving a short distance, then this is undoubtedly the easiest and cheapest option. The process of moving out of state or across the country isn’t easy, but it can be accomplished. A road trip can be made more enjoyable by choosing this inexpensive alternative to hiring an auto transporter.
Consider asking friends or family members to drive the car. This will end up being more affordable than hiring a professional driver, but you want to ensure your insurance will cover this person and that they are reliable. We don’t recommend this option, but it is an option if you’re in a pinch.
Car transport by train
Everything from sedans and vans to SUVs and motorcycles can be transported by Amtrak trains. Travelers between Washington, D.C., and Orlando, Florida, can load their cars on Amtrak Auto Trains for transportation.
Car transport by boat
While this is mainly reserved for international car shipping, you can still ship your car by boat domestically, too. Just like moving your car by train, this isn’t the most common method to drive your car, but it could be right under certain circumstances. (For example, if you’re moving to Hawaii or Alaska.)
Tips for getting your car ready for interstate transport
To ensure your transport goes off without a hitch, prep your car before it hits the road. A professional auto transport company you work with will generally go over the specifics that you need to do before pick-up, but be prepared to do these tasks either way:
- Check your fuel gauge and ensure it is at most one-quarter full.
- Empty all items from your car. The company you hire may require your car to be open or have a set weight limit.
- Remove all valuables in the glove compartment and standalone GPS devices, including those documents.
- Check your car’s tires to ensure they are inflated and in good condition.
- Be sure that the battery of your vehicle is fully charged.
To be safe, it’s also a good idea to check your car carefully for any existing damage, and then take pictures from every angle. If it incurs any damage on the road, you will have proof that it was not pre-existing and can go through the appropriate insurance channels to be reimbursed.